Florence (Firenze in Italian) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence.
The city lies on the River Arno. It was historically important in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture. A center 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 before it took control of Rome.