Separated by seven hundred years and more than 6000 miles, fourteenth century Florence and twenty first century San Jose, CA, seem worlds apart. Yet, as vibrant centers of artistic and technological Renaissance, respectively, the two cities have striking similarities.
The Renaissance and Us
In many ways, Renaissance Europe mirrors American society today. Back then, an explosion of creativity led to the accomplishment of pioneering feats in the fields of art, science and exploration, spearheaded by the likes of Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci and Christopher Columbus. This period was born out of immense social upheaval. The Black Death, which ravaged Europe in the mid 1300s, was followed by the War of Eight Saints, a conflict fought between the Catholic Church and an Italian coalition led by Florence. Although these incidents are now a distant memory in the modern-day west, global events – including the War on Terror, the Global Financial Crisis and the Ebola outbreak – have continued to act as catalysts for social change and innovation, heralded by a new breed of tech-savvy entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
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