Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of Piedmont and of the Metropolitan City of Turin, and was the first Italian capital from 1861 to 1865. The city is mainly on the western bank of the Po River, below its Susa Valley, and is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 848,196 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.
The city used to be a major European political centre. From 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the House of Savoy, and the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1865. Turin is sometimes called "the cradle of Italian liberty" for having been the birthplace and home of notable individuals who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour.