Florence (inhabited place)

The original settlement was a Roman military center at the head of navigation on the Arno river and on the Casian Way. It escaped capture by the Goths in the 5th century, and by the 12th century was a thriving center. It was torn apart in Medieval times by the violent Guelph/Ghibelline rivalry: a series of wars was fought from the mid-13th century through the early 14th century between Guelf-controlled Florence and its allies (Montepulciano, Bologna, and Orvieto) and its Ghibelline opponents (Pisa, Siena, Pistoia, and Arezzo). Florence came under the ostensible (later actual) rule of the Medici family from 1434; historic core named UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.