What conditions led Italy to be the birthplace of the Renaissance?

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There were 3 main reasons: Italy was highly-urbanized during Roman times. This meant she had not fallen into the Dark Ages as badly as other European nations, due to the prevalence of very many walled cities - for protection. She did not suffer as much of a loss of population during the wars of the Dark Ages, as by Rennaisance times she had a population of 11 million, vs. 4 million in Britain. (their populations are roughly equal today) Italy traded much with other people in the Mediterranean, which made her open to new ideas. eg., Amalfi (near Naples) was the first European state to openly trade with Muslim countries just before the Rennaisance, which gave Italians contact with the most advanced nations of the time, and presented her with sources of new ideas. Great wealth accumulated through trade, and the political fragmentation of Italy, meant that city-states competed with each other not thru war but in the arts - and also, that Italians had lots of money to spend on art. (NB: I ... more
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