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Florence, Italy
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    (53 BC- )
    Originally called Florentia
    Located on the Arno River
    Population of 400,000 (2000)
    Capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1870)
    Its name is effeminate.
    Low birth rates overwhelm the younger age brackets that have to pay for elderly pensions.
    The Arno River flooded and destroyed many art treasures when city officials did not bother to warn the people (November 1966).
    Over 90,000 citizens of the city were wiped out by the Black Death.
    During its golden age, bankers known as the Medici ruled by the political philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli.
    The citizens of the Republic of Florence dressed in bright, mismatched tunics and hose.
    They had a taste for material wealth and lavished themselves in ornate stone palaces.
    They made most of their money weaving wool during their golden age.
    It is home to Michelangelo's world-famous 'David.'
    It was founded by Julius Caesar as a place his veteran soldiers could retire.
    It was the capital and the birthplace of the Renaissance, the rediscovery of the human spirit and nature.
    The Medici were patrons of the arts and made the city the cultural center of Europe.
    The artwork and artists that came from the city had a significant impact on world history.
    Of the 1,000 most influential European artists in the past 1,000 years, they estimate that 350 of them came from here.
    Their artwork focused not on death and the afterlife, but life and regular people.
    Powerful guilds controlled the trades and insured the skilled workers would get paid well.
    It was home to Dante, Giotto, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Galileo and a remarkable amount of other polymaths.
    It stands with Rome, Athens and Jerusalem as one of the most influential cities in world history.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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