If Italy is the quintessential destination for tourists, then Tuscany is one of its jewels. The region of Tuscany is situated in the central area of the Italian Peninsula and is home to some of the greatest cities in Italy none more prominent then the city of Florence itself. The region which was the birth place of Italian Renaissance and high culture of Europe is one of the most visited regions in the whole world. Tuscany’s heritage, landscape, buildings, arts, culture and its people make it the undisputed ambassador for Italian tourism all over the world. This part of Italy stretches from the highlands of Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea providing variety of landscapes which are beautiful to witness as well as amazing in their richness of being.
Tuscany was a thriving region with human activity since the bronze age with the region being largely occupied by the people of Apennine culture who thrived in these lands through the second millennia B.C, the developments of the first city states started out somewhere around the 1000-700 B.C. Around the eight or seventh century B.C the Etruscans developed the first full-fledged civilization in the Tuscan region leading to developments of roads, agricultural fields, mining and transportation systems. Tuscany finally fell to Romans hands by the first century B.C; the Romans having annexed Tuscany began developing it endowing it with technology, aqua ducts, and new methods of agriculture, buildings and sewer system. The Romans also laid the foundation of many of the now great cities of Tuscany such as Florence, Lucca, Pisa and Siena. After the fall of the Romans in 5th century A.D, Tuscany during the middle ages started to create its own identity though never fully given the political consent.
In the middle Ages, it was an important passing route of the holy pilgrimage from France till Rome which resulted in the region garnering a lot of wealth and development, the requirement for food and shelter by the pilgrims allowed locals to set up communities near the churches. By the fourteenth century Tuscany was being informally ruled by the Medici family, it was during this time that Tuscany in general and Florence in particular gave birth to the Renaissance in Europe becoming the artistic, cultural and traditional center of Italy as well as Europe. Artists from the erstwhile Byzantine Empire immigrated to the beautiful city of Florence and left their mark all over the city in its marvelous piazzas, churches, clock towers and various public and private buildings. Florence gave Tuscany the identity it has today, during its high time Florence was able to annex the nearby provinces of Siena, Lucco and Pisa making Tuscany a political entity and forming the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Tuscany is just gorgeous in every sense of the word, the landscape with its enchanting colors, the architecture with its marvelous symmetry, the breathtaking art, the heritage, history and the people make Tuscany really the most mesmerizing of all places in European continent. The region has just so much to offer, its vibrancy is feverish, its culture is addictive and its landscape is romantic once here it’s just so hard to be anywhere else in the world. One can relax oneself in the long sandy beaches of the coast or get thrill while trekking up the high mountains of the Apennines or be lost in eternal glory of Florence or be gripped by the carnival-like mood of Sienna. The Tuscan Archipelago provides for some calm, sandy relaxation along the beaches, for adrenaline enthusiasts it also offers great water sports options such as wind surfing. If you are searching for a glimpse into the ancient past of Tuscany then you can visit the amazing Gulf of Baratti with Vetulonia, Vulci and Pitigliano which offer a peek into its Etruscan roots while Roselle and Cosa take you back to the Roman times.
The region is full of UNESCO World Heritage Site allowing it attract tourists in millions every year. Florence is the darling of Tuscany; this provincial capital is a cradle of arts and culture of not only Tuscany but Italy too. An open air museum of sorts it really is an exhibition of the marvels of the Renaissance age, a time which gave Florence its many amazing buildings such as Duomo with Giott’s Bell Tower, Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. The sight of many artists in the streets of Florence in the Mediterranean noon of the spring epitomizes the beauty that the region holds within itself. Siena a neighbor of Florence is no way going to be left behind in showing off its charm and no place is more charming in this extraordinary city than its marvelous town center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pisa with its glorious medieval building among them the Leaning Tower is also a great place to visit along with the ideal Renaissance town of Pienza and San Gimignano. Tuscany is a treasure with a limitless supply of awe inspiring sights, nature, vineyards, cities, architecture and beaches. Its jewel of Italian tourism in every sense of the word and the visit of more than ten million people every year is more than a proof f its splendor.