Beginning at the end of the 14th Century, the Renaissance created a new type of man, triggering economic, scientific, technical, religious, social and cultural developments that are unique in history. Never before have culture, economics and science developed so rapidly within one century as during the Renaissance. But what was the catalyst for it, what is the “Renaissance factor”? The Renaissance is an epoch unique in human history: Never before have art, culture, economics and science developed so rapidly within a single century. We search for the “Renaissance factor”, that combination of influences that triggered a pivotal period in history. It is a journey through time from Ancient Rome to the Crusades and the Black Death in the 14th century, events that defined the developments of the Renaissance. We travel with Michelangelo to the major construction site that was to become St. Peter’s Basilica, to the banking houses of the Medicis and the workshop of Johannes Gutenberg. We examine some of the many innovations of the Renaissance such as linear perspective, the printing press and double-entry bookkeeping. We ask what these achievements mean to us today and how – almost half a millennium later – we continue to benefit from the “Renaissance factor.” And we delve deeper with the help of spectacular reenactments and our “special investigators” – modern-day trendsetters, scientists, business tycoons, fashion designers and artists.