Tuscany

Tuscany

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Tuscany is a region
Regions of Italy
The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its first NUTS administrative level. There are twenty regions, of which five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes....

 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 sq mi) and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 (Firenze
Firenze
Firenze is the Italian name for the city of Florence.Firenze may also refer to:* Andrea da Firenze, an Italian composer* Lorenzo da Firenze, an Italian composer and music teacher of the trecento...

).

Tuscany is known for its gorgeous landscapes, its rich artistic legacy and its vast influence on high culture
High culture
High culture is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture...

. Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

, and has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of arts and science, such as Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

, Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, Botticelli, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

, Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. The Americas are generally believed to have derived their name from the feminized Latin version of his first name.-Expeditions:...

, Luca Pacioli
Luca Pacioli
Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and seminal contributor to the field now known as accounting...

 and Puccini. Due to this, the region has several museums (such as the Uffizi
Uffizi
The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art
Chianciano Museum of art
The Chianciano Museum of Art is a Museum in the centre of the thermal Town of Chianciano Terme, Tuscany, with collections of both contemporary and ancient art...

). Tuscany has a unique culinary tradition, and is famous for its wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

s (most famous of which are Chianti
Chianti
Chianti is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco ; however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles...

, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a red wine with Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano, Italy. The wine is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape varietal , blended with Canaiolo Nero and small amounts of other...

, Morellino di Scansano
Morellino di Scansano
Morellino di Scansano DOCG is an Italian red wine made in the hilly environs of the village of Scansano , in the Maremma, which includes a part of the coast of southern Tuscany which has an ancient but obscure tradition of winemaking. Morellino is the local name for the Sangiovese grape varietal...

 and Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 120 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, roughly translated as "small dark one" in the local dialect, is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese...

).

Six Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s: the historic centre of Florence
Historic centre of Florence
The historic centre of Florence is quartiere 1 of the Italian city of Florence. This quarter was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.- External links :* * *...

 (1982), the historical centre of Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 (1995), the square of the Cathedral of Pisa (1987), the historical centre of San Gimignano
San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town....

 (1990), the historical centre of Pienza
Pienza
Pienza, a town and comune in the province of Siena, in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany , between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, is the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism."...

 (1996) and the Val d'Orcia (2004). Furthermore, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

s. This makes Tuscany and its capital city Florence very popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of tourists every year. Florence itself receives an average of 10 million tourists a year by placing the city as one of the most visited in the world (in 2007, the city became the world's 46th most visited city, with over 1.715 million arrivals).

Geography




Roughly triangular in shape and situated between the northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy.-Geography:The sea is bounded by Corsica and Sardinia , Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria and Sicily ....

 and the central Apennines
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

, Tuscany has an area of approximately 22993 square kilometres (8,877.6 sq mi). Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few (but very fertile) plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country. Most of the work done here is farming.

Whereas mountains cover 25% of the total area5770 square kilometres (2,227.8 sq mi), and plains a mere 8.4% of the total area, almost all coinciding with the valley of the River Arno, summing for 1930 square kilometres (745.2 sq mi), overall hills make up two-thirds (66.5%) of the region's total area, covering 15292 square kilometres (5,904.3 sq mi).

The climate, which is fairly mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer giving the region a soil building active freeze-thaw cycle in part accounting for the region once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

.

Appennini and Villanovan cultures



The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 and Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

s parallels that of the early Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. The Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture
Apennine culture
The Apennine culture or Italian Bronze Age is a technology complex of central and southern Italy spanning the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age proper. It is preceded by the Neolithic and succeeded by the Iron Age Villanovan culture. Apennine culture pottery is a black, burnished ware incised and...

 in the late second millennium BC (roughly 1350–1150 BC) who had trading relationships with the Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 and Mycenaean
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

 civilisations in the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

. Following this, the Villanovan culture
Villanovan culture
The Villanovan culture was the earliest Iron Age culture of central and northern Italy, abruptly following the Bronze Age Terramare culture and giving way in the 7th century BC to an increasingly orientalizing culture influenced by Greek traders, which was followed without a severe break by the...

 (1100–700 BC) saw Tuscany, and the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdom
Chiefdom
A chiefdom is a political economy that organizes regional populations through a hierarchy of the chief.In anthropological theory, one model of human social development rooted in ideas of cultural evolution describes a chiefdom as a form of social organization more complex than a tribe or a band...

s. City-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

s developed in the late Villanovan (paralleling Greece and the Aegean) before "Orientalisation" occurred and the Etruscan civilisation rose.


Etruscans




The Etruscans created the first major civilisation in this region, large enough to lay down a transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

 infrastructure, to implement agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in Etruria
Etruria
Etruria—usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia—was a region of Central Italy, an area that covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna, and Umbria. A particularly noteworthy work dealing with Etruscan locations is D. H...

 well into prehistory. The civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno River and Tiber River from the 8th century BC, reaching its peak during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, finally succumbing to the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 by the 1st century. Throughout their existence, they lost territory (in Campania) to Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

, Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, and later Rome, influenced the civilisation to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans.

Romans


Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

, Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

, and Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, and the construction of many buildings, both public and private. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century and the region was left to the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, and others. In the 6th century, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

 the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia.

The Medieval Period



Pilgrim
Pilgrim
A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system...

s travelling along the Via Francigena
Via Francigena
The Via Francigena is an ancient road between Rome and Canterbury, passing through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. In mediaeval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route...

 between Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 brought wealth and development during the medieval period. The food and shelter required by these travellers fuelled the growth of communities around churches and taverns. The conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines
Guelphs and Ghibellines
The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the split between these two parties was a particularly important aspect of the internal policy of the Italian city-states...

, factions supporting the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in central and northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 during the 12th and 13th centuries, split the Tuscan people.
These two factors gave rise to several powerful and rich medieval commune
Medieval commune
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. They took many forms, and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, thereafter becoming a widespread...

s in Tuscany: Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

, Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

, Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, and Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

. Balance between these communes were ensured by the assets they held; Pisa, a port; Siena, banking; and Lucca, banking and silk. By the renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, however, Florence had become the cultural capital of Tuscany. Another family that befitted from Florence's growing wealth and power were the ruling Medici Family. Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

 was one of the most famous and the benefits of his time are still being observed today in the fantastic art and architecture in Florence today. One of his famous descendants Caterina Catherine de Medici married Prince Henry (later as King Henry II) of France in 1533.

The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 epidemic hit Tuscany, starting in 1348. It eventually killed 50% to 60% of Tuscans. According to Melissa Snell, "Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 lost a third of its population in the first six months of the plague, and from 45% to 75% of its population in the first year." In 1630 Florence and Tuscany were once again ravaged by the plague.

The Renaissance


Tuscany, especially Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. Though "Tuscany" remained a linguistic, cultural and geographic conception, rather than a political reality, in the 15th century, Florence extended its dominion in Tuscany through the annexation of Arezzo in 1384, the purchase of Pisa in 1405 and the suppression of a local resistance there (1406). Livorno was bought as well (1421).

From the leading city of Florence, the republic was from 1434 onward dominated by the increasingly monarchical Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 family. Initially, under Cosimo
Cosimo de' Medici
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae" .-Biography:Born in Florence, Cosimo inherited both his wealth and his expertise in...

, Piero the Gouty
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici , , was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1464 to 1469, during the Italian Renaissance. He was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Giuliano de' Medici-Biography:Piero was born in Florence, the son of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and Contessina de' Bardi...

, Lorenzo
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

 and Piero the Unfortunate
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici
Piero de' Medici , called Piero the Unfortunate, was the Gran maestro of Florence from 1492 until his exile in 1494.-Life and death:...

, the forms of the republic were retained and the Medici ruled without a title, usually without even a formal office. These rulers presided over the Florentine Renaissance. There was a return to the republic from 1494 to 1512, when first Girolamo Savonarola
Girolamo Savonarola
Girolamo Savonarola was an Italian Dominican friar, Scholastic, and an influential contributor to the politics of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and what he thought the Renaissance—which began in his...

 then Piero Soderini
Piero Soderini
Piero di Tommaso Soderini also known as Pier Soderini, was an Italian statesman of the Republic of Florence.-Biography:...

 oversaw the state. Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici retook the city with Spanish forces in 1512, before going to Rome to become Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

. Florence was dominated by a series of papal proxies until 1527 when the citizens declared the republic again, only to have it taken from them again in 1530 after a siege by an Imperial and Spanish army. At this point Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

 and Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 appointed Alessandro de' Medici as the first formally hereditary ruler.

The Sienese commune was not incorporated into Tuscany until 1555, and during the 15th century Siena enjoyed a cultural 'Sienese Renaissance' with its own more conservative character. Lucca remained an independent Republic until 1847 when it became part of Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence...

 by the will of its people. Piombino
Piombino
Piombino is an Italian town and comune of circa 35,000 inhabitants in the province of Livorno . It lies on the border between the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, in front of Elba Island and at the northern side of Maremma.-Overview:...

 was another minor independent state, under both Spanish and Tuscan influence.

Modern Era


In the 15th century, the Medicis, who ruled Florence, annexed surrounding land to create modern Tuscany. The War of Polish Succession in the 1730s meant the transfer of Tuscany from the Medicis to Francis, Duke of Lorraine and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 by Napoleon, Tuscany was inherited by the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 as successor to the Holy Roman Empire. In the Italian Wars of Independence in the 1850s, Tuscany was transferred from Austria to the newly unified nation of Italy.

Under Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, the area came under the dominance of local National Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

 leader Dino Perrone Compagni
Dino Perrone Compagni
Marquis Dino Perrone Compagni was a leading figure in the early years of Italian fascism....

. Following the fall of Mussolini and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Italy, the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 was established in the northern regions of Italy, with its de facto border at the Gothic Line
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

, a defensive position just north of Florence. Following the end of the Social Republic, and the transition from a Kingdom to the modern Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Tuscany once more flourished as a cultural center of Italy.

Culture



Tuscany has an immense cultural and artistic heritage, expressed in the region's numerous churches, palaces, art galleries, museums, villages and piazzas. Much of these artifacts are found in the main cities, such as Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 and Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

, but also in smaller villages scattered around the region, such as San Gimignano
San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town....

. The UNESCO estimated that Tuscany has 10% of the World Cultural Heritage!

Art



Tuscany has a unique artistic legacy, and Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 is one of the world's most important water-color centres, even so that it is often nicknamed the "art palace of Italy" (the city is also believed to have the largest concentration of Renaissance art and architecture in the world). Painters such as Cimabue
Cimabue
Cimabue , also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe, was an Italian painter and creator of mosaics from Florence....

 and Giotto
Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

, the fathers of Italian painting, lived in Florence and Tuscany as well as Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano
Andrea Pisano
Andrea Pisano , also known as Andrea da Pontedera, was an Italian sculptor and architect.-Biography:Andrea Pisano was born at Pontedera, where he also died....

, renewers of architecture and sculpture; Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

, Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

 and Masaccio
Masaccio
Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

, forefathers of the Renaissance, Ghiberti and the Della Robbias, Filippo Lippi
Filippo Lippi
Fra' Filippo Lippi , also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento .-Biography and works:...

 and Angelico; Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 and Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

.

The region contains numerous museums and art galleries, most of which store some of the world's most precious and valuable works of art. Such museums include the Uffizi
Uffizi
The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

, which keeps Botticelli's Birth of Venus, the Pitti Palace, and the Bargello
Bargello
The Bargello, also known as the Bargello Palace or Palazzo del Popolo is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy.-Terminology:...

, to name but a few. But most of the frescos, sculptures and paintings in Tuscany are also held in the region's abundant churches and cathedrals, such as Florence Cathedral, Siena Cathedral, Pisa Cathedral and the Collegiata di San Gimignano
Collegiata di San Gimignano
thumb|300px|View of the Collegiata.The Collegiata is the main church of San Gimignano, Tuscany, central Italy, situated in the Piazza del Duomo at the town's heart. It was once the Duomo , but since San Gimignano no longer has a bishop it has reverted to the status of a collegiate church.The first...

.

Art Schools




In medieval period and in the Renaissance, there were four main Tuscan art schools which competed against each other: the Florentine School
Florentine School
The Florentine School refers to artists in, from or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of the world...

, the Sienese School
Sienese School
The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art...

, the Pisan School and the Lucchese School
Lucchese School
The Lucchese School, also known as the School of Lucca and as the Pisan-Lucchese School, was a school of painting and sculpture that flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries in western and southern Tuscany with an important center in Volterra. The art is mostly anonymous...

.
  • The Florentine School
    Florentine School
    The Florentine School refers to artists in, from or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of the world...

     originated from refers to artists in, from or influenced by the naturalistic
    Naturalism (art)
    Naturalism in art refers to the depiction of realistic objects in a natural setting. The Realism movement of the 19th century advocated naturalism in reaction to the stylized and idealized depictions of subjects in Romanticism, but many painters have adopted a similar approach over the centuries...

     style developed in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

    , and in the 15th century the leading school of the world. Some of the best known artists of the Florentine School are Brunelleschi
    Filippo Brunelleschi
    Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

    , Donatello
    Donatello
    Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

    , Michelangelo
    Michelangelo
    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

    , Fra Angelico
    Fra Angelico
    Fra Angelico , born Guido di Pietro, was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent"...

    , Botticelli, Lippi
    Filippo Lippi
    Fra' Filippo Lippi , also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento .-Biography and works:...

    , Masolino
    Masolino da Panicale
    Masolino da Panicale was an Italian painter. His best known works are probably his collaborations with Masaccio: Madonna with Child and St. Anne and the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel .-Biography:Masolino was born in Panicale...

    , and Masaccio
    Masaccio
    Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

    .

  • The Sienese School
    Sienese School
    The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art...

     of painting
    Painting
    Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

     flourished in Siena
    Siena
    Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

     between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art
    Gothic art
    Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that developed in France out of Romanesque art in the mid-12th century, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, but took over art more completely north of the Alps, never quite effacing more classical...

    . Its most important representatives include Duccio
    Duccio
    Duccio di Buoninsegna was one of the most influential Italian artists of his time. Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and like most of his contemporaries painted religious subjects...

    , whose work shows Byzantine influence; his pupil Simone Martini
    Simone Martini
    Simone Martini was an Italian painter born in Siena.He was a major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style....

    ; Pietro
    Pietro Lorenzetti
    Pietro Lorenzetti was an Italian painter, active between approximately 1306 and 1345. His younger brother was the painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti....

     and Ambrogio Lorenzetti
    Ambrogio Lorenzetti
    Ambrogio Lorenzetti was an Italian painter of the Sienese school. He was active between approximately 1317 to 1348. His elder brother was the painter Pietro Lorenzetti....

    ; Domenico
    Domenico di Bartolo
    Domenico di Bartolo was an Italian painter of the Sienese School.He was born in Asciano. According to Vasari, he was a nephew of Taddeo di Bartolo. He was employed by Vecchietta in the masterpiece fresco The Care of the Sick in the Pellegrinaio of the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena...

     and Taddeo di Bartolo
    Taddeo di Bartolo
    Taddeo di Bartolo , also known as Taddeo Bartoli, was an Italian painter of the Sienese School during the early Renaissance. He is among the artists profiled in Vasari's Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori...

    ; Sassetta
    Stefano di Giovanni
    Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo, known as il Sassetta was an Italian painter.He was born in Siena, although there is also an hypothesis that he was born in Cortona. The first historical record of him was anyway in Siena in 1423. Sassetta was the apprentice of Paolo di Giovanni Fei or Benedetto di...

     and Matteo di Giovanni
    Matteo di Giovanni
    Matteo di Giovanni c. 1430 - 1495) was an Italian Renaissance artist from the Sienese school.-Biography:Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo was born in Borgo Sansepolcro around 1430. His family relocated to Siena and he is firmly associated with the art of that city...

    . Unlike the naturalistic Florentine art
    Florentine School
    The Florentine School refers to artists in, from or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of the world...

    , there is a mystical streak in Sienese art, characterized by a common focus on miraculous events, with less attention to proportions, distortions of time and place, and often dreamlike coloration. In the 16th century the Mannerists Beccafumi
    Domenico di Pace Beccafumi
    Domenico di Pace Beccafumi was an Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter active predominantly in Siena. He is considered one of the last undiluted representatives of the Sienese school of painting.-Biography:...

     and Il Sodoma
    Il Sodoma
    Il Sodoma was the name given to the Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Antonio Bazzi. Il Sodoma painted in a manner that superimposed the High Renaissance style of early 16th-century Rome onto the traditions of the provincial Sienese school; he spent the bulk of his professional life in Siena,...

     worked there. While Baldassare Peruzzi was born and trained in Siena, his major works and style reflect his long career in Rome. The economic and political decline of Siena by the 16th century, and its eventual subjugation by Florence, largely checked the development of Sienese painting, although it also meant that a good proportion of Sienese works in churches and public buildings were not discarded or destroyed by new paintings or rebuilding. Siena remains a remarkably well-preserved Italian late-Medieval town.

  • The Lucchese School
    Lucchese School
    The Lucchese School, also known as the School of Lucca and as the Pisan-Lucchese School, was a school of painting and sculpture that flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries in western and southern Tuscany with an important center in Volterra. The art is mostly anonymous...

    , also known as the School of Lucca and as the Pisan-Lucchese School, was a school of painting and sculpture that flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries in western and southern part of the region, with an important center in Volterra
    Volterra
    Volterra, known to the ancient Etruscans as Velathri, to the Romans as Volaterrae, is a town and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy.-History:...

    . The art is mostly anonymous. Although not as elegant or delicate as the Florentine School
    Florentine School
    The Florentine School refers to artists in, from or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of the world...

    , Lucchese works are remarkable for their monumentality.

Main artistic centres






In the province of Arezzo
Province of Arezzo
The Province of Arezzo or Arretium is the easternmost province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Arezzo.It has an area of 3,232 km², and a total population of 323,288 in 39 comuni . At June 30, 2005, the main comuni by population are:- External links :...

:
  • Arezzo
    Arezzo
    Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

  • Castiglion Fiorentino
    Castiglion Fiorentino
    Castiglion Fiorentino is a small, walled city in eastern Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Arezzo, between the cities of Arezzo and Cortona. It is well known for its annual festivals and Etruscan archeological site.-Geography:...

  • Cortona
    Cortona
    Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo.-History:...

  • Lucignano
    Lucignano
    Lucignano is a comune in the Province of Arezzo in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 70 km southeast of Florence and about 25 km southwest of Arezzo...

  • Poppi
    Poppi
    Poppi is a comune in the Province of Arezzo in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 40 km east of Florence and about 30 km northwest of Arezzo....

  • Sansepolcro
    Sansepolcro
    Sansepolcro , is a town and comune in Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Arezzo.Situated on the upper reaches of the Tiber river, Borgo was the birthplace of the painters Piero della Francesca, Raffaellino del Colle and Angiolo Tricca...


In the province of Florence
Province of Florence
The Province of Florence is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. It has an area of 3,514 sq. km and a population of 933,860 in 44 comuni....

:
  • Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Fiesole
    Fiesole
    Fiesole is a town and comune of the province of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany, on a famously scenic height above Florence, 8 km NE of that city...

  • Certaldo
    Certaldo
    Certaldo is a town and comune of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Florence, located in the middle of Valdelsa. It is about 35 kilometers southwest of the Florence Duomo....


In the Province of Grosseto
Province of Grosseto
The Province of Grosseto is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Grosseto.-Geography:It has an area of 4,504 km², and a total population of 227.498...

:
  • Grosseto
    Grosseto
    Grosseto is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain, on the Ombrone river....

  • Massa Marittima
    Massa Marittima
    Massa Marittima is a town and comune of the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany, Italy, 49 km NNW of Grosseto.There are mineral springs, mines of iron, mercury, lignite and copper, with foundries, ironworks and olive-oil mills...

  • Orbetello
    Orbetello
    Orbetello is a town and comune in the province of Grosseto , Italy. It is located c. 35 km south of Grosseto, on the eponymous lagoon, which is home to an important Natural Reserve.-History:...

  • Pitigliano
    Pitigliano
    Pitigliano is an Italian town and comune of province of Grosseto in the Maremma area of Tuscany. The town stands on an abrupt tuff butte high above the Olpeta, the Fiora and the Lente rivers.-History:...

  • Roselle
    Roselle
    Roselle may refer to:* Roselle , a species of hibiscus * USS Roselle * USS Roselle , a ship that served both as a tug and as minesweeperRoselle is the name of:In geography:...

  • Sorano
    Sorano
    Sorano is a town and comune in the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany .It as an ancient medieval hill town hanging from a tuff stone over the Lente River.thumb|220px|left|A view of Sorano.-History:...

  • Sovana
    Sovana
    250px|thumb|A view of a street in Sovana.Sovana is a small town in southern Tuscany, Italy, a frazione of Sorano, a comune in the province of Grosseto.-History:...


In the province of Livorno
Province of Livorno
The Province of Livorno or Leghorn is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. It includes several islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, including Elba and Capraia. Its capital is the city of Livorno....

:
  • Campiglia Marittima
    Campiglia Marittima
    Campiglia Marittima is a comune in the Province of Livorno in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 90 km southwest of Florence and about 60 km southeast of Livorno.- Main sights :...

  • Livorno
    Livorno
    Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

  • Piombino
    Piombino
    Piombino is an Italian town and comune of circa 35,000 inhabitants in the province of Livorno . It lies on the border between the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, in front of Elba Island and at the northern side of Maremma.-Overview:...

  • Populonia
    Populonia
    Populonia or Populonia Alta today is a frazione of the comune of Piombino . As of 2009 its population was 17...

  • Suvereto
    Suvereto
    Suvereto is a comune in the Province of Livorno in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 90 km southwest of Florence and about 60 km southeast of Livorno.- Technological sites:...


In the province of Lucca
Province of Lucca
The Province of Lucca is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Lucca.It has an area of 1,773 km², and a total population of 372,244...

:
  • Barga
    Barga
    Barga is a medieval town and comune of the province of Lucca in Tuscany, central Italy. It is home to around 10,000 people and is the chief town of the "Media Valle" of the Serchio.-Geography:...

  • Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
    Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
    Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is a town and comune in the province of Lucca, Toscana, central Italy. It is located at rises at the confluence of the Serchio and the Turrite Secca river, close to the intersection among the roads passing through the Apennine Mountains and the Apuane Alps.The local...

  • Castiglione di Garfagnana
    Castiglione di Garfagnana
    Castiglione di Garfagnana is a medieval walled town and comune of 1,878 inhabitants in the province of Lucca.It sits on a hillside above the river Esarulo, a tributary of the Serchio....

  • Lucca
    Lucca
    Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

  • Pietrasanta
    Pietrasanta
    Pietrasanta is a town and comune on the coast of northern Tuscany in Italy, in the province of Lucca. Pietrasanta is part of Versilia, on the last foothills of the Apuan Alps, about 32 km north of Pisa...

  • Viareggio
    Viareggio
    Viareggio is a city and comune located in northern Tuscany, Italy, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 64,000 it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city within the Province of Lucca.It is known as a seaside resort...

  • Villa Basilica
    Villa Basilica
    Villa Basilica is a comune in the Province of Lucca in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 50 km northwest of Florence and about 13 km northeast of Lucca....


In the province of Massa-Carrara
Province of Massa-Carrara
The Province of Massa and Carrara , until 2009 Province of Massa-Carrara, is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is named after the two main towns in its territory: Carrara and Massa, its capital.-History:...

:
  • Massa-Carrara
  • Pontremoli
    Pontremoli
    Pontremoli is a small city, comune and bishop's see in the province of Massa-Carrara, Tuscany, Italy. Literally translated, "Pontremoli" derives from "Trembling Bridge" , with the commune having been named after a prominent bridge across the Magra.Pontremoli is situated in the upper...

  • Fivizzano
    Fivizzano
    Fivizzano, a walled city in the province of Massa-Carrara, Tuscany , became part of the Republic of Florence in the 15th century thus gaining the Tuscan republic an important foothold in Lunigiana, a key region which Genoa, Pisa, Milan and Florence had sought to dominate since the early Middle Ages...


In the province of Pisa
Province of Pisa
The Province of Pisa is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Pisa.It has an area of 2,448 km², and a total population of 394,101 . There are 39 comuni in the province ....

:
  • Pisa
    Pisa
    Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

  • San Miniato
    San Miniato
    San Miniato is a town and comune in the province of Pisa, in the region of Tuscany, Italy.San Miniato sits at an historically strategic location atop three small hills where it dominates the lower Arno valley between the valleys of Egola and Elsa...

  • Volterra
    Volterra
    Volterra, known to the ancient Etruscans as Velathri, to the Romans as Volaterrae, is a town and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy.-History:...

  • Vicopisano
    Vicopisano
    Vicopisano is a comune in the Province of Pisa in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 50 km west of Florence and about 15 km east of Pisa...


In the province of Prato
Province of Prato
The Province of Prato is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Prato. It was formed from part of the province of Florence in 1992.The province has an area of 365 km², and a total population of 227,886...

:
  • Carmignano
    Carmignano
    Carmignano is a comune of c. 12,000 inhabitants in the province of Prato, part of the Italian region Tuscany. It is located about 20 km west of Florence and about 10 km southwest of Prato....

  • Poggio a Caiano
    Poggio a Caiano
    Poggio a Caiano is a town and comune in the Province of Prato, Tuscany region Italy. The town lies 9 km south of the provincial capital of Prato.-The Medici villa:...

  • Prato
    Prato
    Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is situated at the foot of Monte Retaia , the last peak in the Calvana chain. The lowest altitude in the comune is 32 m, near the Cascine di Tavola, and the highest is the peak of Monte Cantagrillo...


In the province of Pistoia
Province of Pistoia
The Province of Pistoia is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Pistoia. It has an area of 965 km², and a total population of 268,503 . There are 22 communes in the province .-External links:...

:
  • Pescia
    Pescia
    Pescia is an Italian city in the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, central Italy.It is located in a central zone between the cities Lucca and Florence, on the banks of the homonymous river.-History:...

  • Pistoia
    Pistoia
    Pistoia is a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.-History:...


In the province of Siena
Province of Siena
The Province of Siena is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Siena.It has an area of 3,821 km² , and a total population of 252,288 . There are 36 comuni in the province...

:
  • Colle di Val d'Elsa
    Colle di Val d'Elsa
    Colle di Val d'Elsa or Colle Val d'Elsa is a town and comune in Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Siena.It has a population of c. 20,000...

  • Pienza
    Pienza
    Pienza, a town and comune in the province of Siena, in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany , between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, is the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism."...

  • Montepulciano
    Montepulciano
    Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the province of Siena in southern Tuscany, in Italy. Montepulciano, with an elevation of 605 m, sits on a high limestone ridge. By car it is 13 km E of Pienza; 70 km SE of Siena, 124 km SE of Florence, and...

  • Montalcino
    Montalcino
    Montalcino is a hilltown and comune in Tuscany, Italy. It is famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine.The town is located to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia. It is 42 km from Siena, 110 km from Florence and 150 km from Pisa...

  • San Gimignano
    San Gimignano
    San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town....

  • Siena
    Siena
    Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...


Language



Apart from standard Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, the most spoken language in Tuscany is the 'Tuscan dialect
Tuscan dialect
The Tuscan language , or the Tuscan dialect is an Italo-Dalmatian language spoken in Tuscany, Italy.Standard Italian is based on Tuscan, specifically on its Florentine variety...

' (lingua toscana), or the Tuscan dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

(dialetto toscano). In many respects it wandered less than other Romance dialects from the Latin language and evolved linearly and homogeneously, without major influences from other foreign languages. There are currently 3.5 million speakers of the language.

Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 is in practice a "literary version" of Tuscan. It became the language of culture for all the people of Italy, thanks to the prestige of the masterpieces of Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

, Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

 and Francesco Guicciardini
Francesco Guicciardini
Francesco Guicciardini was an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance...

. It would later become the official language of all the Italian states
Historical states of Italy
Italy, until the present era, was a conglomeration of city-states and other small independent entities. The following is a list of the various states that made up what we now know as Italy during the past...

 and of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

, when it was formed.

Music


Tuscany has a rich ancient and modern musical tradition, and has boasted numerous composers and musicians, such as Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

, and Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music...

. Beyond Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, the nine other provinces in the region of Tuscany, named for the largest city in, and capital of, the respective province. Taken together, they offer an intense musical life. Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 is the main musical centre of Tuscany. The city was at the heart of much of our entire Western musical tradition. It was there that the Florentine Camerata
Florentine Camerata
The Florentine Camerata was a group of humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals in late Renaissance Florence who gathered under the patronage of Count Giovanni de' Bardi to discuss and guide trends in the arts, especially music and drama...

 convened in the mid-16th century and experimented with setting tales of Greek mythology to music and staging the result—in other words, the first operas, setting the wheels in motion not just for the further development of the operatic form, but for later developments of separate "classical" forms such as the symphony
Symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

.
There are numerous musical centres in Tuscany. Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

 is indelibly connected with the name of Guido d'Arezzo, the 11th-century monk who invented modern musical notation and the do-re-mi system of naming notes of the scale; Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

 hosted possibly the greatest Italian composer of Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, Giacomo Puccini and Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 is well-known for the Accademia Musicale Chigiana
Accademia Musicale Chigiana
The Accademia Musicale Chigiana is a music institute in Siena, Italy. It was founded by Count Guido Chigi Saracini in 1932 as an international centre for advanced musical studies. It organises Master Classes in the major musical instruments as well as singing, conducting and composition...

, an organization that currently sponsors major musical activities such as the Siena Music Week and the Alfredo Casella International Composition Competition. Other important musical centres in Tuscany include Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

, Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 and Grosseto
Grosseto
Grosseto is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain, on the Ombrone river....

.

Literature



Tuscany has a renowned literature, and has boasted several famous writers and poets, most notably Florentine author Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

. Tuscany's literary scene particularly thrived in the 13th century and the Renaissance.

In Tuscany, especially in the Middle Ages, popular love poetry existed. A school of imitators of the Sicilians was led by Dante da Majano, but its literary originality took another line — that of humorous and satirical poetry. The entirely democratic form of government created a style of poetry which stood strongly against the medieval mystic and chivalrous style. Devout invocation of God or of a lady came from the cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 and the castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

; in the streets of the cities everything that had gone before was treated with ridicule or biting sarcasm
Sarcasm
Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt.” Though irony and understatement is usually the immediate context, most authorities distinguish sarcasm from irony; however, others argue that sarcasm may or often does involve irony or employs...

. Folgore da San Gimignano
Folgóre da San Gimignano
Folgóre da San Gimignano, pseudonym of Giacomo di Michele or Jacopo di Michele was an Italian poet.He represented mostly hunting scenes, jousts of the citadine bourgeoisie of Tuscany. 32 sonnets are attributed to him, written around 1308-1316. The most famous ones are the corone dedicated to the...

 laughs when in his sonnets he tells a party of Sienese youths the occupations of every month in the year, or when he teaches a party of Florentine lads the pleasures of every day in the week. Cenne della Chitarra laughs when he parodies Folgore's sonnets. The sonnets of Rustico di Filippo are half-fun and half-satire, as is the work of Cecco Angiolieri
Cecco Angiolieri
- Biography :Cecco Angiolieri was born in Siena in 1260, son of Angioliero, who was himself the son of Angioliero Solafìca who was for several years a banker to Pope Gregory IX; his mother was Lisa de' Salimbeni, from a powerful Senese family....

 of Siena, the oldest humorist we know, a far-off precursor of Rabelais
François Rabelais
François Rabelais was a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs...

 and Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne
Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne , February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592, was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre and is popularly thought of as the father of Modern Skepticism...

.

Another kind of poetry also began in Tuscany. Guittone d'Arezzo made art quit chivalry and Provençal forms for national motives and Latin forms. He attempted political poetry, and, although his work is often obscure, he prepared the way for the Bolognese school. Bologna was the city of science, and philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 poetry appeared there. Guido Guinizelli
Guido Guinizelli
Guido Guinizzelli , born in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy, was an Italian poet and 'founder' of the Dolce Stil Novo...

 was the poet after the new fashion of the art. In his work the ideas of chivalry are changed and enlarged. Only those whose heart is pure can be blessed with true love, regardless of class. He refuted the traditional credo of courtly love, for which love is a subtle philosophy only a few chosen knights and princesses could grasp. Love is blind to blasons but not to a good heart when it finds one: when it succeeds it is the result of the spiritual, not physical affinity between two souls. Guinizzelli's democratic view can be better understood in the light of the greater equality and freedom enjoyed by the city-states of the center-north and the rise of a middle class eager to legitimise itself in the eyes of the old nobility, still regarded with respect and admiration but in fact dispossessed of its political power. Guinizelli's Canzoni
Canzone
Literally "song" in Italian, a canzone is an Italian or Provençal song or ballad. It is also used to describe a type of lyric which resembles a madrigal...

make up the bible of Dolce Stil Novo, and one in particular, "Al cor gentil" ("To a Kind Heart") is considered the manifesto of the new movement which will bloom in Florence under Cavalcanti, Dante and their followers. His poetry has some of the faults of the school of d'Arezzo. Nevertheless, he marks a great development in the history of Italian art, especially because of his close connection with Dante's lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

.

In the 13th century, there were several major allegorical poems
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

. One of these is by Brunetto Latini
Brunetto Latini
Brunetto Latini was an Italian philosopher, scholar and statesman.-Life:...

, who was a close friend of Dante. His Tesoretto is a short poem, in seven-syllable verses, rhyming in couplets, in which the author professes to be lost in a wilderness and to meet with a lady, who represents Nature, from whom he receives much instruction. We see here the vision, the allegory, the instruction with a moral object, three elements which we shall find again in the Divine Comedy. Francesco da Barberino, a learned lawyer who was secretary to bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s, a judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

, and a notary
Notary public
A notary public in the common law world is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business...

, wrote two little allegorical poems, the Documenti d'amore and Del reggimento e dei costumi delle donne. The poems today are generally studied not as literature, but for historical context. A fourth allegorical work was the Intelligenza, which is sometimes attributed to Compagni, but is probably only a translation
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

 of French poems.

In the 15th century, humanist and publisher Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 published Tuscan poets Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

 and Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

 (The Divine Comedy), creating the model for what became a standard for modern Italian.

Cuisine


Simplicity is central to the Tuscan
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

 cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 are used. Olive oil is made up of Moraiolo, Leccino, and Frantoiano olives. White truffle
Truffle
A truffle is the fruiting body of an underground mushroom; spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi. Almost all truffles are ectomycorrhizal and are therefore usually found in close association with trees....

s from San Miniato
San Miniato
San Miniato is a town and comune in the province of Pisa, in the region of Tuscany, Italy.San Miniato sits at an historically strategic location atop three small hills where it dominates the lower Arno valley between the valleys of Egola and Elsa...

 appear in October and November. Beef of the highest quality comes from the Chiana Valley, specifically a breed known as Chianina
Chianina
The Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle, formerly principally a draught breed, now raised mainly for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world...

 used for Florentine steak. Pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 is also produced.

Wine is also a famous and very common produce of Tuscany. Chianti
Chianti
Chianti is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco ; however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles...

 is arguably the most well-known internationally. So many British tourists come to the area where Chianti wine is produced that this specific area has been nicknamed "Chiantishire".

Postage stamps




Between 1851 and 1860, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence...

, an independent Italian state until 1859 when it joined the United Provinces of Central Italy
United Provinces of Central Italy
The United Provinces of Central Italy, also known as Union of Central Italy, Confederation of Central Italy or Government General of Central Italy, was a short-lived client state of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia...

, produced two postage stamp issues which are among the most prized classic stamp
Classic stamp
A classic stamp is a postage stamp of a type considered distinctive by philatelists, typically applied to stamps printed in the early period of stamp production, e.g., before about 1870. However, as L. N. Williams puts it, "the term has never been satisfactorily defined"...

 issues of the world, and include the most valuable Italian stamp. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was an independent Italian state from 1569 to 1859, but was occupied by France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 from 1808 to 1814. The Duchy comprised most of the present area of Tuscany, and its capital was Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

. In December 1859, the Grand Duchy officially ceased to exist, being joined to the Duchies of Modena and Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

 to form the United Provinces of Central Italy, which was annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

 a few months later in March 1860. In 1862 it became part of Italy, and joined the Italian postal system.

Agriculture


The subsoil in Tuscany is relatively rich in mineral resources, with iron ore, copper, mercury and lignite mines, the famous soffioni (fumarole) at Larderello
Larderello
Larderello is a frazione of the comune of Pomarance, in Tuscany in central Italy. It is a geologically active area, renowned for its geothermal productivity.- Geography :...

 and the vast marble mines in Versilia
Versilia
The Versilia is a part of Tuscany in the north-western province of Lucca, and is named after the Versilia river.Known for fashionable Riviera resorts, it consists of numerous clubs that are frequented by local celebrities....

. Although its share is falling all the time, agriculture still contributes to the region's economy. In the region's inland areas cereals, potatoes, olives and grapes (for the world-famous Chianti
Chianti
Chianti is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco ; however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles...

 wines) are grown. The swamplands, which used to be marshy, now produce vegetables, rice, tobacco, beets and sunflowers.

Industry


The industrial sector is dominated by mining, given the abundance of underground resources. Also of some note are the textiles, chemicals/pharmaceuticals, metalworking and steel, glass and ceramics, clothing and printing/publishing sectors. Smaller areas specialising in manufacturing and craft industries are found in the hinterland: the leather and footwear area in the south-west part of the province of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, the hot-house plant area in Pistoia
Pistoia
Pistoia is a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.-History:...

, the ceramics and textile industries in the Prato
Prato
Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is situated at the foot of Monte Retaia , the last peak in the Calvana chain. The lowest altitude in the comune is 32 m, near the Cascine di Tavola, and the highest is the peak of Monte Cantagrillo...

 area, scooters and motorcycles in Pontedera
Pontedera
Pontedera is an Italian industrial town in Tuscany, Italy, in the administrative province of Pisa. It is the headquarters of the Piaggio company, which in the 1930s was a major aircraft manufacturer and which now manufactures motor vehicles such as the Vespa and the Ape...

, and the processing of timber for the manufacture of wooden furniture in the Cascina
Cascina
Cascina is a comune in the Province of Pisa in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 60 km west of Florence and about 13 km southeast of Pisa....

 area. The heavy industries (mining, steel and mechanical engineering) are concentrated along the coastal strip (Livorno
Livorno
Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

 and Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 areas), where there are also important chemical industries. Also of note are the marble (Carrara
Carrara
Carrara is a city and comune in the province of Massa-Carrara , notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some west-northwest of Florence....

 area) and paper industries (Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

 area).

Tourism



Almost without exception, every town and city in Tuscany has surreal natural and architectural beauty. There is a continuous stream of visitors throughout the year. As a result, the services and distributive activities, that are so important to the region's economy, are particularly wide-ranging and highly organised.

Fashion


The fashion and textile industry are the pillars of the Florentine economy. In the 15th century, the Florentines were already working with luxury textiles such as wool and silk. Today the greatest designers in Europe make use of the textile industry in Tuscany and especially Florence.

Italy has one of the strongest textile industries in Europe, accounting for approximately one quarter of European production. Its turnover is over 25 billion euros. It is the third largest global supplier of clothing after China and Japan. The Italian fashion industry generates 60% of its turnover abroad.

Demographics


The population density of Tuscany, with 161 PD/km2 in 2008, is below the national average (198.8 PD/km2). This is due mainly to the low population density of the provinces of Arezzo, Siena and, above all, Grosseto (50 PD/km2). The highest density is found in the province of Prato (675 PD/km2) followed by the provinces of Pistoia, Livorno, Florence and Lucca, peaking in the cities of Florence (more than 3500 PD/km2), Livorno, Prato, Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi and Montecatini Terme (all with a population density of more than 1000 PD/km2). The territorial distribution of the population is closely linked to the socio-cultural and, more recently, economic and industrial development of Tuscany.

Accordingly, the least densely populated areas are those where the main activity is agriculture, unlike the others where, despite the presence of a number of large industrial complexes, the main activities are connected with tourism and associated services, alongside a plethora of small firms in the leather, glass, paper and clothing sectors.

Italians make up 93% of the total population. Starting from the 1980s, the region attracted an intense flux of immigrants, in particular from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. There is also a significant community of British and American residents. As of 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 275,149 foreign-born immigrants live in Tuscany, equal to 7% of the total regional population.

Government and politics


Tuscany is a stronghold of the center-left Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Italy)
The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....

, forming with Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
Emilia–Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. The capital is Bologna; it has an area of and about 4.4 million inhabitants....

, Umbria
Umbria
Umbria is a region of modern central Italy. It is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked.Its capital is Perugia.Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St...

 and Marche
Marche
The population density in the region is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per km2, compared to the national figure of 198.8. It is highest in the province of Ancona , and lowest in the province of Macerata...

 the famous Italian political "Red Quadrilateral". At the April 2008 elections
Italian general election, 2008
A snap general election was held in Italy on 13 April and 14 April 2008. The election came after President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved parliament on 6 February 2008 following the defeat of the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi in a January 2008 Senate vote, and the unsuccessful tentative...

, Tuscany gave more than 50% of its votes to Walter Veltroni
Walter Veltroni
Walter Veltroni, Knight Grand Cross, is an Italian writer, journalist and politician, who served as the first leader of the Democratic Party within the centre-left opposition, until his resignation on 17 February 2009. He served as Mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008.-Biography:Walter Veltroni was...

, and only 33.6% to Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

.

Administrative divisions


Tuscany is divided into ten provinces:
Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Arezzo
Province of Arezzo
The Province of Arezzo or Arretium is the easternmost province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Arezzo.It has an area of 3,232 km², and a total population of 323,288 in 39 comuni . At June 30, 2005, the main comuni by population are:- External links :...

3,232 345,547 106.9
Province of Florence
Province of Florence
The Province of Florence is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. It has an area of 3,514 sq. km and a population of 933,860 in 44 comuni....

3,514 983,073 279.8
Province of Grosseto
Province of Grosseto
The Province of Grosseto is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Grosseto.-Geography:It has an area of 4,504 km², and a total population of 227.498...

4,504 225,142 50.0
Province of Livorno
Province of Livorno
The Province of Livorno or Leghorn is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. It includes several islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, including Elba and Capraia. Its capital is the city of Livorno....

1,218 340.387 279.5
Province of Lucca
Province of Lucca
The Province of Lucca is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Lucca.It has an area of 1,773 km², and a total population of 372,244...

1,773 389,495 219.7
Province of Massa and Carrara 1,157 203.449 175.8
Province of Pisa
Province of Pisa
The Province of Pisa is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Pisa.It has an area of 2,448 km², and a total population of 394,101 . There are 39 comuni in the province ....

2,448 409,251 167.2
Province of Pistoia
Province of Pistoia
The Province of Pistoia is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Pistoia. It has an area of 965 km², and a total population of 268,503 . There are 22 communes in the province .-External links:...

965 289,886 300.4
Province of Prato
Province of Prato
The Province of Prato is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Prato. It was formed from part of the province of Florence in 1992.The province has an area of 365 km², and a total population of 227,886...

365 246,307 674.8
Province of Siena
Province of Siena
The Province of Siena is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Siena.It has an area of 3,821 km² , and a total population of 252,288 . There are 36 comuni in the province...

3,281 268,706 81.9

See also

  • Cities and towns in Tuscany
  • People from Tuscany
  • Line of succession to the Tuscan throne
    Line of succession to the Tuscan throne
    The present head of the Grand Ducal House of Tuscany is Archduke Sigismund, Grand Duke of Tuscany.#Archduke Amadeo, Grand Prince of Tuscany #Archduke Maximilian, Prince of Tuscany #Archduke Guntram, Prince of Tuscany...

  • Tuscan Archipelago
    Tuscan Archipelago
    The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany, Italy.The archipelago contains the islands of Gorgona, Capraia, Elba , Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio, and Giannutri; all of which are protected as part of the Tuscan Archipelago National...


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