Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is a region of central Italy bordering Liguria to the north-west, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche and Umbria to the east and Lazio to the south.

Thanks to its history and its strong cultural and linguistic unity, it is one of the Italian regions with the oldest and most defined identity, so much so that it is considered by some to be a real "nation". The name is very ancient and derives from the ethnonym used by Greeks and Latins to define the land inhabited by the Etruscans: "Etruria", later transformed into "Tuscia" and then into "Tuscany".


Geographic hints

The Tuscan territory is mostly hilly (~67%); includes some plains (~8%) and important mountain massifs (~25%).

The main Tuscan mountains are: Monte Prado (2,054 m), Monte Giovo (1,991 m), Monte Rondinaio (1,964 m), Monte Pisanino (1,946 m), Alpe Tre Potenze (1,940 m), while Monte Amiata (1,738 m) and Monte Castello (445 m on the island of Capraia) are classified as (inactive) volcanoes.

The main rivers are: Arno (241 km), Ombrone (161 km), Serchio (111 km), Cecina (73 km), Magra (70 km), Sieve (62 km), while the main lakes are: Lake Bilancino (artificial reservoir of 5.0 km²), Lake Chiusi (3.9 km²), Lake San Casciano (2.0 km²), Lake Montepulciano (1.9 km²).

To the west, its 397 km of continental coasts are washed by the Ligurian Sea in the central-northern section between Carrara (mouth of the Parmignola stream, border with Liguria) and the Gulf of Baratti; the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the other hand, bathes the southern coastal stretch between the Piombino promontory and the mouth of the Chiarone, which marks the border with Lazio.

In addition to the main territory, both the Tuscan Archipelago and a small exclave located within the borders of Emilia-Romagna are part of this region, in which some fractions of the municipality of Badia Tedalda are located.


When to go

From a climatic point of view, Tuscany has different characteristics from area to area. The average annual temperatures, which record the highest values around 16 °C along the Maremma coast, tend to decrease as one proceeds towards the interior and towards the north; in the plains and in the internal valleys (middle Valdarno and Val di Chiana) summer maximum values are reached, which often approach and touch 40 °C and contrast with rather rigid winter minimums, sometimes even a few degrees below zero.

Snowfalls, frequent in the winter season on all the Apennine hills and on the summit of Monte Amiata, can also reach the neighboring hilly areas but it is not impossible that the snow also reaches the plains and more rarely elsewhere.


Culture and traditions

The regional festival, established in 2001, occurs on November 30, in memory of the aforementioned day in 1786 when the death penalty was abolished in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.


Urban centers

Florence - was the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. Here worked, protected and favored by the lords of the city, the Medici, the greatest protagonists of art in all its manifestations and sciences. The Florentine genius left churches, palaces and monuments of extreme beauty to the city; its museums collect an infinite number of masterpieces, like its churches and palaces. A city of international renown, it is a destination for world tourism that shows no sign of diminishing. Capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, then for a brief period also the capital of Italy, Florence is now rightfully one of the world capitals of culture.
Siena — Piazza del Campo and its Palio are world famous. In addition to them, the city offers an extensive and well-preserved historic centre, nestled in the hills of the Crete Senesi
Arezzo - It was an Etruscan and Roman city, then a proud and proud municipality that fought for a long time with Florence which finally subdued it. Its monumental heritage boasts among the most important architectures the Romanesque parish church of Santa Maria, San Francesco, the Gothic cathedral. The Medici fortress recalls the definitive subjection to Florence, from whose dominion even the Arezzo citizens had repeatedly tried to escape.
Pisa — its Leaning Tower is one of the best-known monuments in the world. An international tourist destination, the ancient Maritime Republic boasts numerous important monuments, but it is above all for the Piazza dei Miracoli that it can boast the qualification of World Heritage Site
Prato - Second largest city in Tuscany by population, third in central Italy after Rome and Florence, suffers from the cumbersome proximity of Florence, with which it is in fact conurbated. Known nationally for the textile industry and for the cantucci, biscuits with almonds that are often dipped in Vin Santo, it offers us a splendid Romanesque-Gothic cathedral in which Michelozzo and Donatello worked.
Lucca — Walled city, preserves an artistic heritage of great stature; the Duomo, where you can see the famous tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, San Michele in Foro, San Frediano are its most significant churches. In the medieval village there are the Torri dei Guinigi and the palaces and towers of via Fillungo. The Piazza del Mercato, surrounded by a curtain of houses that follow its perimeter, overlaps the Roman Amphitheater.
San Gimignano




Other destinations

Arcipelago Toscano National Park
Emperor's Castle

Grosseto Maremma
Montalbano (mountain)
Mount Amiata
Val di Chiana
Cecina Valley
In its Tuscan stretch, the Tiber passes through the following centres: Anghiari — Badia Tedalda, Caprese Michelangelo, Monterchi, Pieve Santo Stefano, Sansepolcro, Sestino.
Chianti hills
Hills of Albegna and Fiora
Colline Metallifere — These include the towns of Sassetta, Campiglia Marittima, Suvereto, Monteverdi Marittimo, Pomarance, Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, Radicondoli, Chiusdino, Monterotondo Marittimo, Montieri, Roccastrada, Massa Marittima, Gavorrano, Scarlino and Castiglione della Pescaia.
Crete Senesi
Mugello - Corresponds to the valley of the Sieve, a tributary of the Arno.
Florentine plain
Val d'Orcia — Inscribed in the list of World Heritage Sites, the Val d'Orcia extends in the province of Siena with the exception of a stretch of the lower valley in the province of Grosseto. There are the Sienese centers of Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani, San Quirico d'Orcia, with the hamlets of Monticchiello, Bagno Vignoni, Rocca d'Orcia, Campiglia d'Orcia, Bagni San Filippo, Vivo d' Orcia, and the village of Montenero d'Orcia in the province of Grosseto.


How to get

Getting to Tuscany is very easy thanks to the excellent national and international connections enjoyed by the region, mainly centered on the city of Florence.

By plane
The major Tuscan airports for passenger traffic are:

Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa.
Amerigo Vespucci Airport of Peretola in Florence
Marina di Campo Airport on the Island of Elba
Other airports are in Grosseto (civil airport) and Siena (Ampugnano airport).

By car
Tuscany is crossed in a north-south direction by the A1 motorway which connects Florence and Arezzo to the main Italian cities (Milan and Bologna to the north, Rome and Naples to the south). Florence is well connected to the Tuscan coast thanks to the A11 motorway, which also passes through Prato, Pistoia, Montecatini Terme and Lucca before ending at the Pisa north exit. This toll booth is also found along the A12 motorway, which connects the city of Pisa to Viareggio (from this exit link road to Lucca), Massa-Carrara, La Spezia and Genoa to the north and Livorno Rosignano Marittimo Cecina to the south (waiting for the future completion of the stretch up to Civitavecchia for the total construction of the Genoa-Rome motorway). The northwestern tip of Tuscany (Lunigiana) is also crossed by the A15 motorway, which connects Parma and La Spezia through Pontremoli and Aulla.

The SS 3bis/E45 expressway which connects Umbria to Romagna, crossing the Valtiberina at Sansepolcro and Pieve Santo Stefano in the easternmost part of the region, wedged between Romagna and Umbria.

