Tuscany is without a doubt one of the most renowned and appreciated regions of Italy for the beauty of its landscape, its incredible historic, artistic and cultural heritage, its tasty cuisine, the excellent quality of wines and the beautiful cities. Tuscany was the cradle of Renaissance and homeland of many important personalities (painters, writers, poets, scientists, politicians) and under the Lorena family it became the first nation to abolish death sentence. It is located in central Italy and borders with Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Lazio while on the western side it leans over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Land is mainly covered in hills (66.5%), but there is no scarcity of plains (8.4%) and imposing mountains (25.1%). Apennines crosses the eastern side of the region and the highest peak is Monte Prado (2.054 m). The amplest lake is Montedoglio (even if it’s not a natural basin) and the longest river the Arno (241 km), since Tiber only crosses a small section of the region (the Tiber Valley). With a coastline of over 630 km, Tuscany also possesses several islands such as Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona. Among the most beautiful locations one must cite the Chianti Hills and the areas where many wonderful wines are produced. Three are the national parks: the Arcipelago Toscano, the Foreste Casentinesi and the one located on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. All in all, almost 10% of Tuscany is covered in protected natural areas.
Agriculture and breeding are fundamental part of the region’s economy with a huge production of olive oil and wines. Famous names include the Montalbano IGP, DOP Chianti Classico and DOP Terre di Siena olive oils and many famous and world-appreciated wines: the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, the various Chianti DOCG wines, Morellino di Scansano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Lower areas are characterized by cereals, sunflowers, saffron, corn and beetroot. Another widely known specialty is the Tuscan cigar, produced with leaves harvested in Valdichiana and Tiber Valley. Widely sought are the mushrooms growing in the mountain areas of the region, together with chestnuts and truffles. Breeding farms are specialized in bovine (Chianina and Maremmana) and swine meat (Cinta Senese). Other activities include manufacture, trading and tourism.
The region is split into ten provinces: Florence, Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Prato, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena. These are all fascinating cities (in every aspect) and each year they are “invaded” by crowds of tourists from all over the world. Let’s just remember Tuscany hosts seven UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites: the historic centers of Florence, San Gimignano, Siena and Pienza, Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, the Val d’Orcia and the Medicean Villas scattered across the region (some examples are Villa di Cafaggiolo, Villa del Trebbio, Villa di Careggi, Villa medicea di Fiesole, Villa di Poggio a Caiano, Villa di Castello, Villa La Petraia, Villa di Cerreto Guidi, Palazzo di Seravezza, Villa di Poggio Imperiale, Villa La Magia and Villa di Artimino).
Among the illustrious “sons” of Tuscany were Giotto, Dante Alighieri, Leonardo da Vinci, Piero della Francesca, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Niccolò Machiavelli, Giorgio Vasari, Francesco Petrarca, Beato Angelico, Giovanni Boccaccio, Amerigo Vespucci, Lorenzo il Magnifico, Masaccio, Donatello, Cimabue and Carlo Collodi.
Through Romolini Immobiliari – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent castles, luxury villas, Agriturismos, sea view villas, luxury apartments, countryside villas, period mansions, restored mills, country houses, exclusive penthouses, hotels, apartments with garden, B&B, historic villas, boutique hotels, old monasteries and Relais in the dream-landscape of Tuscany.
Tuscany was already inhabited during the Paleolithic age, a period notable for the presence of remains linked to two different Homo species (between 90,000 and 40,000 years ago): Homo Heidelbergensis (Valdarno) and Homo Neanderthalensis (Siena, Valdarno). Other notable remains date back to the 6th millennium b.C. (Cardium pottery) and the 3rd and 2nd millennium b.C. (Beaker pottery).
Between the 10th and 8th century we can find the remains of the so-called Villanovan civilization, the first one working metals in the area. The Etruscan people, a people of unknown origin probably native of Anatolia, took possession of the entire Tuscany (expanding then further towards north in the Pianura Padana and south towards Campania) and developed the traits of a first real civilization.
Tuscany lived a period of prosperity under the Etruscan domination until the 3rd century when the entire Etruria was annexed to the Roman domain, losing its cultural identity. The concession of Roman citizenship to the Tuscan people in 89 b.C. marked the final disappearance of the Etruscan civilization.
The roman domination led to the foundation of several cities (among which Florence and Cosa) which grew next to the Etruscan towns already in place (such as Arezzo, Vetulonia and Roselle). The region was particularly appreciated by Roman noblemen who had their villas built in the area while at the same time vineyards and olive grove were planted on the hills and along the coasts. The crisis for the Regio VII came with the 2nd century A.D. when concurrency from Spain and Egypt made it impossible for Tuscan farmers to produce enough at a sustainable cost, which meant shifting from labor-intensive plantations to a less demanding production (cereals). The progressive abandonment of the land caused the coasts to be invaded and overcome by swamps, a problem solved only in the first half of the 20th century.
