Florence is the capital city of the Italian Regions of Italy of Tuscany and of the provinces of Italy Province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 367,569 inhabitants.
The city lies on the Arno; it is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture and, more generally, for its cultural heritage. A centre of Middle Ages European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance; it has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history included periods of rule by the powerful House of Medici family, religious and republican revolution. Florence is often known as the"Jewel of the Renaissance".
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Florence is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the impact of its artistic, historic and cultural heritage in the world remains to this day. The city has a major impact in music, architecture, education, cuisine, fashion, philosophy, science and religion. The historic centre of Florence contains elegant squares (piazza), Renaissance palaces (palazzo), academies, parks, gardens, churches, monasteries, museums, art galleries and ateliers. The city has also been nominated, according to a 2007 study, as the most desirable destination for tourists in the world.
The city boasts a wide range of collections of art, especially those held in the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi, (which receives about 1.6 million tourists a year). Florence is arguably the last preserved Renaissance city in the world and is regarded by many as the art capital of Italy. It has been the birthplace or chosen home of many notable historical figures, such as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Niccola Machiavelli, Filippo Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Catherine de' Medici, Luigi Cherubini, Antonio Meucci, Guccio Gucci, Franco Zeffirelli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Leonardo Bruni, Coluccio Salutati, and Emilio Pucci.