The great thing about Florence, for me, was the incidental splendor caused by a thousand years of urban sprawl and clutter. Beauty of almost any variety can be manufactured and duplicated. From makeup to fashion to fine art, almost all of our culture's 'beauty' really contrived. I know people who have learned the formula for a pleasing landscape or portrait, who can tell you, from memory, which color combinations inspire which feelings in the beholder. We artists trade in manufactured beauty, and there isn't a lot in the man-made world that can't be picked apart and seen for the illusion that it is.
It was refreshing, after spending days and days in museums full of deliberate compositions and carefully orchestrated experiences, to get out and see the haphazardly real, organic, accidental beauty of cluttered urban development over the centuries, the growth of a city organism, dirty and ancient and functional.
It is, to me, just as much a natural wonder as any landform or vegetation- it is an un-planned, un-designed form created by erosion and eruption over time.
And then I went and turned it into another mannered contrivance.