Tuscany is the largest region in Italy, and there are many reasons to visit this part of the world. It might be that you are searching for fine art, or just visiting to explore the extraordinary countryside. It is a region steeped in history with locations like Florence, Siena and Lucca providing their visitors with a unique experience. Let’s not forget about the spectacular landscapes which surround the traditional towns and cities and make the perfect location for wine tasting or simply admiring the view.
Of course, Tuscany is famous for all of the above, but there are in fact some interesting facts about Tuscany that you may not have known:
1) Tuscany was where the Italian language was created
Early Italian language revolved around a series of regional dialects spoken across the country, following the fall of the Roman empire. The Italian language which is spoken today is based on the Tuscan dialect in large part due to the incredible cultural strides the region took during the Renaissance period. With works from famous writers such as Dante and Petrarca being written in ‘Tuscan’, this ended up being the basis for the future language.
2) Pinocchio is from Tuscany
One of Disney’s most famous animated films, it would be easy to believe that this was an original tale. However, the original story about a puppet who wanted to be a real boy was written by Carlo Collodi, who was born in Florence in 1826. A former soldier in the Tuscan army during Italy’s independence wars, he turned to children’s fiction after becoming disenchanted with his previous artistic work following Italian politics, and penned the famous puppet in the early 1880s, when it was serially published in a weekly newspaper for children.
3) Tuscany have more UNESCO World Heritage sites than Australia, South Africa and Argentina
Tuscany is packed full of culture. From the historic city of Florence to the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, this culturally significant region is a window into millennia of Italian history through its art, architecture and even whole towns and villages.
4) The Leaning Tower of Pisa isn’t the only leaning tower in Tuscany
The Leaning Tower of Pisa leans because it was built on unstable marshland and it weighs nearly 15,000 tonnes. Despite being a huge architectural error, it has come to be one of Italy’s most recognised monuments worldwide. It’s no surprise, then, that there are now other towers that lean in the area, including the bell towers at the church of St. Nicola and the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi, which are both worth a visit.
5) There is no drinking age
In Italy there is no legal drinking age, meaning a person of any age can legally consume alcohol. However, you must be at least 16 years old to be served in a restaurant or bar.
6) Tuscany is considered as a Nation within a Nation
While many of Italy’s regions claim strong individuality due to a history of regional rule, this idea is stronger in Tuscany than anywhere else. This is due to the unprecedented amount of art and culture that has come from Tuscany and been viewed worldwide as the finest art in Italian history, but it also has ties to the regions renowned food and drink. Despite this belief, Tuscany is not one of Italy’s five “autonomous regions with special statute”, which have extra legislative powers. These regions are the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, and the northern border regions of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Aosta Valley.
7) Tuscany is home to some of the most precious artwork in the world
Famous paintings such as Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ are housed in the Uffizi Gallery, alongside works by other renowned figures such as Raphael and Titian. Michelangelo’s famous David statue can be found in Florence.
8) Florence was the birthplace of the western musical tradition
In Florence in the mid-16th century, the Florentine Camerata, a group of musicians, poets and intellectuals from the city, got together and started experimenting with putting ancient Greek myths to music on the stage. This was the origin of the very first operas.
9) Florence was also the first European city to adopt pavements
Paid for by wealthy merchants and the city’s banks, in 1339 all of Florence’s streets were paved, to improve the movements of goods through the city. The city became the first to pave their streets in the whole of Europe.
10) The Marble Arch is of Tuscan origin
The Marble Arch is a famous landmark in the city of London, but the majority of stone used to build it was actually shipped from Tuscany. This is likely down to the fame the region earned through artworks such as the aforementioned David.
Tuscany is a region that is so incredibly rich in culture that you have to visit it at least once in your lifetime. If these facts have interested you, why not book a stay in one of our spectacular luxury holiday villas in Tuscany?
Interested in learning more? Why not read about our must-see places in Tuscany?
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