Fun and interesting facts about Tuscany for kids and adults you will love.
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful parts of Italy, but did you know it is also a very interesting one?
A region with a long history, it gave birth to many Italian artists and scientists and played an important role in shaping the Italian language.
These are fun and interesting Tuscany facts we are sure you will love!
In this post we will cover:
- Facts about Tuscany geography and history
- Fun facts and curiosities about this beautiful region
- Tuscany food facts
Interesting and fun facts about Tuscany Italy
Tuscany is a region in central Italy. Its borders are with Lazio (South), Umbria and Marche ( East), Emilia Romagna (North East), Liguria (North West) and the Tyrrhenian sea
The biggest city in Tuscany is Florence/Florence, the region capital or capoluogo di regione, in Italian
Tuscany is organized in 10 provinces: Arezzo, Firenze, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, Siena
It also counts 273 municipalities!
Tuscany wasn’t always one region.
Over the course of the centuries, its cities developed as independent municipalities and where at the heart of the development of this part of Italy and also of many wars for the supremacy over the area.
Florence and Siena, now two of the most famous and popular cities in Tuscany for visitors used to be arch rivals and fought at length for domination of the land in this part of Italy.
The many walled towns Tuscany still treasures are a result of those wars.
Outstanding examples of Tuscany walled towns are Lucca and Monteriggioni but Pienza, Montepulciano and San Quirico d’Orcia and San Gimignano also have impressive walls and city gates and so do many smaller Tuscan centers in central Tuscany.
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Tuscany celebrates its birthday on the 30th of November, the of ‘festa della Toscana’
Tuscany is the Italian region with highest number of soccer teams! Some of the most famous are from Florence, Siena and Livorno.
Tuscany is considered the cradle of the Italian Language and for many years it was considered the standard language for written Italian.
Alessandro Manzoni, Italy’s first and most famous novelist, went to Florence to refine the language of his famous novel I promessi sposi (The Betrothed).
The expression he used to talk about this exercise was ‘to rinse laundry in the Arno River’ (sciacquare i panni in in Arno), meaning he wanted to give cadences of the Tuscan dialect to his written word (he was from Milan)
Paved streets were born in Tuscany! More precisely in Florence, in 1339
Tuscany has 7 UNESCO world heritage sites: Florence City Center, Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli, the historic center of Siena, Pienza, San Gimignano, Val d’Orcia, Medici’s Villas inlcuding Villa Demidoff, home to the astounding Pratolino’s Giant.
The town of San Gimignano has so many medieval towers it is often called the Manhattan of the middle ages!
Tuscany has one city that is a ‘perfect town’! It is called Pienza and was redesigned in the Renaissance by order of Pope Pius II according to the standards of the ‘ideal city’. It is indeed a lovely place!
One village in Tuscany turns itself into a living stage in the summer, hosting widely praised performances by its community members: it is called Monticchiello and it is interesting and beautiful to visit.
One of Tuscany’s prettiest villages has a central square with a hot water pool! The village is called Bagno Vignoni and is famous for beautiful and pleasant natural hot springs.
Pinocchio was born in Tuscany from the imagination of author Carlo Collodi in 1826.
This explain why Tuscany has the fun Parco Pinocchio, a great place to go if visiting Tuscany with kids.
Leonardo da Vinci was from Tuscany, and precisely the town of Vinci (‘da’ in Italian means ‘from’)
Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy was from Florence.
From Tuscany were also Michelangelo, Giotto, Petrarca, Machiavelli, Donatello, Puccini, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Amerigo Vespucci, Carducci, Galileo Galilei…
Tuscany is beloved by Hollywood directors: Twilight New Moon, The Gladiator, under the Tuscan sun, just to name some of the most famous filmed made here.
In Tuscany, you can see the real ‘sword in the stone’. It is in the wonderful Abbey of San Galgano
The leaning tower of Pisa is the most impressive of all leaning towers in Tuscany but not the only one! While no other compares with it, you can find leaning tower in other Tuscan town and even in other areas of Italy such as Burano, in Veneto
Fun Tuscany fact for animal lovers: Tuscany is home to a rare seagull! Smaller than the more common Gabbiano Reale, it feeds on fish exclusively and is peculiar of this part of Italy and became the symbol of the Tuscan archipelago!
Tuscany has several islands. The archipelago Toscano includes: Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio e Giannutri.
These islands are said to have mythological origins: the story goes that Goddess Aphrodites emerged from the waters in this area and lost 7 beads from her necklace that became the 7 island of the Tuscany archipelago.
The Standhal Syndrome was first described when Stendhal visited the basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. He found the art in it so astounding that he felt anxiety and vertigo, a syndrome now known with his name or also as ‘Syndrome of Florence’!
Tuscany didn’t only give birth to sculptors but also to one of the most sought after materials they used: Carrara’s marble, coming from the Tuscan city of Carrara
Tuscany is famous for the production of the delicious wine.
Among the most famous there are the wines from the Chianti area, Morellino di Scansano, Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Tuscany is famous for its peculiar bread which is made with no salt ‘pane sciocco’.
The origin of this delicious bread is said to be a tax on salt so steep that lead Florentine people to come up with a creative solution to avoid it!
Tuscany is famous for having some of the best foods in Italy.
As well as pane sciocco, some famous Tuscany dishes are pappa col pomodoro (tomato based soup), bistecca alla fiorentina (steak), ribollita (soup), panino col lesso (boiled beef panino) and cantucci col vin santo (biscuits served with dessert wine), just to name a few.
I hope you enjoyed these Tuscany facts and they helped you answers some of the questions you had about Tuscany!