Americans may be surprised to know that Rome has not always been the capital of Italy. For five years in the 1800s, that honor belonged to the city of Florence, located in the region of Tuscany. Florence is the most heavily populated city in Tuscany with a million and a half inhabitants residing in the city and outlying areas.
Tourists who rent holiday homes in Florence will quickly come to appreciate why this city has been known as both the "Jewel of the Renaissance" and the "Athens of the Middle Ages. Florence's most important designation is equally obvious; it is known today as the "art capital of Italy" because of its great wealth of museums and galleries preserving some of the most significant works of art in world history. Of the 15 most frequently visited art museums in the nation, more than half are in the city of Florence.
One art museum that should top the list of any tourist's planned destinations is the Galleria dell'Accademia. Famed most of all for its collection of works by Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo, the Galleria dell'Accademia is where the world-renowned statue of the Biblical David remains permanently on display. Oddly enough, the same museum also features a collection of Russian religious icons.
Receiving millions of tourists every year, Florence is one of those locations that contains something for everyone, with shopping opportunities, historical attractions and events for all to enjoy.