There are plenty of reasons to visit Tuscany of course!
From Michelangelo’s David in Florence, to the world famous leaning tower of Pisa, from beautiful views to luscious vineyards and historical architecture, if you’re planning a trip to see it all , you’ll certainly have a busy schedule. However, there are also many things that make Tuscany unique , yet so many visitors pass through the region without realising them. Here are ten facts about Tuscany that you probably didn’t know, and which might make your time here more fun or allow you to show off with your friends
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian language:
Hearth and soul of the Renaissance, Tuscany was The Cultural centre of the time , therefore the major influencer for commercial and artistic development in Europe . While Italian clearly has a close relationship with the Latin language, the modern Italian that is spoken throughout the country today is based upon the Toscano (Tuscan) dialect which is still nowadays conserved in its purest version in Siena and its vicinities ( and Chiara’sTuscany is based here !)
2. Tuscany was the first place in Europe to have written regulations for urban planning:
Check out the beautiful Piazza del Campo in Siena which was the first city where you can see the first official documents of urban planning. Towers and building had to follow strict regulations on colours, height , distances etc. In a time where power was measured by how tall a family tower was, in Siena no building had to be higher than the main Torre del Mangia . The atmosphere still today appears 100% conserved . It is pure magic to sit in any café facing the square at any time of the year. “ Provare per Credere”!
3. Tuscany was the first region to adopt pavements :
In 1339, the city of Florence became the first European city to pave their streets. A result of the rich banks and merchants era, Florence set the example for cities around Europe and the rest of the world with this trend setting action.
4. Tuscany and its UNESCO World Heritage sites :
For those looking for a cultural trip, there are few places in the world that can come closer to the rich choice that Tuscany can offer. Just steps from the stunning villas in Tuscany, you can find historically significant, artistically and architecturally outstanding places to visit from small villages to the UNESCO sites of Siena, Florence and Pienza.
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only one:
Yes, Believe it or not, there are other towers in Tuscany with a distinct lean to them, including at the church of St. Nicola and the bell tower of the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi.
6. Pinocchio is from Tuscany:
Pinocchio, the famous character from the 1940 Disney film, it’s actually much older. The original story was written by Carlo Collodi in 1826 who hailed from Florence. He took his surname from the village – Collodi- where his mother was born. Visit with children Il Parco di Pinocchio. A curiosity: “Le Avventure di Pinocchio” has been for long time one of the favourite text book for learning how to read in primary schools in Italy
7. Tuscany : Natural Movie Setting:
The sheer beauty and magnificence of the Tuscan countryside has lent itself to becoming a film set for a number of blockbuster hits. The list is long , including Twilight New Moon and Gladiator, 007 , Tea with Mussolini , Letters from Juliet and the succesful Medici saga.
8. Marble Arch has a Tuscan origin:
Familiar with the famous arch in London marking the corners of Park Lane and Oxford Street? Did you know that almost all of the marble that was used in its construction was shipped over from Tuscany? Other famous buildings around England too had Tuscan marble shipped for their constructions. One of these is in Norwich, the beautiful Surrey House. Tucked away in Surrey Street, just down from the bus station is a gem of a building. Two teams of Italian stonemasons were employed to carry out the work. The effect is totally stunning.
9. Tuscany not only hills and wine:
You might associate Tuscany more readily with warm weather and good wines, but in the winter Mount Amiata and Abetone become place for skiers, snowboarders and hikers looking to enjoy the winter holidays. Wellness? Some of the best Spas are located in this beautiful region. We can point you in the right direction according to your preferences and budget
10. Searching for a ‘free’ beach in Tuscany:
this may be challenging. Travelling to the beaches, you will notice a good few require payment to access them. The trend for ‘private’ beaches in Tuscany can be a little off putting at first, but the result of having paid access is that the beaches are quieter and cleaner than you would experience otherwise. @Chiara’sTuscany – of course- we have information about the free most beautiful and unspoiled free beaches as well as the trendy private ones for sipping aperitif at sunset.