Meet the Medicis, visit Leonardo's studio, or dine at a palazzo - your guide to Tuscany's splendid era. Welcome to Florence in 1490. Under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, no city on earth can match its culture, learning, art, and naked ambition. Here, in the cradle of the Renaissance, you'll meet the great banking families and traders who have made Florence rich, and the philosophers and artistic geniuses who have helped it become one of the most exciting places to be in Europe. You will explore the marvelous monuments, learn about ancient customs and current fashions, and immerse yourself in its lively politics. This fascinating guide provides all the practical advice you need for a journey back to the golden age of Florence and Tuscany. Marvel at Brunelleschi's sublime cathedral dome and the sculptures and paintings that have made this the art capital of its day. Lose yourself in the often riotous local feasts and festivals. Meet the most important and influential families in Florence, as well as the young artists Michelangelo and Leonardo. And explore the darker side of life in the city, from its taverns and brothels to the grisly punishments meted out to wrongdoers. Also included is invaluable advice on traveling in Tuscany, from the beautiful countryside outside Florence to the stunning cities of Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, and Cortona.