Primarily, the Renaissance began in Italy because this was the home of ancient Rome. The Renaissance was inspired by humanism, the rediscovery of ancient Western learning. During this period, many great works of antiquity, long thought to have been lost, gradually came to light, uncovered among the dusty shelves of countless churches and monasteries. All of a sudden, the modern Italian man was reconnected with his intellectual heritage, inspiring him to build upon the example of his ancestors to advance human endeavors in fields as diverse as fine art, science, and government.
Though the Renaissance spread rapidly across the length and breadth of Europe, its natural home was Italy. At that time, Italy wasn't a country as it is today; it was a patchwork of petty kingdoms, republics, and Papal States involved in almost constant war with each other. In this atmosphere of persistent conflict, the picture of ancient life uncovered by the new learning, with its vibrancy and relative cultural unity, was an appealing one to a generation of Italians weary of decades of strife, bitter division, and cultural paralysis.