Florence (Firenze) is a World Heritage Site with renowned works of art, architecture, and monuments from the Byzantine, Medieval, and Renaissance eras. Florence is also one of Europe’s top fashion and design centers. Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Gucci, Ferragamo, Cavalli, and many other notable brands are either headquartered or have major design and production facilities in Florence.
Florence is one of the top 5 fashion capitals offering a unique design system. Pitti Uomo, Pitti Donna, and Pitti Bimbo set the scene for a tangible approach to fashion that can be touched while encountering professionals and buyers. The world’s first fashion runway show was organized in Florence in 1951. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage to shop at the Mall, a luxury outlet in the Tuscan countryside, just a train ride away from the city center.
Italy has had a profound impact on Western civilization. Starting with the Roman Empire in 753 BC and continuing through the Medival, Renaissance, and modern periods, Italy is a major center of culture, art, and science. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Raffaello, Botticelli, Bernini and Modigliani produced art masterpieces. Marco Polo and Columbus explored the oceans and discovered new lands, while scientists such as Galileo contributed to our knowledge of the Earth and astronomy.
Italy boasts renowned cities and breathtaking landscapes. Rome, the capital, is home to the Vatican as well as historic landmarks and ancient ruins. Florence is home to numerous Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. Venice, the city of canals, was the first to open a public opera house in 1637. Milan, Pisa, Naples, and Pompeii also contributed to Italy’s allure. Italian landscapes of Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Sicily, the Dolomites, Sardinia, the Riviera, and the Adriatic Sea coast are among the most spectacular in the world.
Italy is famous for its food, like pizza, pasta, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, salami, wine, and ice cream (gelato). It is also known for its coffee traditions. Venice was one of the first European ports to import coffee beans in the 16th century.
Italy has the 7th-largest economy in the world. Fashion, design, tourism, and automotive industries are pillars of the Italian economy. The world’s first bank was established in Genoa, Italy.