Tuscany is an Italian region located in central Italy, with its capital Florence.
It is bordered to the northwest by Liguria, Emilia-Romagna to the north, on the east by the Marche and Umbria and Lazio to the south.
To the west, its 397 km of continental coasts are bathed from the Ligurian Sea in north-central section between Carrara (Parmignola mouth of the river, the border with Liguria) and the Gulf of Baratti and the Tyrrhenian Sea washes instead of the coastal stretch between the southern promontory of Piombino and the mouth of Chiarone, which marks the border with Lazio.
The regional capital is Florence, the most populous city, and the main fulcrum of history, art, economic and administrative, the other provincial capitals are: Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.
Tuscany also administers the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, in addition to a small enclave located within the borders of Emilia-Romagna, in which there are a few hamlets of Badia Tedalda.
Due to its history and its strong cultural and linguistic unity, is one of the Italian regions with the oldest and defined identity, as to be seen by some as a true "nation."
The name is very ancient and is derived from Greek and Latin dall'etnonimo used to define the land inhabited by the Etruscans, "Etruria" was later turned into "Tuscia" and then in "Tuscany".
The borders of present-day Tuscany correspond broadly to those ancient Etruria, which also included parts of the current regions of Lazio and Umbria, to the Tiber.
Until 1861 was an independent entity, known as the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Since then he has been part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of Italy and today the Italian Republic.
In the Grand Duchy era also had a hymn, composed by the Florentine Aegisthus Mosell and named Leopolda.
The regional festival, established in 2001, marks the 30 November in remembrance of that day of 1786 when it was abolished the death penalty in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Mountains and hills
Both north and east Tuscany is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, but the territory is hilly.
The highest peak in the region is Mount Prado (2054 m), ground on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines in Garfagnana, on the border with Emilia-Romagna.
In the region there are other mountain ranges noteworthy outside of the Apennines: the Apuan Alps in the north-west, Mount Pisano between Pisa and Lucca, Pistoia mountains to the north of Pistoia, the Mountains of Calvana north of Prato, the mountains of Chianti between Siena and Arezzo.
In the province of Arezzo Pratomagno divides the Valdarno from Casentino, also in the province of Arezzo, in the north-east of the Alpe Catenaia is separated from the Apennines by the Tiber, the metalliferous hills to the south-west between the provinces of Livorno, Pisa, Siena and Grosseto and the massifs of Monte Amiata and Cetona mountain to the south-east, Mount Falterona, where the river Arno and the mountain Smokestack where does the Tiber.
Among the hill systems in the central part of the region we find, from west to east, the hills of Livorno, the Pisan hills, the Cliffs of Volterra, the Montalbano hills of the Chianti hills and the Tiber Valley.
The southern area of the region is characterized by the metalliferous hills to the west, the hills of Val di Merse, the Crete Senesi, the hills of the Valley dell'Ombrone, Hills dell'Albegna and Fiora, the Area del Tufo and hills of the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana.
In Tuscany there are flat areas both along the coast and inland.
The coastline includes the plains of Versilia, on the last stretch of the Lower Valdarno (which opens in the plain of Pisa) and the Maremma (the largest lowland), while the inland plain is the main Valdarno which extends from east to west along the course of the river, including the cities of Arezzo, Florence and Pisa.
Other plains of the interior are the plain of Florence-Prato-Pistoia (in continuity of the middle Valdarno), Piana di Lucca, Valdinievole, the Era, the Val d'Elsa, Val di Chiana, Val di Cecina and Val di Cornia , Val di Pecora, Val d'Orcia, the Valdisieve, dell'Ombrone Valley, Val Bisenzio Valdambra and the Serchio Valley.
Coasts and Islands
Tuscany, the Ligurian Sea in the north-central part and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the south, is characterized by a continental coastline very diverse in its characteristics.
Overall, the continental coasts appear shallow and sandy, except for a few headlands that rise between Livorno and Vada, north of Piombino, including Scarborough, Punta Ala and Castiglione, between Marina di Alberese and Talamone Argentario and Ansedonia.
The Tuscan Archipelago is made up of seven main islands and several smaller islets, many of which are simple dry or rocky outcrops, largely protected by the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago.
