Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany and has a population of 364,779 (696,767 in the urban area).
The city lies on the Arno River and is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture. A centre of medieval European trade and finance, the city is often considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance; in fact, it has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. It was long under the de facto rule of the Medici family. From 1865 to 1870 the city was also the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.