Travel Tuesdays: La Toscana – Tuscany

Tuscany is a region in central Italy. It is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its permanent influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science. Its territory stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The nature here has many different facets, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. Medieval villages, historical towns, castles and defense systems, country churches, and beautiful abbeys, are scattered all over the territory, and their presence makes Tuscan landscapes beautiful and unique.

Firenze (Florence), Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano is the capital of the region as well as one of the most famous Italian tourist destination. There are many museums and monuments that cannot be missed, such as the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio (famous Old Bridge) and Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral, the Baptistery and Giotto‘s Bell Tower.

Pisa is certainly renowned for the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Leaning Tower and the large Duomo, baptistery and Camposanto. Lucca is one of those Tuscan towns you should visit on your vacation in Italy. It is famous for its Renaissance-era city walls that have remained intact, and as they lost their defensive role, their top became a pedestrian promenade. The historical city center deserves a visit, including its peculiar small shops/workshops that host many artisans and their  handicraft products.

Chianti_hillsIn between Florence and Siena stretches the green and soft Chianti, famous for good wine and striking landscapes. Round hills covered by vineyards and olive groves, panoramic curving roads, small and charming villages and towns, excellent wine and good food are all a part of what you’ll find in Chianti. At Chianti‘s western border is the charming San Gimignano. Listed as a World Heritage site, San Gimignano fascinates for its medieval look and its high towers which make it utterly unique.

Typical dishes of the Tuscan cuisine are: ribollita, made from leftover cooked vegetables all “reboiled” together with the addition of stale bread and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Other regional classics include: crostini with chicken liver paté, bruschetta with tomatoes, and Sienese capocollo, more commonly known as finocchiata.

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