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Florence

Florence, capital of the region of Tuscany, has a population of around half a million inhabitants, spreads on the banks of the Arno, between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian seas, almost in the middle of the Italian peninsula. Florence is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Italy and the world. It gave to birth many of the person who have more profoundly influenced the course of human history in every field of knowledge, art, literature and philosophy. Most of the world artistic patrimony is believed to be here, in Florence. Florentia, the city of flowers was the place where the Renaissance grew and anticipated Enlightenment and thus Modernity as a whole. Florence is reached every day by crowds of visitors who, in the attempt of seeing the city in only few days, are often overwhelmed by the huge amount of beauty and culture that the simple walking around its ancient streets imposes to every eye. Probably, a life dedicated entirely to the study of this unique city would not be sufficent to deepen the subject exhaustively enough.

It is a city which bustles with industry and craft, commerce and culture, art and science. Being on the main national railway lines, it is easily accessible from most important places both in Italy and abroad. The Florence "Vespucci" airport, where both national and international airlines stop, is located 5 Km. from the city centre. The main motorway, A1, connects Florence with Bologna and Milano in the North and Rome and Naples in the South. The motorway A11 to the sea joins it to Prato, Pistoia, Montecatini, Lucca, Pisa and all the resorts on the Tyrrhenian sea. There is also motorway which connects Florence to Siena. The climate is temperate but rather variable, with breezy winters and hot summers. The Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countrysides in Italy and a famous wine production area.

The economy of Florence is based mainly on the services sector, as the city is an important commercial centre. The traditional centuries-old banking and financial sector continues to flourish. Tourism and crafts (jewelry, embroidery, footwear, leatherwork, ceramics, wrought-iron and basket work, lace and reproduction furniture) provide considerable sources of income. The city is an active centre of culture, and organizes periodical exhibitions and art festivals. Industry, though consisting generally of small and medium-sized firms, has fairly important precision engineering, optical, pharmaceutical, chemical, metallurgical, publishing and textile sectors.

Florence is typically considered to have a Mediterranean climate, although under the Köppen climate classification it may be borderline humid subtropical. It has hot, humid summers with little rainfall and cool, damp winters. Surrounded by hills in a river valley, Florence can be hot and humid from June to August. As Florence lacks a prevailing wind, summer temperatures are higher than along the coast. Rainfall in summer is convectional, while relief rainfall dominates in the winter, with some snow.

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