When I first saw Florence in the early 1970s I liked it - more so the heights with a panoramic view and the influence of the very powerful Medici Family that invested so much in the arts - when Michael Angelo and Leonardo de Vinci - reigned supreme. Hundreds of other artists worked under these Masters and produced so many great works of art.

The Medici family gave the world bankers, traders, benefactors, Popes, emissaries, warriors, royalty - even today centuries after much taken place the Medici family is respected for what it contributed to the world; its betterment and enrichment.

Just imagine; having two of the world's best artists and humanists - Michael Angelo and Leonardo de Vinci; living in the same place and contributing so many works of great art. But, there were more who studied under these men and that is not all - both Michael Angelo and Leonardo de Vinci were inventors and even today - people marvel at their many inventions.

Flying machines much before aero planes were thought of; huge catapults that could catapult huge rocks and rack havoc; other inventions too many to state and all can be viewed in the museums in Rome, in Florence in other places.

The many sculptures, paintings, landmark buildings, acres of land with well laid homes and gardens simply awe one - even today as one is given a chance to get a glimpse of the past. The great Renaissance period and all it stood for - sponsored by the great, noble, worthy - Medici Family.

From far and wide the porcelain, all sorts of silk, herbs and spices, and money - in gold and silver. The coins minted in Florence were much sought after and so were the fakes that some made to rack in the illegal - profits.

The artists of the times respect Michael Angelo; as did they Leonardo de Vinci - patrons including Popes sought these two to work on art projects. The men were independent and knew and were informed - more than many of their contemporary companions, rulers, and even the Popes and clergy of the time. Often these great artists more Masters - had to comply with ideas and concepts that these two artists did not believe in; to confront would mean death.

If these two or anyone were declared heretics - they could be burnt at the stake - tortured and killed as many were. The Catholic Church controlled most everything; mind, body and soul. The many shameful deeds; that are horrible scars of the period ˆ that bring shame the Catholic Church to this very day.

If you were on the bad list of Michael Angelo - you could justly be portrayed as an ugly and evil person; even if you were a Pope - and this one can clearly see in the murals at the Sistine Chapel.

Hundreds of years later the sculptures of Michael Angelo and the artists of the Renaissance still hold millions in awe; David, the Pieta, others so many and so wonderful and amazing - a gift from God, a force, the best any human being can offer to all human kind.

It was a time when Europe reigned supreme; there were influences brought from the Middle East and the Far East - treasures that took years to reach the shores of Italy and make their way inland to Florence and Rome.

In the interim the many wars have destroyed much, other treasures were looted, many of them found in museums in London, New York, Paris, Rome, and even in places like San Francisco.

These wonders take one to places of utter bewilderment and awe; murals, paintings, sculptures, inventions - they bring glory to all human kind - artists; are the soul of any civilization and the Medici Family of Florence reign supreme even to this day for their contribution to the Universe in the Arts that soothe the soul and uplift the mind.

As a young man 35 years ago my impressions of these works of art were awesome as I had not seen such pieces of work up close and personal; years later, with experience - reading and education - I still marvel that some human being is capable of such art; such beauty - such a creation that defies imagination.

Here are some photographs of Florence; where millions flocks to get inspiration:

photos of Florence

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