Among the best-known road axes, which today represent secondary extra-urban roads, we should mention the Via Aurelia, the Via Cassia and the Via Clodia, which were built in Roman times; the last of these was built on the pre-existing Vie Cave in the section between Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana, in the heart of the Tufo area. Furthermore, Tuscany is also cut by the Via Francigena, which partly coincides with the Via Cassia.

On boat
The port of Livorno is the most important in Tuscany and one of the major Italian ports and the entire Mediterranean Sea, for passenger traffic and mainly for freight.

Ferries leave from Porto Santo Stefano for Corsica and Sardinia, while from Livorno numerous navigation routes connect Tuscany to the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.

On the train
The main railway lines that cross Tuscany are the line between Milan and Rome which, following almost parallel to the A1 motorway, touches the Tuscan cities of Prato, Florence and Arezzo from north to south. Another main route is the Tyrrhenian railway which, following the Via Aurelia in parallel, connects Genoa to Rome touching Carrara, Massa, Viareggio, Pisa, Livorno and Grosseto. The third main line in Tuscany is the one that connects Florence to Pisa via Empoli, where a secondary section branches off for Siena from where it continues both for Chiusi (Florence-Rome intersection) and for Grosseto (intersection with the Tyrrhenian line).


Getting around

By car
In addition to the motorways, we find trunk roads (S.G.C.) with separate carriageways and two lanes in each direction (main extra-urban roads). Among these there is the one that connects Florence to Siena, the one that connects Florence to Pisa and Livorno through the lower Valdarno (Empoli, Pontedera) and the one that connects Livorno to Grosseto, called "Variante Aurelia".

On boat
Ferries leave from Porto Santo Stefano for the island of Giglio and Giannutri; from Piombino connections with the Island of Elba are ensured, while from Livorno numerous navigation routes connect Tuscany to the islands of Capraia and Gorgona.

On the train
Among the secondary stretches, the one between Siena and Grosseto via Monte Antico is very spectacular from a landscape point of view, with a trunk passing through Buonconvento and one through San Giovanni d'Asso: trips are often organized in vintage "littorine" on both branches of the Siena-Grosseto.

Other secondary sections, very crowded with commuters, are the Florence-Prato-Pistoia-Montecatini Terme-Pescia-Lucca-Viareggio, the Lucca-Pisa, the Lucca-Aulla, the Porrettana railway (which connects Pistoia to Bologna) and the railway which joins Florence to Mugello (Faentina).

Partially active, but very interesting from a landscape point of view, is the Cecina-Saline railway of Volterra, a non-electrified antenna which departs from the Maremmana line and which originally reached the historic core of Volterra via a final rack section.


What to see

Sentiero della Bonifica — The Sentiero della Bonifica is a 62 km dirt bike path. It develops on the ancient road for the maintenance of the Canale maestro della Chiana, which runs on the banks of the same, between the cities of Arezzo and Chiusi.



Tuscany is one of the regions that have the highest wine production in Italy, but this is not its only record. Ricasoli, which took possession of the Brolio Castle in Gaiole in Chianti in 1141, is the oldest winery in Italy, as well as one of the oldest in the world. Among its best-known DOCGs are the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino and the universally known Chianti (and the oldest Chianti Classico), as well as: Carmignano, Elba Aleatico Passito, Montecucco Sangiovese, Morellino di Scansano, Suvereto, Val di Cornia Rosso , Vernaccia di San Gimignano (the only white), and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

The list of Tuscan DOCs is impressive, but Bolgheri Sassicaia undoubtedly stands out among all, whose 2015 vintage was awarded the title of best wine in the world in 2018.

Finally there are the supertuscans, a group of wines that deliberately did not respect the official dictates (which also included Sassicaia itself), so although technically they were "simple table wines", they were and still are of the prestigious wines often with an exclusive cost, such as Tignanello and Solaia degli Antinori and Ornellaia dei Frescobaldi.
Tourist infrastructure
In terms of tourism, Tuscany offers many possibilities, from the coast of Versilia, which hosts places such as Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi or cities of art such as Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa. However, Tuscany is not devoid of landscapes, because you can find numerous bed and breakfasts with wonderful views in the Chianti or Maremma, or hotels in the important centers of the Tuscan coast.



Tuscany is generally a safe region, the image of a green, hilly, hospitable and peaceful region that we have throughout the world is generally true. As usual, common sense applies though.


History of Tuscan art

Prehistoric and Etruscan era

The Pontremoli area (and nearby Luni) were the heart of the ancient civilization of the Stele Statues, in the 3rd millennium BC. There are also numerous findings from the Villanovan civilization.

Etruria was the heart of the Etruscan civilization and included almost the entire territory of present-day Tuscany. Extraordinary finds remain of the rich and flourishing southern Etruscan cities, especially in the areas of Maremma, the Livorno coast, the Siena and Grosseto hinterland. Of exceptional importance are the noteworthy Etruscan necropolises, such as Sovana, Vetulonia and Populonia. Numerous settlements also existed in northern Tuscany, but they were more isolated. Among these Pisa, with the Tumulus of the Etruscan Prince, Sasso Pisano, Fiesole, Volterra, Cortona, Carmignano (Prato) with the Etruscan tombs of Montefortini, Boschetti, and the necropolis of Prato Rosello. Recent is the discovery of an Etruscan city in Gonfienti, near Prato, probably the main trading center until the end of the 5th century BC. with the Po Valley area.

Among the most important Etruscan finds discovered, the Magliano Disc was of fundamental importance for the codification of the Etruscan language.


Roman times

In Roman times Florentia was founded and numerous cities prospered, such as Pisa, Pistoia, Arezzo, Volterra, Fiesole and Roselle. Among the excavations of the Roman era, that of the colony of Cosa is of particular importance, one of the best preserved dating back to the early years of the Republic.


Early Christian art

Starting from late antiquity, Tuscany experienced a sort of "eclipse", a long period of which very few artistic traces remain, also because they were systematically demolished in the following centuries. For this reason, the few surviving architectures have an extraordinary value such as the Cathedral of Chiusi or the crypt of the church of San Baronto. The most important city at that time was Lucca, crossed by the Via Francigena, but early Christian or early medieval remains are rare here too, apart from an invaluable ancient book heritage.


Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, in many Tuscan municipalities, grandiose squares were created with cathedrals, basilicas and imposing public buildings and streets with valuable private buildings. The first city to enjoy this extraordinary development was the maritime republic of Pisa, followed closely by Lucca, Florence, Pistoia, Prato and Siena. The Pisan Romanesque left extraordinary cathedrals, influencing many other areas of the Mediterranean. In the rural areas, characteristic villages, castles and fortifications developed and numerous parish churches and abbeys were built.

Starting from the 13th century, sculpture also rediscovered a monumental dimension, with masters such as Nicola Pisano, Giovanni Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio. At the end of the century, painting seemed to have an unbridgeable gap behind other art forms, still anchored to the Byzantine tradition. Little by little the masters of Pisa and Lucca moved away from oriental models, but it was with Cimabue and above all with Giotto that painting made giant strides, rediscovering values which had long since disappeared such as real space, realism, narration, creativity: starting from this revolution all Western art found a new path.

The Gothic was implemented with alternating events in Tuscany: if in Siena a school was born that was very up to date with transalpine courtly models, with masters such as Duccio di Boninsegna, the brothers Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, in Florence a classicist legacy had more weight, which from there within a few years it would have flourished in the Renaissance.



