Surface (Kmq): 22993
Density (Inhabitants/Kmq.): 153
Main city: Firenze (FI)
Other towns: Arezzo (AR); Grosseto (GR); Livorno (LI); Lucca (LU); Massa - Carrara (MS); Pisa (PI); Pistoia (PT); Prato (PO); Siena (SI)
The Tuscan landscape is mainly mountainous and hilly, stretching over the slope of the Apennines and across a flat area (the Maremma) to the Tyrrhenian sea. Tuscany is unrivalled as a cradle of art. One can find examples of every age and style: from the Etruscan civilisation to Roman monuments and ruins; from the Romanesque architecture to the impressive Gothic cathedrals, to the exceptional artistic explosion of the Renaissance. Florence has preserved its masterpieces and great works of architecture over the centuries. The most important collection of paintings in the world is offered by the city's Uffizi Gallery, while there are 15th century shops on the Ponte Vecchio. Siena is another well-preserved medieval city, boasting the beautiful Piazza del Campo. Pisa has the Campo dei Miracoli, with the famous Leaning Tower. In addition to art, Tuscany offers scenes of outstanding natural beauty.
WINES OF TOSCANA
Tuscany's winemaking industry counts on one of the most noble and ancient traditions that predates the universally known Chianti wine that often springs to mind when this region is discussed.
Long before the first Etruscans made their appearance, wild vines grew in abundance all over the sunny rolling hills of Tuscany. The Etruscans are believed to have domesticated and bred the forbears of such grapes as the Sangiovese and the Lambrusco from those early feral grapes. No matter where or how the first vines originated, grapes and the much sought after wines they were made into have been celebrated in local literature throughout the history of the region, and through the paintings and pottery decorations of those original ancient Etruscans.
The hilly landscape and the weather conditions of Tuscany are ideal for grape growing and, with the passing centuries, the numerous types of grapes grown gave rise to some rare and much loved varieties. Nowadays, the most commonly grown grape variety is the noble Sangiovese, which is often combined with small amounts of locally grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and other grapes into wonderful wines such as the Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Carmignano and, of course, the signature Tuscan wines, the Chianti and Chianti Classico, which probably are the best known Italian wines in the world. Other grapes grown here are the Mammolo, Malvasia, Colorino, Raspirosso, Gamay, Grand Noir, Barbera, Moscatello, Aleatico and Vernaccia, among others.
Tuscany accounts for over thirty DOC and half a dozen DOCG wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated reds, the local production includes a few distinguishable whites, the most notable among them being, without doubt, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Other delicious whites include the Bianco d'Elba, from the Elba Island, Bianco di Bolgheri, Vermentino, Bianco di Pitigliano and Bianco di Val di Nievole. (Bianco in Italian means, "white").
Last but not least, we must not forget the famous Vin Santo, or “Holy Wine”, a dessert delicacy usually made from Trebbiano grapes that have been left to dry in an airy place until the start of Holy Week before being made into wine.
The DOC wines from Toscana are:
Bianco della Valdinievole
Bianco di Pitigliano
Bianco pisano di San Torpé
Bolgheri e Bolgheri Sassicaia
Candia dei Colli Apuani
Colli dell'Etruria centrale
Colli di Luni
Morellino di Scansano
Moscadello di Montalcino
Rosso di Montepulciano
Rosso di Montalcino
Val di Cornia
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico
Vin Santo di Montepulciano
Vin Santo del Chianti