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The Toscana Region of Italy

Location:

Toscana (Tuscany) is a region in north central Italy. It's land area is about 23,000 square kilometers (8,900 sq mi) with a population of about 3.7 million inhabitants. It's regional capital is Firenze (Florence). It is bordered on the northwest by Liguria, on the northeast by Emilia Romagna;the regions of Umbria and the Marche are on its southeastern border with Lazio on its southern border. The western coast is on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

 

Climate:

Toscana’s mild climate is one of its most attractive features. Travelers from areas with more extreme weather will be pleasantly surprised. Toscana does have its seasonal variations, but the climate tends to remain consistently temperate. To be precise, at the shore and in the valleys, the summers are hotter than in the hilly areas, where the climate is very continental – rain falls are more often. The summers in Toscana lack rain and are very hot, especially in the valleys. Spring (April and May) and autumn (October and November) are sometimes rainy, but there are still dry, sunny days. The winter brings sunny, mild days but the nights are very cold. The hottest month is July with temperatures from 23°C up to 30°C. In January, the coldest month,- the temperature is about 7°C at the shore, and 3,5°C to 5,5°C inland, with the the temperature in the mountainous areas

being much colder.

 

Geography:

The landscape of Toscana has been pictured in many fine Renaissance paintings; it is unique in its fields interrupted by lines of cypress trees, amidst green hilly tufts stretching to high mountains. Much of the soil is fertile especially in the Arno River valley and in the Maremma, a coastal strip. The Apennine mountains are in northern and eastern Toscana with the Alpi Apuane in the northwest, where the famous Carrara marble is quarried. There are also mountains in the south of Toscana. Along the low lying sandy northern coast, pine tress present a border for the beaches. Toscana's coastline offers great variety from sandy beaches to rocky coastline with hidden coves which stretch from Marina di Carrara to Argentario. The best sandy beaches are found from Marina di Carrara to Livorno, and from a few kilometers south of Livorno to Piombino, the gulf of Fallonica, and finally from Castiglione della Pescaia to the Argentario.

 

History:

The Etruscans were the first inhabitants of Toscana, dating from about the 7th century B.C. They ruled Toscana until the 5th century B.C. when the power that conquered the known world conquered them. Toscana was ruled by Rome for many centuries. In the Middle Ages, it many invasions by diverse conquerors, who established Toscana as a Duchy with Lucca as its capital city.In this time period, Toscana acquired many castles, abbeys and monasteries, and the major towns began to grow demographically turning themselves into communes independent of the Holy Roman Empire. But in the Renaissance period, that Florence extended its dominion over the other towns of Pisa, Lucca, Livorno and Arrezzo and became the cultural center of Europe during that time period .Toscana helped lead Europe back to civilization. Later, it was ruled by Lorenzo di Medici and the Medici family through the great Rennaissance.It was conquered by Napoleonic France in the late 18th century and became part of the Italian Republic in the 19th century.

 

Culture:
Toscana is renowned for its distinctive landscapes, its unprecedented artistic legacy and unequaled influence on western culture. Toscana is generally regarded as the true origin of the Italian Renaissance, and has produced some of the most influential people in the history of arts and sciences, including Petrarch, Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Amerigo Vespucci, Luca Pacioli and Puccini. Consequently, the region has numerous museums (the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art). Toscana also has a unique culinary tradition, and is famous for its wines (Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino).

Six Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic center of Florence (1982), the historical center of Siena (1995), the square of the Cathedral of Pisa (1987), the historical center of San Gimignano (1990), the historical center of Pienza (1996) and the Val d'Orcia (2004). Certainly, all of these sites are to be visited. Furthermore, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves. This makes Toscana, with its capital city Florence, very popular tourist destinations, attracting millions every year. Florence itself welcomes an average of 10 million tourists a year.

 

 

 



The Official Toscana Region Site
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