The Renaissance developed starting from Florence and Tuscany, subsequently spreading to the rest of Italy and Europe; intended as a recovery of classical models, it began with a renewed interest from greats such as Petrarca and Boccaccio.

Later it also spread to the visual arts, recovering a "classical" line that crossed the Romanesque and prevented the full affirmation of the Gothic. While Filippo Brunelleschi "discovered" the rules of mathematical perspective, painters like Masaccio proposed vivid figures like never before, tormented by the feeling and the real volume of the bodies. In architecture he simplified himself in search of "pure", solemn and rational forms, demonstrating how human ingenuity could create even unlikely works, such as the mammoth dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. A revolution began stimulated by the patronage of a class of merchants and bankers endowed with great culture and enormous economic means. Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, are just some of the Tuscan "geniuses" of the 15th century.

In this era, great works characterized by completely innovative stylistic elements were created, such as the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito in Florence, the Cathedral and Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza, the church of San Biagio in Montepulciano and the Walls of Lucca.

The peak was reached between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century, with the greatest masters ever in Florence: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raffaello Sanzio (who was also from the Marche, but also worked in Tuscany in those years )

While the Renaissance was moving towards increasingly complex forms, the Florentine upheavals linked to Savonarola and the expulsion of the Medici produced a setback that shocked the art world: while some artists were experiencing a profound crisis, others sought their fortune in new cities, spreading the achievements of the Renaissance throughout Europe: Leonardo in Milan and France; Michelangelo in Rome; Jacopo Sansovino in Venice, etc.



The impact of the great Renaissance masters produced a stimulus to imitation in the following generation, which then translated, in the best artists, into the search for something "different", which now ignored reality, abstracting it into something more original, complex and capricious. If on the one hand the art of the new grand ducal court produced beautiful but somewhat conventional works (think of the artists of Giorgio Vasari's circle), on the other hand the first restlessness was born, the first "avant-garde", with highly original artists (and often misunderstood) such as Benvenuto Cellini, Jacopo Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.

The architectural scene, however, underwent continuous development, with large construction sites throughout the region driven by the Grand Duke's desire to demonstrate his power and political supremacy: in Florence the ancient center of republican politics was overturned by the renovation of Palazzo Vecchio and the construction of the Uffizi; Piazza dei Cavalieri was born in Pisa by the order of Santo Stefano, in Livorno a new port city was born equipped with up-to-date fortifications. Power was also manifested through other works, such as the network of Medici villas, completed by the creativity of Bernardo Buontalenti.

The only area to remain independent was Lucca, which although its importance was reduced compared to the Middle Ages, built one of the most beautiful and best preserved fortification systems of the time, precisely in fear of an attack by the invading Florentines. The walls of Lucca are one of the best preserved city walls and find a similar example, albeit with a reduced perimeter, in the walls of Grosseto which were completely renovated in the second half of the sixteenth century based on a design by Baldassarre Lanci.



The Florentine and Tuscan Renaissance and mannerist tradition, glorified by works such as The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects by Giorgio Vasari (the first treatise on the history of art since the time of Pausanias), effectively prevented the creativity of Roman Baroque for almost the entire 17th century.

Tuscany was not immune to the Baroque, which was instead characterized by restraint and sobriety, and a certain tradition of art historians downplayed its importance until the mid-20th century. Therefore, the object of a recent rediscovery, Tuscan art between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reached some heights in sumptuous masterpieces such as the Cappella dei Principi in Florence or the villas of Lucca, but the enrichment of the urban fabric of almost all of them was also important the cities of minor works responding to the new scenographic taste, which became part of the image of the region. We remember the art of the Nasini dynasty, who from Castel del Piano, on Monte Amiata, extended their production, aimed more at devotion than at pomp, to numerous centers in the Grosseto and Siena areas.


Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

In the eighteenth century, the construction of sober and balanced systems of Baroque taste continued in architecture, even if there were numerous renovations of already existing buildings, such as the facade of the church of San Marco in Florence. The second half of the century turns towards more markedly neoclassical themes: Gaspare Paoletti will be the founder of a series of architects active in the Grand Duchy until the 1840s, such as Luigi de Cambray Digny and Pasquale Poccianti. Alongside the impressive restorations for Palazzo Pitti and the Villa of Poggio Imperiale, there was the construction of monumental buildings such as the Cisternone of Livorno. In neo-Gothic the name of Alessandro Gherardesca emerges.

In sculpture, the first half of the eighteenth century is characterized for example by the work of Giovanni Battista Foggini; subsequently, with neoclassicism, the names of Lorenzo Bartolini and the Sienese Giovanni Duprè especially established themselves, who developed the models offered by Canova, seeking a mediation between "realism" and "purism".

Painting offers its most interesting ideas in the nineteenth century, with the works of the Macchiaiola school of Giovanni Fattori and others, who anticipated the coloristic anxieties of French Impressionism.


Twentieth century

In the twentieth century Tuscany had an important Liberty season, with some peaks in places with strong urban development such as Grosseto, Montecatini Terme, Viareggio, Torre del Lago Puccini, Bagni di Lucca, Castiglioncello and Marina di Pisa.

Rationalist architecture was more widespread throughout the regional territory, with some international masterpieces such as the Florence Santa Maria Novella station or the Artemio Franchi stadium by Pier Luigi Nervi.

In the post-war period, the names of some internationally renowned architects established themselves in architecture, such as Italo Gamberini, Leonardo Savioli, Leonardo Ricci, but it was above all Giovanni Michelucci who imposed a modern, functional style, with a dry but also exciting and recognizable aesthetic . Works such as the church of the Autostrada del Sole are among the most significant creations of the century in Tuscany, declined in countless imitations and homages.

Among the painters we should mention Amedeo Modigliani (died in 1920), Ottone Rosai and Giuseppe Viviani.


Physical geography

The Tuscan territory is mostly hilly (66.5%); it includes some plains (about 8.4% of the territory) and important mountain massifs (25.1% of the region).

Main mountains: Monte Prado 2054 m, Monte Giovo 1991 m, Monte Rondinaio 1964 m, Monte Pisanino 1946 m, Alpe Tre Potenze 1940 m.
Main mountain passes and passes: Passo dell'Abetone 1388 m, Passo della Pradarena 1579 m, Passo delle Radici 1529 m, Passo del Cerreto 1261 m, Passo de La Calla 1298 m, Passo dei Mandrioli 1173 m, Passo della Cisa 1045 m.
Volcanoes: Monte Amiata 1738 m, Monte Castello 445 m (Island of Capraia).
Main rivers: Arno 241 km, Ombrone 161 km, Serchio 111 km, Cecina 73 km, Magra 70 km, Sieve 62 km.
Main lakes: Montedoglio lake (artificial reservoir) 7.7 km², Bilancino lake (artificial reservoir) 5.0 km², Chiusi lake 3.9 km², San Casciano lake about 2.0 km², Montepulciano lake 1, 9 km².
Main coastal lagoons and lakes: Orbetello lagoon 26.2 km², Diaccia Botrona marshes 12.78 km², Massaciuccoli lake 6.9 km², Burano lake 1.4 km².
Internal marshes: Fucecchio marshes about 18 km².
Small wetlands: Laghetto Traversari di Camaldoli, Metaleto, Asqua, La Lama, Pozza del Cervo, Fonte del Porcareccio, Prato al Fiume, Lago di Porta.
Coastline: 633 km total (397 km continental and 230 km insular).
Seas: Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea.
Main islands: Elba Island 223.5 km², Giglio Island 21.2 km², Capraia Island 19.3 km², Montecristo Island 10.4 km², Pianosa Island 10.3 km².


Reliefs and hills

Both to the north and to the east, Tuscany is surrounded by the Apennines but the territory is mainly hilly. The highest peak in the region is Monte Prado (2,054 m), in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines in Garfagnana, on the border with Emilia-Romagna.

In the region there are other noteworthy mountain reliefs outside the Apennine ridge: the Apuan Alps to the north-west, Monte Pisano between Pisa and Lucca, the Pistoia mountains north of Pistoia, the Calvana mountains north of Prato, the Monti del Chianti between the provinces of Siena and Arezzo. In the province of Arezzo the Pratomagno divides the Casentino from the Valdarno, still in the province of Arezzo to the north-east the Alpe di Catenaia is divided from the Apennines by the course of the Tiber, the Alpe delle Luna to the east of the province of Arezzo, the Metalliferous hills to the south-west between the provinces of Livorno, Pisa, Siena and Grosseto and the massifs of Monte Amiata and Monte Cetona to the south-east, Mount Falterona, where the Arno river is born and Mount Fumaiolo where the Tiber is born.

Among the hilly systems, in the central part of the region we find, from west to east, the Livorno Hills, the Pisan Hills, the Balze di Volterra, the Montalbano, the Chianti hills and the hills of the Valtiberina. The southern area of the region is characterized to the west by the Metalliferous Hills, the hills of the Val di Merse, the Crete Senesi, the hills of the Ombrone Valley, the Albegna and Fiora hills, the Tufo area and the hills of the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana.



In Tuscany there are flat areas both along the coast and inland.

The coast includes the plains of Versilia, Viareggio, the last stretch of the Lower Valdarno which opens into the Piana di Pisa and the Maremma, the largest plain, while in the hinterland the main plain is the Valdarno which extends from east to west along the course of the homonymous river, including the cities of Arezzo, Florence and Pisa. Other inland plains are the Florence-Prato-Pistoia plain in continuity with the middle Valdarno, the Lucca plain, the Valdinievole, the Valdera, the Valdelsa, the Val di Chiana, the Val di Cecina, the Val di Cornia, the Val di Pecora, Val d'Orcia, Valdisieve, Valle dell'Ombrone, Val di Bisenzio, Valdambra and Valle del Serchio.


Coasts and islands

Tuscany, bordered by the Ligurian Sea in the central-northern part and by the Tyrrhenian Sea in the southern part, is characterized by a very diversified continental coast in its characteristics. Overall, the continental coasts are low and sandy, with the exception of some promontories that rise between Livorno and Vada, north of Piombino, between Scarlino, Punta Ala and Castiglione della Pescaia, between Marina di Alberese and Talamone, on the Argentario and in Ansedonia.

The Tuscan Archipelago consists of seven main islands and some smaller islets, many of which are simple shallows or outcropping rocks, largely protected by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. The main island is Elba, bathed to the north by the Ligurian Sea, to the east by the Piombino Channel, to the south by the Tyrrhenian Sea and to the west by the Corsica Channel: the island has an alternation of low and sandy coasts and higher and more jagged coasts where suggestive coves open up. To the north of the Island of Elba are the Island of Capraia, in the Corsica Channel, and the Island of Gorgona in the Ligurian Sea, both with indented coasts. To the south of the Island of Elba are the Island of Pianosa, completely flat and with slight undulations, with both sandy and rocky coasts, the Island of Montecristo with high and jagged coasts except for the landing area, the 'Isola del Giglio with predominantly high and rocky coasts, with the exception of some coves and the Campese beach, the Isola di Giannutri with rocky coasts although presenting a territory characterized only by very slight undulations and gradients.

Among the smaller islands, the shoals and outcropping rocks, there are the islands of Cerboli, Palmaiola, the Formiche di Grosseto, the Formica di Burano, the Scoglio d'Africa or Formica di Montecristo, the Secche della Meloria and the Secche di Go.



From a climatic point of view, Tuscany has different characteristics from area to area.

The average annual temperatures, which record the highest values around 16-17 °C along the Maremma coast, tend to decrease as one proceeds towards the interior and towards the north; in the plains and in the internal valleys (middle Valdarno and Val di Chiana) the maximum summer values are reached, which often approach and touch 40 °C (41 °C in Florence in August 2003, 39 °C in Lucca and 40 always in Florence in 2021) and contrast with relatively cold winter lows, which sometimes reach zero.

Precipitation is very abundant close to the Apennine hills along the west-east axis between Versilia and Casentino, with maximum values over 2000 mm per year on the highest peaks of the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines; on the contrary, along the coastal strip of the Grosseto Maremma, especially in the Argentario area, the annual average of 500 mm is laboriously reached. The Crete Senesi and some areas of the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana where the average annual values are between 600 and 700 mm are also heavily penalized from a rainfall point of view.

The snowfalls, frequent in the winter season on all the Apennine hills and on the summit of Monte Amiata, can also reach the neighboring hilly areas but it is not impossible that the snow also reaches the plains and more rarely on the central-northern coasts, while they appear to be truly unique episodes along the Maremma coast of Grosseto.

The heliophany (sunshine duration) appears to be very significant along the coastal strip of the province of Grosseto, where it reaches values close to the absolute maximum of the entire Italian national territory, with an annual average of over 7 hours per day (minimum value in December with an average of about 4 hours a day and maximum values above 11 hours a day in June and July).


Weather stations

In Tuscany there are 14 official meteorological stations marked with WMO and ICAO codes in accordance with the standards of the World Meteorological Organization: 13 of them are managed by the Air Force, one of them by ENAV. All the other stations present in the regional territory, on the other hand, mainly refer to the Regional Hydrological Service of Tuscany; there are also stations of other entities, including those of the LaMMA Consortium, as well as those of other public or private entities.

Historically, the meteorological station of Florence Monastero degli Angeli deserves a special mention, one of the first stations established worldwide, which began to carry out meteorological observations and thermometric recordings on the Florentine scale of 50° starting from 1654 within the network meteorological station established by Ferdinando II de' Medici and operational at the European level at that time.

From north to south, the following are the various official weather stations in the region:
Cisa Pass
Refredo Mugello
Porretta pass
Florence Peretola
Pisa San Giusto
Arezzo Molin White
Siena Poggio al Vento (decommissioned)
Weather station of Siena Ampugnano (decommissioned)
Piombino weather station (decommissioned)
Grosseto Airport
Elba-Monte Calamita
Pianosa (decommissioned)
Monte Argentario


Protected natural areas

Protected natural areas cover almost 10% of the regional territory, for a total area of 227,000 hectares. Three national parks are part of it, one of which, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, falls entirely within Tuscany while the other two are shared with Emilia-Romagna (Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park and the Apennine National Park Tuscan-Emilian). There are also 3 regional parks, 2 provincial parks, 36 state nature reserves, 37 provincial nature reserves and 52 A.N.P. THE. (Protected Natural Areas of Local Interest). Within the Natura 2000 network, 123 Sites of Community Interest (SIC) and 30 Special Protection Areas (SPA) have also been proposed.



