Tuscany is one of the largest regions in Italy, and one of the most important because of its historic, artistic, culture and landscape heritage; it’s also famous for its great wealth of monuments and works of art. The cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca, Arezzo, Grosseto, Pistoia and Prato are known throughout the world, and the towns of Livorno, Massa and Carrara all have fine monuments as well as the splendid coast.
The Renaissance began in Florence and then spread to the rest of Italy and Europe, making Tuscany famous and unique all over the world, with great architectural structures like the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito in Florence, the Cathedral and Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza and the church of San Biagio in Montepulciano. The greatest masters of all time came from here: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael; they also influenced subsequent generations, becoming a stimulus for imitation, as shown in the works of other great artists like Cellini, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.
The main features of the architectural scene in Tuscany are the ancient, stately buildings that are famous all around the world: the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi in Florence, and the Piazza dei Miracoli and Piazza dei Cavalieri in Pisa; in addition, one of the finest systems of fortification – the town walls at Lucca are still one of the best-preserved set of surrounding walls in existence today.
The Tuscan countryside is world-famous because of its characteristic rural settlements and large farming estates, which in the past provided agricultural work for those who lived there; especially well-known are the ones near the central-southern coastline of the Maremma, while the farmhouses located in the middle of the Tuscan countryside are some of the characteristic features of the area around Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi â€“ a gentle landscape rendered even more charming by row upon row of cypresses.
Each area of Tuscany has its own characteristic landscape and there are lots of places to discover in the different country features, like the mountainous areas of the Garfagnana, rich in history, tradition and culture. In Tuscany, you can also come across old medieval townships, discover ancient places and flavours, or lose yourself in the splendid Versilia area to the north, or on the Etruscan coast further south; it’s a land with lots to explore.