Florence is famed for its contributions to Italian art, architecture and cuisine. But these days, local leaders in the city regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance are concerned with more mundane matters: paying the bills. Amid soaring energy costs across Europe, city officials have teamed up with a local nonprofit to help fixed-income retirees keep their power on through an Adopt-a-Bill fundraising campaign. Many of Florence's retirees live on less than 9,000 euros ($10,205) a year and can't afford an expected 55% increase in home electricity costs and a 42% hike in residential gas bills. The campaign raised 33,000 euros (more than $37,000) in its first few days. Florence's Adopt-a-Bill campaign enjoys popular support. The capital of Italy's Tuscany region has a long record of successfully providing social services to poor and vulnerable residents.

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