The region is crossed on the northern and eastern sides by the Apennine chain which was formed by the approach and collision of the Euro-Asian plate to the north with the African-Adriatic plate to the south.

The resulting structural units, originally belonging to the African-Adriatic continental margin, are included in two main groups, the Umbria-Marche Domain (sandstone-marly flysch) and the Tuscan Domain, the latter subdivided into an underlying metamorphic succession (meta sandstone, metalimestones, dolomites, Triassic and late Palaeozoic groups, Hercynian basement) and in an overlying non-metamorphic succession (external and internal sandstone flysch, argillites, marls, limestones and dolomites). The non-metamorphic succession above is in turn characterized by two minor structural units, the Falda Toscana and the Cervarola Falterona Unit, with whose rocky extensions they form the backbone of the Tuscan Apennine ridge.

Above the Tuscan Domain is the transitional Sub-Ligurian Domain (sandstones and argillites) where there was the overthrust of rocks of the Ligurian-Piedmontese Domain, subdivided in turn into the complex structural units of the external Ligurian Domain (helminthoid flysch, sandstones, argillites , polygenic breccias), internal Ligurian Domain with non-metamorphic oceanic succession (sandstone flysch, argillites, radiolarites, ophiolites) and metamorphic oceanic succession (calschists, ophiolites).

With the decrease and cessation of thrust thrusts during the Apennine orogeny, sedimentation basins were formed with Epiligurian deposits (marls and calcarenites).

In the most recent phases there were marine invasions of the lower margins of the chain, called successions of neo-autochthonous basins and never involved in the phenomena of thrust between domains and structural units; later, subsiding basins were formed within the chain, favorable for future fluvial-lacustrine environments.

At the same time, acidic subvolcanic magmatic intrusions also occurred (Elba Island, Giglio Island and Montecristo Island) and effusive pyroclastic volcanic manifestations (Capraia Island, Monte Amiata and Tufo Area).

The eustatic oscillations and the further settling phases of the chain brought the levels of rivers and lakes to the current values; the alluvial deposits complete and close the geological history of the region.


Seismic classification

On the basis of PCM Ordinance n.3274 of 03/20/2003, the Tuscan regional territory has been divided into three distinct zones based on seismic risk, zone 2, zone 3 and zone 4; no municipality in Tuscany falls within zone 1 with high seismicity.

The seismic classification is shown schematically below.

Zone 2 (medium-high seismicity)
186 total Municipalities involving the entire provinces of Florence, Massa and Carrara and Prato, the northern and eastern areas of the province of Arezzo which include the upper Valdarno, Pratomagno, Casentino and Valtiberina, the eastern end and a limited area in the northern part of the province of Grosseto, almost all of the province of Livorno including the island of Gorgona, the Garfagnana, the central-northern part of the province of Pisa, the eastern part of the province of Pistoia, the western part and the extreme southeast (Monte Amiata and Monte Cetona) of the province of Siena. Furthermore, the tsunami risk, albeit rather moderate, along the entire central-northern stretch of the Livorno coast should also be noted.

Zone 3 (low seismicity)
77 total Municipalities involving the south-western area of the province of Arezzo corresponding to the Val di Chiana in Arezzo, the northern end and the eastern part of the province of Grosseto, a large part of the province of Lucca, the southern end of the province of Pisa , the western part of the province of Pistoia, the area of the province of Siena including the Crete, the Val d'Orcia and the Sienese Val di Chiana.

Zone 4 (very low seismicity)
A total of 24 Municipalities involving all the islands of the Archipelago excluding Gorgona, the southern end of the province of Livorno and the western part of the province of Grosseto which includes the entire coastal strip, the Maremma plain and the immediate hilly hinterland.



The history of Tuscany embraces a long span of time, which ranges from prehistory to the present day, resulting fundamental from the Middle Ages onwards for the birth of the Italian language, literature and science, as well as for the Italian cultural identity (especially the Renaissance, in addition to the medieval age).

The first certain traces of human presence date back to the Paleolithic, with communities of hunter-gatherers. In the VIII millennium BC. the so-called cardial pottery culture appears in the Tuscan territory, marking the introduction of the Neolithic revolution. Between the end of the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic, in the region there are important testimonies left by the Rinaldone culture, and by the bell-shaped vase culture. With the Bronze Age the Apennine culture flourishes which will be followed by the Proto-Villanovan culture in the final phase of the Bronze Age.

Between the 10th and 8th centuries BC, the Villanovan culture, which represents the most ancient phase of Etruscan civilization, found its maximum expression in the Iron Age. While the areas of north-western Tuscany are inhabited by the ancient Ligurians. However, the border between Ligurians and Etruscans changed several times during the Iron Age. In northwestern Tuscany, the area between the Arno and Magra rivers was culturally aligned with the Etruscans in the early Iron Age, and came under Ligurian control in the late Iron Age.

The culmination of the splendor of the Etruscan civilization was reached around the 6th century BC, with possessions that ranged from the northern area of the Po Valley, known as Padana Etruria, to Campania, called Campanian Etruria: roads were built, including the well-preserved Quarries (between Sovana, Pitigliano and Sorano), they built a majestic sacred thermal complex in Bagnone a Sasso Pisano, some marshes were reclaimed and important Tuscan cities were built, such as Pisa, Arezzo, Chiusi, Volterra, Populonia, Vetulonia, Roselle, Fiesole in addition to the last important discovery, still anonymous, which arose near Prato, by Gonfienti. The level of civilization reached by this great people is testified by the interesting similarities - unusual for the Mediterranean of the time - between the rights of men and women and laying the fundamental foundations for Roman town planning.

In the III century BC. the Etruscans were defeated by the military power of Rome and, after an initial period of prosperity, due to the development of craftsmanship, of the extraction and processing of iron, of trade, the whole region declined economically, culturally and socially. The Romans, who settled in the pre-existing Etruscan localities, also founded new cities such as Florentia and Cosa, currently one of the best preserved with the walls, the forum, the acropolis and the capitolium, originally built as the Temple of Jupiter, as well as having its own currency. However, it will be from the Latin name of the Etruscans, Tusci plural of Tuscus, that the current region took the name of Etruria in Roman times, Tuscia in medieval times, and finally Tuscany.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region passed through the Ostrogothic and Byzantine dominations, before becoming the object of conquest by the Longobards (569), who erected it as a duchy with headquarters in Lucca (Duchy of Tuscia). With the fall of the Lombards by Charlemagne, the duchy became a county and later a marquisate of Lucca (Marca di Tuscia). In the 11th century the Marquisate passed to the Attoni, great Canossian feudal lords, who also owned Modena, Reggio Emilia and Mantua. The famous Countess Matilde di Canossa belonged to that family, in whose castle the meeting between Pope Gregory VII and the German emperor, Henry IV, took place. It was in this period that the phenomenon of castle building began to develop throughout the region.

In the 11th century Pisa became the most powerful and important city in Tuscany, with the extension of the dominion of the Maritime Republic to almost all of Tyrrhenian Tuscany, to the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago and to Sardinia and Corsica. To the south is the dominion of the Aldobrandeschi, an important lineage of Lombard origin, which controlled the southern part of the current provinces of Livorno and Siena, as well as the entire province of Grosseto, the territory of Mount Amiata, up to Upper Lazio, often entering in conflict with the Papacy, until the emergence of the city of Siena, which will later compete with Florence.

