Once upon a time, in Italy…
There was a region full of history, art and poetry: Tuscany
The history of this region and its strong identity dates back in time, to the medieval and also pre-medieval period.
The typical allure of this world wide touristic famous region is the result through the time of the merge of many different ingredients. They are art, history, literature, food, local traditions and of course, people.
This land, perched between the Tirrenian Sea and the Italian Apennines, not so far from Rome, is ideally the heart of the Italian peninsula and has always been the stunning and fruitful region it is now.
Its past can take us on an interesting travel, full of histories about this ancient land.
Before there were the Etruscans
The first major civilization in Tuscany were the Etruscans. They managed to lay down a transport infrastructure, they developed fine agriculture and mining techniques. Their most interesting achievement was that they produced vivid art yet during prehistory that is still traceable around the region today.
The Etruscan imprint is quite visible in many art and traditional usages in Tuscany, like pottery and ceramics, while the archeological villages of Populonia, Volterra and Tarquinia are the most important living witnesses of this fascinating culture. They are part of the so called “Dodecapoli“, that means “12 towns”, a very interesting tour track, along the Etruscan archeological and cultural traces through the region.
Then the Italian culture was born
Despite the strength and wideness of the Roman empire, in fact, there’s something in the Tuscan tradition that makes us think at this region as the cradle of the Italian culture.
If you are familiar with Italian history, you will easily realize that many of the most famous personalities came from Tuscany, or at least lived there, some of them also long before Italy was even a nation.
Tuscany is a land of artists…
Tuscan people have always been famous for being the ones who gave birth to the Renaissance period, with all its masterpieces of art and architecture that later influenced history, art and science all over the Europe.
Tuscany is the birth land of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and many others. Their legacy is still visible in Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo and Siena, so that these places are considered as open-air museums where you could potentially meet and discover great part of the Italian culture.
There are an infinite number of guided tour and visits through the city centers, but our piece of advice is to choose a theme, as a period in Italian art’s history, a personality or an art style and follow its path out and about.
The artistic legacy of this region has influenced the high culture of the entire Western world, while maybe not everybody knows that the modern Italian language we speak today comes directly from the dialect people used to speak in Tuscany.
This language has become the language of the newly united Italian nation, once that Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, the three most important poets of Italy, used and diffused it.
To establish this region as the crib of our literature, many other world famous poets were born.
One of the most engaging choices, for the poetry lovers, is to do a literary tour in Tuscany. Dante’s Divina Commedia can be considered the most important piece of literature in Italian language. The poet lived in Florence and his home is still there and can be seen, while if you prefer the modern literature you can reach the village of Porto Recanati, near Grosseto, where you can visit Giacomo Leopardi’s house and discover how did he get the inspiration for its beautiful poems.
For the children a visit to the Collodi Museum can be an amazing experience into the world of the most famous Italian fairy tale: Pinocchio.
The history of Tuscany’s culture is also made by music. Torre del Lago, near Lucca, is the birthplace of one of the most famous opera composers, Giacomo Puccini. Every year in summer the village host the Puccini Festival, attracting tourists from all over the world.
With a unique atmosphere
The immense cultural heritage of Tuscany is expressed in the region’s churches, palaces, art galleries, art ateliers, craftsman studios and museums is peerless.
But it is in Tuscany’s boroughs and little villages’ piazzas that you will be able to breath the very typical atmosphere of this region. It not by chance that Tuscany is also mainly known for its breath-taking landscapes and good wine, oil and traditions.
So, get lost, try to meet the people, talk to them and discover the calm and pace of life of this small communities among the hills, experience their hospitality, taste the local cuisine and they will make you happy.