Right in the center of Italy a beautiful region called Tuscany, amazes with its gorgeous landscapes, its rich cultural patrimony and with its traditional cuisine. Tuscany has been, over time, the inspiration of many artists and writers who never got tired of feeling alive in one of Italy’s most incredible places ever.
This hilly country takes its name from the Etruscans, who came there before the Romans did. After the Romans, some barbarian invasions put on hold for a while its development, but the Renaissance, the age of re-birth, put Tuscany back onto the deserved spot: one of Italy’s most lovable regions.
Four major houses ruled over Tuscany, each leaving its own cultural print on Tuscany’s history. There were the Medici, patrons of science and arts, who ruled for most of the 16th century, and who inspired Tuscany to flourish. But while the arts and the science grew, the industries didn’t, so that, in the 18th century, Tuscany was really in a major decline. After the Medici dynasty came the Habsburg-Lorraine rulers, who encouraged industry and trading, followed by the Bourbon Dukes of Parma, period in which Tuscany was known as Kingdom of Etruria.
After the further domination of Bonaparte and again, of the Habsburg-Lorraine, Tuscany was finally part of the modern Italy. Nowadays, six of its localities have been declared World Heritage Sites, including the city of Florence, Siena, for its historical center, the Cathedral of Pisa, Val d’Orcia, a beautiful region with landscapes painted and celebrated by the artists of Scuola Senese, Pienza, for its historical center (also the place where the monastery from the movie “The English Patient” was set), and the medieval hill town San Gimignano.
Tuscany is famous as an artistic and cultural region of Italy. With Florence being one of the most renowned artistic centers in the world, it’s really no wonder. Also called “the art capital of Italy”, Florence hosted, over time, Michelangelo, Donatello, Botticelli or Brunelleschi.
The Florentine art was both naturalistic and mystical, each inspired by a different art school. But Tuscany is not all about painting; famous musicians developed and created here their artwork. Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni are just two great examples.
The numerous musical centers in Tuscany go side by side with the several writers who made Tuscany famous today. Dante is probably the most popular example, and also Petrarch.
Besides the incredible and intense cultural life, Tuscany has great other alternatives for a visitor. Its beautiful countryside, with gourmet cuisine and fine wines is just a reason to discover step by step this amazing Italian region. And what better way to enjoy Tuscany’s landscapes, other than biking?
From amateur cyclists to the more experienced ones, Tuscany has incredible scenarios for everyone, with a large variety of itineraries. From March to June, which is the recommended period to discover this region by bike, and from September to October, the visitor will see many other cyclists doing exactly what he does: discovering and enjoying a magnificent countryside. And, in case you get tired and you simply need a break, don’t hesitate – the Tuscan locals will gladly offer you the fresh water of their fountains and a big welcome smile.
Since you are in Tuscany, the traditional cuisine must have made you fall in love with it by now. With simplicity as a key description, the Tuscan cuisine includes lots of vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, wine, a large variety of bread and of course, olive oil.
Taking some cooking lessons might be just a great idea, in this way; you’ll get in touch more with the local traditions, while enjoying spending some good quality time. Plus, you’ll be able to impress your friend when you get back home with all the Italian skills when cooking pasta bread or any other Tuscan dish.
When moving around Tuscany, you should know that this s actually a small region, easy to cross in just a few hours. The car might be one option, giving you the possibility to make a stop whenever and wherever you want, but also to discover lots of small villages rather hidden from the major route courses.
The train is another variant one might consider, as it’s affordable and convenient, since the main station of each town is right in the center of the city. Whether it’s discovered by bus, by car or by bike, Tuscany remains one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, worthy to discover and remember.
Tags: tuscany, tuscany italy, travel tuscany, visit tuscany, italy vacation, italy travel
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