Around the 12th century, the period of free Municipalities began, and Pistoia became the first municipality in Italy, with the Statute of the consuls of the Municipality of Pistoia. The first forms of participatory democracy and the arts and crafts associations were born, which made Tuscany an unrepeatable example of cultural, social and economic autonomy.

Among the flowering of the various Tuscan cities, the city of Lucca can be seen becoming a very rich and prosperous center thanks to the textile production and silk trade, as well as being an important destination on the Via Francigena. Among the cities of the region, the Municipality of Florence quickly established itself, for cultural and economic but also military reasons.

In this period, which goes from the tenth to the thirteenth century, various attempts were made to create political coordination between the various Tuscan powers, from that carried out by the Marquises of Tuscany (from Hugh the Great to Beatrice of Lorraine) to that expressed by the municipalities of Tuscan League (1197). In any case, Florence will establish itself as a pan-Tuscan unifying force between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Thanks to numerous writers and artists, between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries Tuscany, and in particular the city of Florence, gave a decisive contribution to the Italian Renaissance. Having become a politically autonomous entity starting from the XII century, Tuscany also fragmented into a myriad of states among which the Republic of Florence and the Republic of Siena were the most important. The flowering of commerce led to the birth of banks in some cities of the region (Florence and Siena in primis). The unification of Tuscany under a single city began with the expansionist Florentine policy as early as the fourteenth century, when the republic began to engulf the Tuscan territories in succession, only held back by the republic of Siena, which in turn annexed almost all the territories of the Maremma and of Mount Amiata, and from the Republic of Lucca.

During the fifteenth century the Medici family came to power which, like the major Florentine families, had enriched itself with banks and had obtained political importance in the republican institutions starting from the mid-fifteenth century, with Cosimo the Elder. Starting from Lorenzo the Magnificent, Medici power was consolidated (apart from two republican interruptions from 1494 to 1512 and from 1527 to 1530): in 1532 Alessandro obtained the title of Duke of Florence and in 1569 Cosimo I that of Grand Duke of Tuscany. At this time the whole Tuscan area, except Lucca which remained an autonomous republic, Piombino which constituted a principality in its own right, and the area of Orbetello and Monte Argentario placed in the State of the Presidii, was under the Florentine lordship having fallen the republic of Siena in 1555 in the hands of the Spanish-Florentines who from 1557 had the sovereignty.

The Medici family continued to reign uninterruptedly over Tuscany until 1737. The last grand duke of the family was Gian Gastone de' Medici who had no heirs, while the last of the family, Anna Maria Luisa, electress Palatine, took charge of the Grand Duchy from death of his brother and managed thanks to his foresight to ensure that the immense artistic heritage that had become the family's heritage over the centuries could not be taken away from Florence even by the future rulers that the Grand Duchy would have.

The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, on the death of Gian Gastone, passed to the Lorraine family, in particular to Francesco Stefano di Lorena, former husband of Maria Theresa of Habsburg, Empress of Austria. He never set foot in either Tuscany or Florence, and left the administration to his son Pietro Leopoldo. The most important innovation desired by the Lorraines, thanks to Pietro Leopoldo, was the abolition (for 4 years, until 1790 when it was reinstated) of the death penalty in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, an innovation of no small importance at the time. The provision entered into force on November 30, 1786 and, taking inspiration from this, the Festa della Toscana was recently established, which is held every year on the day of this anniversary.

The only interruption to Lorraine sovereignty was the Napoleonic parenthesis which lasted until 1814, when Ferdinand III, son of Peter Leopold, was restored to the serene grand-ducal throne. Lucca and Piombino instead managed to maintain a certain autonomy with the government of Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister, during the Principality of Lucca.

Napoleon brought to Italy, and therefore also to Tuscany, which was annexed to France, the modern idea of "nation" (a concept born with the industrial revolution). Also as a reaction to French nationalism, in fact, there was also the birth of nationalist thought in Tuscany, which fueled the ideals of Italian nationalism, which had its driving force in Tuscany: the "great Tuscans" became "great Italians" and Dante, Petrarch , Boccaccio, but also Niccolò Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei, were "enrolled" as symbols of an "Italy" to be "reborn" to new life, together with all its values of communal "freedom", creativity and independence.

Thus it was that Tuscany became one of the most important centers of the Italian independence and Risorgimento movement. Conscious of the peculiarity, not to say superiority, of their homeland, the leaders of the Tuscan Risorgimento movement worked hard for Italy´s independence.

Even the last reigning grand duke, Leopold II of Tuscany, and the last Tuscan prime minister, Bettino Ricasoli, were, at different times and in different ways, convinced that in the unification of Italy, Tuscany could better maintain and develop its own identity ethnic, using a more modern term.

In short, Tuscany, which had its own well-defined ethnicity from ancient times (just look at the history of the name, which is not a Latinism - like "Italia", which was not an Italianism, otherwise it would have been "Itaglia" - but the development of the very ancient ethnonym of Etruria), he preferred to "invest" in the "Italianist" project so that in the 19th century he will give the Kingdom of Italy its immense cultural and ideal heritage, and for some years also the capital.

The last Grand Duke of Tuscany was Ferdinand's son, Leopold II, who reigned until the entry of the Tuscan territory into the nascent Italian unitary state. The Lorraine period was an enlightened period for Tuscany, starting with the government of Pietro Leopoldo (who reformed the judicial system), up to the last grand duke who obtained very positive results, with the construction of the first railways, the creation of the cadastre and the reclamation of the Maremma.

After the revolutions of 1848-1849, Leopold's return was however supported by an Austrian garrison which alienated popular sympathy. In 1859, when Tuscany was about to enter the kingdom of Northern Italy, he did not tenaciously oppose his dismissal, but left Florence peacefully leaving it in the hands of the revolutionaries. The curious expression used on the occasion, given that the revolt had begun at five in the morning, was that at six the same morning, when the grand duke left Florence, the revolution went off to breakfast. The transition from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to the Unified Italian State was the result of a bloodless revolution.

In 1847 Tuscany was completely unified with the entry of the Duchy of Lucca into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany not many years after the Unification with the Kingdom of Italy.

On 11-12 March 1860 a plebiscite was celebrated, which confirmed the union of Tuscany with the constitutional monarchy of Vittorio Emanuele II. The results of the vote were proclaimed in Florence on 15 March 1860 by Enrico Poggi, one of the ministers of the Tuscan Provisional Government. Tuscany was thus annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia and then to the nascent Kingdom of Italy.

The union with Piedmont was seen by the Tuscan moderate ruling class (headed by prominent personalities such as Bettino Ricasoli and Gino Capponi) as the best way to enhance the Tuscan peculiarities, the freedoms of the city, preserve the power of the aristocracies from the modernizing intrusiveness of Lorraine rulers. The idea, in fact, of the Tuscan moderates was to establish a sort of federation with the other Italian lands[24]. It is therefore no coincidence that in the first years of Unity, in Tuscany there was a strong federalist and autonomist movement that united all those who - from Catholics to Garibaldians, to ex-Mazzinians, from pigtails and legitimists to democrats, from Catholics to autonomists - they opposed Piedmontese administrative centralism and hoped for a federal structure of the state. This party (whose exponents include Giuseppe Montanelli, the pupil of Carlo Cattaneo, Alberto Mario, Luigi Castellazzo, Giuseppe Mazzoni, Clemente Busi, Eugenio Alberi, Father Bausa O.P., Luigi Alberti, Giuseppe Corsi, the archbishop of Pisa Cosimo Corsi, etc.) represented the most important alternative to the moderate-liberal party of the unitary government (among whose exponents was Bettino Ricasoli), and had some magazines of a certain prestige such as La Nuova Europa (federalist-democratic), La Patria and Florence (federalist-Catholics).

