Florence (1 of 3)
Surprisingly small as it is, this city is like no other. Cradle of the Renaissance and home of Machiavelli, Michelangelo and the Medici, Firenze is magnetic, romantic, unrivalled and busy. It was in Florence that Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and a bunch of other brilliant 14th- to 16th-century Tuscan masters carved out art history. Brunelleschi's dome did wonders to the course of architecture, while Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio penned parchments to plant the seeds for a unified Italian language.