10 information you need to know about Tuscany

Tuscany is the Italian region that more than others contains art, history, culture, hilly, marine and even mountainous landscapes. In short, it is a great little “summary” of all the beauties of Italy. Here are 10 things you need to know about Tuscany:

1- Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is a real open-air museum where the Middle Ages and the Renaissance coexist perfectly. In the Renaissance, Tuscany, and especially the city of Florence, was a very important cultural center that influenced both the artistic and commercial development of all Europe.

2- Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian language. Modern Italian is in fact the direct child of the Tuscan dialect, formed during the years of the Renaissance. Moreover, Tuscany has given birth to illustrious personalities in the field of art, literature and science, such as Dante, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Antonio Meucci, Giacomo Puccini, Carlo Collodi, Giovanni da Verrazzano.

3- The Florentine steak is a symbolic dish of Florence and all of Tuscany. Real Florentine steak must be at room temperature before grilling and absolutely must be cooked without seasoning. The steak should then only be turned once per side over the grill full of embers. Finally, the Florentine steak must not be overcooked.

4- Pisa is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and its essence is contained in its Campo dei Miracoli, the square that houses the Cathedral and the famous Leaning Tower, which is not the only leaning tower in the city. In fact, there are other towers with a more or less pronounced slope, such as the bell tower of the church of San Nicola and the bell tower of the church of San Michele degli Scalzi.

5- Perhaps not everyone knows that the tales of Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real child, were born in Tuscany. The original story was written by Carlo Lorenzini, known as Collodi, born in Florence in 1826. It was in Collodi, a small town a few kilometers from Pistoia, that Carlo Lorenzini found his inspiration for the famous tale. “The adventures of Pinocchio” still represent a classic of children’s literature. And it is in Collodi that you can visit the original Pinocchio Park, dedicated to the famous puppet.

6- Tuscany has often been a perfect location for Italian and international movies. The beauty of the Tuscan countryside has in fact served as a film set for a large number of movies, including Twilight: New Moon and The Gladiator. Other films shot in this region were “La vita è bella” by Roberto Benigni, the spy-movie “Quantum of Solace” directed by Marc Forster, the thriller “La Sindrome di Stendhal” by the Italian director Dario Argento. How can we forget also “Miracle in Sant’Anna” by Spike Lee, “Room with a view” and “Hannibal” by Ridley Scott, shot in Florence and “Under the Tuscan sun” by Audrey Wells, mostly shot in Cortona.

7- Chianti is the wine region that is located between Florence and Siena and where the famous wine is produced. Chianti is one of the best Italian wines, known throughout the world: a fine, noble and excellent wine produced in the heart of Tuscany. These territories are largely hilly, surrounded by greenery, with large terraces and valleys and crossed by rivers. The Black Rooster is the symbol of Chianti Classico.

8- In Tuscany there is the small and delightful San Gimignano, also known as the town of the “hundred towers”, which stands on the top of a hill in the province of Siena. The medieval town, which today attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world, is almost identical to medieval San Gimignano. Here time seems to have stopped. Fine wines are also produced here.

9- Although Tuscany is commonly associated with a warm climate and rich vegetation, the region has several ski resorts. During the winter the slopes of Monte Amiata and Abetone are in fact covered with snow and are very popular with skiers and snowboarders. These two mountains are also the ideal place for mountain lovers in both winter and summer periods, thanks to the numerous hiking trails.

10- In Montesiepi, in the province of Siena, there is a curious Abbey: it no longer has a roof and houses the “Rotonda” (a circular building with a domed ceiling) dedicated to San Galgano. The peculiarity that attracts tourists and onlookers is the sword stuck in the stone right in the centre of the Rotonda itself. San Galgano, in fact, gave up his life as a knight and sanctioned the beginning of his new existence as a monk by sticking his sword into the stone. A legend that is very reminiscent of King Arthur.