The history of Tuscany is identified, from this moment, with that of the Italian State, of which it belongs, while retaining its specificity that distinguishes it from all other regions.

Pending the transfer of the capital to Rome, which occurred after the Savoyard conquest of the city in 1870, Florence hosted the nation's government for five years. In the context of the post-unification contesting events, historians have inserted the mystical-revolutionary adventure of David Lazzaretti, a preacher who managed to move the crowds of the area of Mount Amiata and southern Tuscany in the name of a religious and social alternative, to faced not so much with the new national arrangements, but above all with the social fragility of that territory and the decline in the customs of the Roman clergy. For having organized a procession on Arcidosso, in which the institutions and the bourgeoisie of the time feared assaults on private property as a product of a socialism that was then only in its infancy, he was killed by the police in 1878.

During the Resistance, Tuscany was the scene of a ferocious and violent war between the partisan brigades, supported by a large part of the population (always involved in trade union and anti-fascist struggles) and the German army supported by the fascist squads. Massacres such as Sant'Anna di Stazzema remind us of the great contribution of the Tuscans to the War of Liberation and how much blood was shed without blinking, in order to free the territory from Nazi occupation.



 Demographic evolution

Tuscany has more than three and a half million inhabitants who represent about 6% of the Italian population, with a density of about 163 inhabitants per km² which is lower than the national average.

Just over 10% of the Tuscan population resides in the regional capital and about a third of the regional total in the Florence-Prato-Pistoia metropolitan area which develops without solutions of continuity in the corresponding intermontane basin. Other densely populated areas are, in descending order, the Pisan area and the lower Valdarno, the Livorno area, the coastal strip of the province of Massa and Carrara and Versilia, the Valdinievole and the Piana di Lucca and finally the Valdarno area superior between Arezzo and Florence.

On the contrary, the entire Apennine area (from Lunigiana and Garfagnana to the Casentino), the Grosseto Maremma, the Metalliferous Hills, Monte Amiata and the area south of Siena including the Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi with the Desert of Accona are the territories with the lowest population density.

From the 1970s onwards, Tuscany has seen a continuous decline in birth rates. However, the total regional population remained fairly stable until the late 1990s, when a steep increase began to occur. All this has been possible thanks to immigration from other Italian regions (especially the southern ones) and from foreign countries (a phenomenon which has become much more pronounced in the last two decades).

In 2009 there were 32,380 births (8.7‰), 42,210 deaths (11.3‰) with a natural decrease of -9,730 units compared to 2008 (-2.6‰). Families have an average of 2.32 members. On 31 December 2009, out of a population of 3,730,130 inhabitants, there were 309,651 foreigners (8.3%).


Languages and dialects

Tuscan is, after the Sardinian language, the idiom that has least deviated from Latin and has evolved in a linear and homogeneous way. It is the basis of the Italian language, thanks to the writings of Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini, who gave it the dignity of "literary language" of the peninsula. With the unification of Italy it was adopted as the official language, thanks also to the prestigious theory of Alessandro Manzoni concerning the choice of language for drafting I promessi sposi con "i lavavati in Arno". For this reason, Tuscany is the region where Italian is spoken the most in the family (83.9% of the inhabitants in 2006).

The speakers are over 3 million, subtracting from the total number of inhabitants of the region those of the province of Massa and Carrara, where northern dialects belonging to the Gallo-Italic group are spoken (Massese dialect, Carrara dialect, Lunigiana dialects). In the southern part of the region, however, the dialect of Tuscia is widespread, belonging to the western subgroup which includes the dialects of the eastern part of the province of Grosseto, in particular the Argentario area, the Tufo area and the Monte Amiata area.

The Tuscan dialect is a set of minor local dialects (vernaculars) that have some differences that distinguish them from each other. Below is the subdivision into northern, eastern, southern and western Tuscan dialects (in other classifications the western Tuscan dialects are included among the northern Tuscans, while the eastern Tuscan dialects are treated separately). However, among the dialects of Tuscan origin, the Cismontana variant of the Corsican spoken in northern Corsica should also be included.



Administrative history

After the administrative reform of 1850, the former Grand Duchy of Tuscany was divided into the "compartments" of Florence, Lucca, Arezzo, Siena, Pisa, Grosseto and Livorno with the island of Elba and into the sub-prefectures of Pistoia, Prato, San Miniato , Rocca San Casciano, Volterra, Montepulciano, Portoferraio. The so-called Romagna Toscana was also part of it, while Lunigiana and Alta Garfagnana were excluded.

In 1607 the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici purchased a series of lands from the Gonzagas of Novellara, which currently constitute a small enclave administered by Tuscany in the Romagna territory, whose localities are fractions of the municipality of Badia Tedalda, (Arezzo) like the fraction of Santa Sofia Marecchia.

With the Kingdom of Italy in 1860 the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, Lucca, Livorno, Grosseto were confirmed. The province of Livorno, made up of the capital and the islands of Elba, Gorgona, Pianosa and Montecristo, will be resized a few years later, limiting its extension to its own municipal territory. Since the 1871 census, the province of Massa and Carrara is considered a Tuscan province and no longer an Emilian one.

In 1923 Tuscany was divided into seven provinces, Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, Livorno (limited to the municipal territory only), Lucca, Massa and Grosseto.

In the same year, the municipalities of Bolano, Calice al Cornoviglio, Castelnuovo Magra, Ortonovo, Rocchetta di Vara, Santo Stefano di Magra and Sarzana were detached from the province of Massa and Carrara and ceded to the new province of La Spezia in Liguria.

Also in 1923, the district of Rocca San Casciano, the so-called Romagna Tuscany, was detached from the province of Florence, passing to the province of Forlì in Emilia-Romagna (municipalities of Bagno di Romagna, Dovadola, Galeata, Modigliana, Portico and San Benedetto, Premilcuore , Rocca San Casciano, Santa Sofia, Sorbano, Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole, Tredozio and Verghereto).

In 1925 the province of Livorno was expanded, to which the municipality of Capraia Isola, detached from the province of Genoa, and some coastal municipalities detached from the province of Pisa were added: Bibbona, Campiglia Marittima, Castagneto Carducci, Cecina, Collesalvetti, Piombino, Rosignano Marittimo, Sassetta and Suvereto. The islands of the Tuscan archipelago are returned to the province of Livorno: the island of Elba, Gorgona, Pianosa and Montecristo while as partial compensation the northern area of the provincial territory corresponding to the localities of Tirrenia and Calambrone is ceded to the province of Pisa.

In 1927 the province of Pistoia was created, detaching from the province of Florence the municipalities of Agliana, Cutigliano, Lamporecchio, Larciano, Marliana, Montale, Pistoia, Piteglio, San Marcello Pistoiese, Serravalle Pistoiese and Tizzana (today Quarrata).