The barbaric invasions which caused the fall of the Roman Empire led several Germanic people into Italy, among which Ostrogoths and Longobards. The latter, fighting against Byzantines, divided their reign and Tuscany became a duchy with Lucca as capital (Duchy of Tuscia). At the end of the Langobardic period, Tuscany became a marquisate under the reign of Charlemagne and as such it remained until the emperor’s death. During the 11th century the marquisate was acquired by the Attoni family (from Canossa) and at the same time an intense and impressive process of encastellation started in the region with the foundation and fortification of several towns: Monteriggioni, Trequanda, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Bucine and Montalcino. On the Tyrrhenian coast, Pisa managed to become totally independent, gaining the upper hand in the region, while on the eastern border the Aldobrandeschi family got hold of Livorno, Siena and Grosseto.
At the turning of the 12th century, Tuscany saw the rise of the Free Communes, where several cities gave themselves their own form of pseudo-democratic government. That’s the period which saw Florence and Siena becoming the major powers of the region.
Florence, at the end of the 14th century, became the cradle of that artistic and literary movement then called Renaissance, thanks to important figures like Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, members of the Medici family, the bankers which managed to became the ruler of Florence. They would lead the war against Siena, defeating it (1555) and taking control of the entire region, which remained in their hand until 1737 (when Gian Gastone, the last member of the family, died without any heir).
The Austrian family of Lorena gained the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as compensation for some of the events occurred during the War of the Polish succession. Under the guidance of Pietro Leopoldo Tuscany made numerous steps towards political and social reformation: death penalty and internal customs were abolished, while the cadastre was introduced.
The Napoleonic parenthesis (over in 1814) briefly interrupted the Lorena’s domination who, back on the throne after the Congress of Vienna, didn’t oppose the vox populi demanding the annexation of the region to the newborn Kingdom of Italy in 1860. Florence even became capital of Italy in 1865 and remained such until 1870 with the conquest of Rome.
The region then followed the events of the Kingdom of Italy through the wars and the following economic boom.
Tuscany is dotted by wonderful city of arts, visited every year by millions of tourists from every corner of the world. This discovery tour cannot start in other places than Florence. In each of the most beautiful towns and cities of Tuscany, through Romolini Immobiliari – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent luxury villas, period mansion, farmhouses, luxury apartments, prestigious penthouses and apartments with garden.
- FLORENCE is the regional capital of Tuscany and the 8th Italian city for residents. What’s more, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1871) and the cradle of Renaissance. Its historic centre, as a whole, is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited locations of Italy. Undisputed ruler of the scene is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its white and green marbles façade. The church is mainly known for the impressive Dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and Giotto’s bell tower. Many of the best Florentine artists contributed to this wonder: Giotto, Vasari, Talenti, Arnolfo di Cambio, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Brunelleschi. Piazza del Signoria has been for centuries the heart of the political life and still nowadays is one of the most fascinating and captivating landmarks of Florence. Here, one can find Palazzo Vecchio, a perfect example of 14th century civic architecture. The building is still nowadays a place of power and is easily recognizable for the Arnolfo’s Tower (built 1310 and 94 m tall). Many statues (often copies of the originals) can be seen in the square such as Michelangelo’s David, Cellini’s Perseus, Ammannati’s Neptune’s Fountain... The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most known and visited museums in the world and is particularly sought by Renaissance’s lovers. Ponte Vecchio is a unique bridge crossing the Arno and hosts nowadays jewelers’ and luxury items boutiques. It is worth remembering that even the retreating Nazis in 1944 chose not to destroy the bridge (the only one which then survived in the city however blocked at both ends with rubbles of nearby destroyed buildings). Linked to Ponte Vecchio is the Corridoio Vasariano, a long elevated gallery linking Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Vecchio, passing through Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1565. Palazzo Pitti was originally built by the Pitti family in 1457 and soon became Medici’s residence. Nowadays the palace is a museum and is connected with the magnificent Giardino di Boboli, one of the finest examples of Italian garden. Santa Maria Novella was designed by Leon Battista Alberti and marked the birth of the Italian Renaissance. Santa Croce, similar in appearance to Santa Maria Novella hosts the tombs of many important Florentine and Tuscan artists and personalities (Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Vittorio Alfieri and Niccolò Machiavelli). On the other bank of the Arno one can find Piazzale Michelangelo, a panoramic terrace offering a unique view over the historic centre of Florence.
