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The cradle of the Italian Renaissance is unrivalled in the breadth of its artistic treasures. Florence has the greatest collection of Renaissance art in the world, and a character list that reads like a Whos Who of the periods 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 Michaelangelos plans for a church facade. Time Outs expert local authors cover Florences past and present with authoritative art history and their trademark appreciation of contemporary culture.