In the same year, the municipalities of Monterchi and Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, which until then had been in the province of Arezzo, were detached and assigned to the province of Perugia, in Umbria.

In 1928 the province of Pistoia was enlarged with some municipalities taken from the province of Lucca: Bagni di Montecatini, today Montecatini Terme, Buggiano, Massa and Cozzile, Monsummano Terme, Montecatini Val di Nievole, today Montecatini Alto, a hamlet of Montecatini Terme, Pescia, Ponte Buggianese, Uzzano and Vellano, today a hamlet of Pescia.

In 1936, on the occasion of the establishment of the municipality of Abetone, an area beyond the pass that was already part of the Emilian municipality of Fiumalbo on the Modena side was assigned to Tuscany.

In 1939, following protests from the population, the municipality of Monterchi returned to the province of Arezzo.

In 1992 the new province of Prato was established, which includes, in addition to the capital, the municipalities of Cantagallo, Carmignano, Montemurlo, Poggio a Caiano, Vaiano and Vernio taken from the province of Florence; the number of Tuscan provinces thus rises to ten.



In absolute terms, referring to the period 2000-2008, Tuscany is the sixth region in Italy in terms of GDP produced, just behind Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, while in terms of GDP per inhabitants, Tuscany is the eighth region according to data from the period 2000-2008.

The regional data divided by macro sectors of activity is in line with the same data expressed on a national basis. The region's economy is predominantly based on the tertiary sector, fueled mainly by tourism. Tourist arrivals in 2007 were 5,542,937 Italians and 5,885,545 foreigners. However, in Tuscany there are numerous industrial districts scattered throughout the territory, which have a profound impact on the economy on a local scale. Agriculture and livestock farming, thanks to their quality products, are also of considerable importance, despite creating a marginal number of jobs compared to other sectors.


Land use

The Tuscan territory, occupied by urbanized areas for just over 4% of its extension, is covered for almost 44% by woods, which mainly affects the Apennine and Amiata mountain areas, the higher hilly areas such as the Colline Metallifere and the Chianti mountains and areas near the coastal strip. Broad-leaved trees are the predominant essences, while conifers dominate along the coastal strip (maritime pine forests) and in the high mountains (fir trees); in the Grosseto Maremma and in the surrounding hilly areas the cork oak (Quercus suber) is also widespread. The cultivated areas represent approximately 39% of the regional territory and mainly occupy the plains (arable land), the internal valleys and the medium-low hill areas (vineyards and olive groves). The shrubby vegetation covers almost 7% of the territory and is characterized by the low Mediterranean scrub and the garrigue in the areas close to the Maremma coastal strip, and by the bushes of the internal reliefs. Pastures and natural meadows occupy approximately 5% of the territory, especially scattered in the internal hilly areas and more clearly in the Grosseto Maremma, especially in the heart of the Maremma Natural Park. 0.6% of the territory is characterized by areas with the absence or scarcity of vegetation (badlands and biancane of the Accona Desert and the Crete Senesi and rocky hilly and mountainous areas), while approximately 0.4% is occupied by humid areas ( lagoons, swamps, lakes and ponds).


Agriculture and livestock farming

Agriculture and livestock farming are still of considerable importance in the twenty-first century, given the quality of the products supplied. Furthermore, Tuscany was the first region in Europe to have approved a specific law prohibiting the cultivation and production of genetically modified organisms and their consumption in public canteens (L.R. 53 of 6 April 2000); in fact the regional territory can be defined as GMO-free.



In mountain areas, agriculture is characterized by marginal production characterized by the collection of mushrooms, chestnuts and truffles.

The hill is essentially characterized by olive groves and vineyards.

Regarding extra virgin olive oil, it is worth mentioning the presence of a regional PGI (Tuscan), one of which mentions Montalbano (as per the regulations), and five PDOs (Chianti Classico, Colli Fiorentini, Lucca, Terre di Siena and Tuscia ).

For wines, we highlight the global importance of Tuscan wines which include 6 DOCGs - Carmignano (Province of Prato), Brunello di Montalcino Chianti (with its 8 sub-areas), Morellino di Scansano (from the 2007 vintage), Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - and 34 DOC.

The lower hills and the plain are characterized by nursery farming (province of Pistoia), horticulture, cereal-fodder crops, sunflowers, corn, beetroot and saffron (provinces of Siena, Grosseto and Florence).

The Tuscan cigar is very famous throughout the world, produced with Kentucky-type tobacco leaves grown in Val di Chiana and in the Tuscan Valtiberina. Sunflowers and fruit trees are also grown in Tuscany.


Breeding and animal husbandry

Breeding and animal husbandry are mainly based on native cattle and pig breeds which provide highly prized meat.

Among the cattle, the Chianina, Maremmana, Calvanina and Garfagnina breeds stand out, all bred in the wild, a characteristic which meant that their meat was highly sought after even during the years of the crisis in the sector due to BSE (a disease never found in native breeds Tuscan). Among the pigs, the highly prized Cinta Senese breed stands out above all, bred in the wild and semi-wild state in various areas of the provinces of Siena and Florence and in the Colline Metallifere area.

Among the native sheep breeds, the Massese, originally from the area of the city of Massa, the Pomarancina and the Zerasca, originally from Lunigiana, are being recovered, in a period contrasted by sporadic cases of the "red tongue disease".

The most widespread native horses at a regional level are the Maremma and the Bardigiano which are bred for tourist and sporting events (the Monterufolino horse is in the recovery phase after having risked extinction).

The white Leghorn hen, also known as the Leghorn breed, has international fame and its international diffusion began in the 19th century.


Commerce and tertiary sector

Trade and the tertiary sector represent one of the main sources of the economy for the region, being a source of employment for approximately 2/3 of the residents. In addition to the traditional Tuscan trade model (based on small or medium-sized businesses, often family-run and on local fairs and markets), both tourism and services (banks and insurance) are of considerable importance.



Tourism represents one of the main economic resources of the region. In 2019, there were approximately 16,500 accommodation facilities, for a total number of beds exceeding 566,000 units. 83% of the offer is made up of the non-hotel sector with a prevalence of agritourism facilities which represent over 30% of the accommodation offer.

If we compare the accommodation offer, in terms of beds, with the resident population, the municipalities of Bibbona, Capoliveri, San Vincenzo and Castiglione della Pescaia are those with the greatest intensity, with a percentage accommodation rate that exceeds 200%, therefore in these places the accommodation facilities present can host a potential number of visitors that is more than double the resident population. Without considering the rental flows, Tuscany in 2019 counted over 48,400,000 presences and 14,500,000 arrivals.

The average stay of those staying in Tuscany is around three days, but, with specific reference to the non-hotel sector, it rises to five days. The most numerous foreigners come from: Germany, United States of America, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and Switzerland (including Liechtenstein).

80% of tourist demand is concentrated in art cities and seaside resorts, the rest is divided between the countryside, hills and mountains. The municipalities with the relatively higher percentage of presences, in decreasing order, are: Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia, San Vincenzo, Orbetello, Grosseto, Siena, Bibbona, Viareggio, Capoliveri. In the Tuscan tourist areas, together with the Florentine area, the Etruscan Coast holds the relatively largest share of presences, immediately followed by Maremma, Terre di Pisa and Elba Island.