Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States, its name given by a theologian exile Roger Williams from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Founded in 1636, it has undergone recent revitalisation efforts in order to cause an upturn in the poverty problems it continues to face.
Williams established the city as a refuge for freethinkers and religious dissenters, encouraging independence of spirit. The city still reflects this independent spirit today in its academic and cultural realms, countering trends in other New England cities.
Despite the attempted modernisation, the abundance of historic and cultural attractions in Providence remains its most enduring feature. Over 350 years of history populate the streets in the forms of preserved colonial, Greek Revival, and Victorian houses and public buildings.
With 12 colleges and universities filled with students and young people, the city's nightlife is constantly buzzing and Providence is also renowned for its excellent restaurants.