Florence lies in a spectacular position, in the center of a wide natural amphitheater, surrounded on three sides by the hills of Careggi (north), Fiesole (north-east) Settignano (east), Arcetri, Collina Imperiale and Bellosguardo (south).
The place where the city rises is crossed by the river Arno and smaller rivers as Mugnone, Terzolle and Greve.
Florence is often indicated as the cradle of the Renaissance: the city is characterized by that extraordinary literary, artistic and scientific development that had place in XIV and XVI century. Among the antecedent facts of this period of splendor, we find the crisis of the catholic Church and the disastrous effects of the black plague, that carried to a critical re-examination of the medioevali values, turning out in a revaluation of those of the classic antiquity.
Florence benefitted of this great social change and became one of the catalyzing places of that thought current, constituting in that age one of the most important centers of rebirth of the world culture.
The historical center of Florence, closed inside of the tree-lined avenues traced on the old medieval walls, keeps the most important cultural assets of Florence.
This part of the city can be appreciated from the hills around, above all from the Forte Belvedere, the Piazzale Michelangelo with the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and from the hill of Fiesole, that offers one of the most evocative panoramas of the valley of the river Arno.