The Renaissance In Italy
The Italian Peninsula had been home to the Roman Empire for centuries. It had been the world center of culture, power, business and technology. The ideas that evolved and were developed in this region would have a lasting impact for thousands of years.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Italy was ruled by many different people and groups. It was conquered by Germanic tribes, by the Byzantine Empire, by Islam, and by others. It also experienced many periods of self-rule, where small city-states were governed by local leaders.
Because the Italian Peninsula jets out into the Mediterranean Sea, it is an ideal location for controlling important trade routes. As merchants traveled from China to the Byzantine Empire, and into Africa and other parts of the world, they often passed through the Italian Peninsula. This brought both money and culture into the region. As a result, the Italians were not hit as hard by the Dark Ages as were other parts of Western Europe.