Florence has the greatest collection of Renaissance art in the world, and a character list that reads like a Who's Who of the period's greatest artists and thinkers - Dante, Leonardo, Michaelangelo - not to mention the powerful families who financed their work - the Medici and the Strozzi. Evidence of their lasting influence abounds today, including the discovery of a Leonardo fresco beneath a painting by Vasari, and the unearthing of Michaelangelo's plans for a church facade. The city's challenge today is to manage the resultant tourist hordes; a new entrance to an enlarged Uffizi should double tourist numbers to the gallery, while a tramline is intended to reduce the city's traffic.
Daniel Smith lives in London, where he studied Renaissance literature. He has written for and edited a number of Time Out guides, including London, Milan and Havana, while his literary criticism has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and Time Out's 1000 Books to Change Your Life. He is also editor of the Time Out Florence Shortlist.