Many Italian coastal cities became centers for trade and commerce, and for the wealth and education that ensued. One of the cities that exemplified these new trends was Florence. Unlike several other important cities of Italy that had noble families as their most prominent citizens (Mantua and Ferrara, for example), the leading citizens of Florence, the Medici family, made their wealth as business people. In all respects the Medicis had the appearance of nobility. They lived in beautiful homes, employed great artists, and engaged in intellectual pursuits for both business and pleasure.