Florence (Firenze) is the largest city and the capital of Italy's Tuscany region (population around 390,000) as well as the core of the Florence metropolis (total population over 1,5 million). Tourists traveling on ocean-going cruise ships access Firenze via Port Livorno.
The city was a center of European trade and finance during medieval times and one of the wealthiest of the time. It is often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been named "the Athens of the Middle Ages". The turbulent political history of Florence includes periods of rule by the Medici family and a wealth of republican and religious revolutions. between 1865-1871, Firenze was the capital of Italy's recently established Kingdom.
The historic downtown attracts around 13 million tourists per year. In 2012, Euromonitor International ranked it the world's 89th most visited (1,8 million visitors). In 1982, Florence was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is noted for its rich culture, plenty of monuments, Renaissance art and architecture. Florence also boasts numerous art galleries and museums, such as Palazzo Pitti and Uffizi Gallery, and still exerts influence in the fields of politics, art and culture. Due to the artistic and architectural heritage of the city, it has been ranked as one of the most beautiful in the world by Forbes.
Next photo shows Florence's famous bridge Ponte Vecchio. The bridge is over Arno River (at the river's narrowest point). It still has shops (selling jewelry, art items and souvenirs) built along it. The neighboring bridges are named Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alle Grazie.
Florence is a major city in Italian fashion, ranked in the world's top 51 fashion capitals. It is also an important national economic center, as well as an industrial and tourist hub. In 2008, it had Italy's 17th-highest average income.