Home to such masters as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Dante Alighieri, Florence earned a lasting reputation as a prestigious cultural center. But questions remain over who actually founded the “City of Lilies” and when. Most people give a nod to Julius Caesar as the founder of Florentia dating back to 59 B.C., claiming it for its strategic position linking Rome to northern Italy. Meanwhile, archaeological evidence suggests the Etruscans of Fiesole likely founded Florence in 200 B.C.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Skyscrapers spring up like weeds in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, lending to the sense of constant motion the city exudes. Business types in dark suits mingle with youthful tourists, and everyone seems to be in a hurry. No wonder, since the city, founded by a small group of tin miners in the mid-1800s, morphed into one of Southeast Asia’s most important destinations for business travelers.