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Florence, Italy

Florence is as much a complex cultural phenomenon as a physical place, and it is this culture that the city projects to the world. Founded by the Romans, the city recovered from the collapse of the empire to become a leading commercial and banking center in the Middle Ages and an important cultural center at the dawn of the Renaissance. Following two centuries of relative stagnation, the city emerged temporarily as the capital of Italy in 1865 and underwent substantial urban redevelopment. In the twentieth century and beyond, while confronting industrialization, sprawl, the devastation of World War II, and lately mass tourism, the historic center continues to be an urban model.

The Ancient City and the Collapse of the Roman Empire

The city the Romans called ...

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