Florence, Italy was a wealthy city-state ruled by the powerful Medici family who had a hand in everything- from royalty, the Church (several popes descended from the Medici family), to the arts. They supported artists most of you probably (hopefully) heard of- Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli. Florence was often referred to as the cradle of the Renaissance, renowned for its wealth and artistic culture. Philosophers, writers, artists, and other humanists flocked to Florence to learn and share their trades.
This power point goes through a brief history of Florence and the Medici family and all the famous artists produced in this artistic cradle.
Alia Klein, "Florence" April 2006. PowerPoint presentation.
This power point delves deeper into the history of Florence and explains how and why city-states like Florence flourished during the Renaissance. The ppt is a little old and dry but the content is great.
Alia Klein, "The Rise of City States" May 2003. PowerPoint presentation.