By the early 1500s A.D., Florence began to decline. Political unrest and uprisings had led to a loss of power and wealth so that the Medici Family lost the influence that they once held. In the city-state of Rome, power was held by the Pope and other leaders of the Catholic Church.
Many of the Renaissance Popes who ruled the city of Rome used their influence to try and rebuild the city to its former glory. These Popes acted more like kings than religious leaders. By laying heavy taxes on their people, they were able to build magnificent churches, palaces and other public and private buildings.
They used tax money to hire artists and sculptors to create thousands of art pieces to fill the new buildings they had created. They also amassed a massive collection of literary works from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as contemporary works, which they stored in a library in the Vatican. This library attracted scholars from all over the world.
As a result of these efforts by the popes and other church leaders in Rome, their city attracted many who had been in Florence, thus becoming the center of the Italian Renaissance.