The main island is the Island of Elba, bathed from the Ligurian Sea to the north, on the east by the Piombino Channel to the south and west by the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Corsica Channel, the island presents an alternation of low and sandy coasts and high, jagged coastlines where there are picturesque inlets.
To the north of the island of Elba are the Capraia Island, in the Corsica Channel, and the Isle of Gorgona in the Ligurian Sea, both with rugged coastline.
To the south lie the island of Elba Island Pianosa, and completely flat with gentle undulations, with both sandy and rocky shores, the island of Monte Cristo with high and rugged coastline except for the area of the landing, the 'Isola del Giglio with mostly high and rocky coasts, except for a few coves and the beach of Campese, Giannutri with rocky coasts while presenting only a region characterized by undulations and irregularities lightweight.
Among the smaller islands, shoals and reefs, there are the islands of Cerboli, Palmaiola, the Ants of Grosseto, the Formica di Burano, the Rock of Africa or Formica of Monte Cristo, the Meloria Shoals and Shoals Vada.
Tourism is a major economic resources of Tuscany.
More than 40% of the flow is poured into the seaside resorts of the main recall Viareggio, Castiglione della Pescaia and Versilia; an emblematic example is the Grosseto ten times that in summer the number of residents.
Another significant figure is given by visitors to the art cities and smaller centers of art, with Florence that exceeds 1011 million visitors a year.
In recent years it has been very well developed rural tourism that joins the spa (Chianciano Terme, Montecatini Terme, Saturnia) and the mountains both summer and winter (ski Abetone and Mount Amiata).
Tuscany is known worldwide for its great wealth of monuments and works of art, famous throughout the world are the cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca, and lesser-known but no "second" to the centers mentioned above as a wealth of monuments are the centers of Arezzo, Carrara, Pistoia and Prato, and finally, practically "unpublished" tourism albeit characterized by fine monuments are the cities of Livorno, Grosseto and Massa.
Not least are the many small towns, some of them real well preserved historic towns, custodians of works of art of inestimable value.
UNESCO world heritage sites
Italy is the country that the world can boast the largest number of sites inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Italy, the Italian region Tuscany, Lombardy after (though it shares with four out of nine other Italian regions and foreign countries) to vantarne to 2013, over as many as seven, and all exclusively within the territory of Tuscany .
The sites are:
- Florence's historic center, 1982
- Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, 1987
- the historic center of San Gimignano, 1990
- Siena's historic center, 1995
- old town of Pienza, 1996
- Val d'Orcia, 2004
- Medici villas, 2013
Ports and Navigation
The port of Livorno is the most important in Tuscany and one of the major Italian ports and the entire Mediterranean Sea, primarily for passengers and for freight.
The navigation is one of the fundamental modes of transport, thanks to the many ports in Tuscany.
From Porto Santo Stefano for ferries to the island of Giglio and Giannutri from Piombino are secured connections with the Isle of Elba, Corsica and Sardinia, while Livorno numerous shipping routes connecting the islands of Corsica to Tuscany , Sardinia, Sicily, Capraia and Gorgona.
Many are also ports and marinas scattered along the coasts of the region and of the archipelago, where you can moor the boats and use of services.
Tuscany has always been a region famous for its wines, which are currently divided into DOCG, DOC, IGT as well as numerous, among which also some productions of the highest level, known in the wine world by the name of Super Tuscans.
While areas of central Tuscany (Florence and Siena) are known around the world for several decades for the production of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, in recent years have established the wines produced in coastal areas (provinces of Livorno and Grosseto), favored most by the milder climate, dry and sunny, among them the excellence of Bolgheri Sassicaia and Tignanello, the structure and balance of the red wines of Maremma (Morellino di Scansano, Montecucco and Monteregio of Massa Marittima) and the harmony of white (Ansonica).
Increasingly also listed on the red and white wines of the province of Arezzo.
Among other Tuscan wines, can be remembered Carmignano, one of the oldest wines from Tuscany produced in the homonymous municipality in the province of Prato, the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the Pitigliano, Montescudaio and Vin Santo.
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