- AREZZO is a city of art and history. Heart of Arezzo is Piazza Grande with its palaces, churches, loggias and boutiques. This square hosts each year the Giostra del Saracino (a medieval tournament) and the antiques market. Other landmarks include the Duomo di San Donato (built atop the hill in the center of the city, Saint Francis’ Church (with Piero della Francesca’s frescoes), the Basilica di San Domenico (which hosts Cimabue’s crucifix), the Roman amphitheater, Piazza Guido Monaco, the Palazzo Pretorio, Petrarca’s house (nowadays an Academy), Corso Italia, the Medieval Art Museum and the Vasarian Museum & Archive. Arezzo is also known for the goldsmithing activity.
- CARRARA is the most important centre in the world when we speak of marbles and quarries. Carrara’s white marble is exported all over the world for its perfection and color. Needless to say, churches in Carrara are covered in marble: Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Saint Francis’ Church, the Chiesa Evangelista Metodista. Another landmark worth mentioning is the Palazzo Ducale (now housing an Art school).
- GROSSETO is the main city of Maremma and boasts an interesting historic centre inside the Medicean walls. The old city has a hexagonal plan which is still visible even today after many centuries. The most interesting religious landmarks are San Lorenzo’s Cathedral, Saint Peter’s Church and Saint Francis’ Churches. Other monuments include the Bastione Fortezza, the Cassero Senese, Palazzo Aldobrandeschi, Corso Carducci and Porta Vecchia.
- LIVORNO (as we know it today) is a pretty recent town, born with the fortification of a small fishers’ village at the end of the Middle Ages. Symbol of the town is the Fortezza Vecchia, a keep built in the 16th century to protect the Medicean harbor. The Fortezza Nuova is built instead in a water pond inside the city and is reached via a small bridge. Particularly interesting is the Quartiere Venezia, an evocative neighborhood characterized by channels, alleys, bridges and storage rooms used by the docks. The most interesting religious landmarks are Saint Francis’ Cathedral, Saint Martin’s Church and the Santuario di Montenero.
- LUCCA kept its independence for many centuries and still maintains its fascination nowadays. Particularly interesting are the 16th century walls encircling the city center and extremely well-preserved. Walls run for 4 kilometers and is interrupted by several doors and towers. Lucca’s nickname is “the city of the hundreds churches” and many of them are really worth a visit: Saint Martin’s Cathedral, the Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, the Basilica di San Frediano and the Certosa di Farneta. Among the most beautiful view there are the Torre Guinigi, Torre delle Ore, Piazza Napoleone, Via Fillungo, Palazzo Ducale and the National Museum of Villa Mansi.
- MASSA is a modern city, but many Renaissance buildings can be found in its historic centre, the main landmark being the Malaspina Castle. Among the monuments worth seeing are the Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Francesco, Piazza Aranci, Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Guglielmi, Piazza Martana (with the old ducal stables), Piazza Mercato, Piazza Mercurio, the Guglielmi Theater, the Diocesan Museum. A bit more recent is the antiaircraft bunker built during World War II to protect Massa’s citizens from bombings.
- PISA is located not far from Arno’s mouth and is another Tuscan gem. Heart of the city is Piazza dei Miracoli. Here one can find the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Maggiore (built between 1063 and 1118), the Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery and the famous Leaning Tower, one of the most appreciated monuments in the world. The Torre di Pisa is 56 m tall, built in the 12th century, and got its visible incline less than ten years after its completion. Piazza dei Miracoli as a whole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- PISTOIA was one of the most important free communes of Tuscany until it became part of the Grand Duchy, which threw it in a corner under Florentine rule. The main church is the Cattedrale di San Zeno, housing Saint Jacob silver altar. Among the non-religious buildings, the following are worth mentioning: Palazzo dei Vescovi, Palazzo Pretorio, Palazzo Panciatichi, Palazzo del Comune, the Medicean Fortress, Catilina’s Tower, the Ospedale del Ceppo and the Civic Museum.
- PRATO is located a stone’s throw from Florence and is one of the most important textile manufacture centre. Among the most beautiful landmarks are the Cattedrale di Santo Stefano, the Castello dell’Imperatore (built in the 13th century), the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, the Basilica dei Santi Vincenzo e Caterina de’ Ricci, the Chiesa di San Domenico and Francesco Datini’s statue.
- SIENA is well known around the world for its extraordinary historic, artistic and environmental heritage. Suffice to say the entire historic centre has been awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Heart of the city is without a doubt Piazza del Campo, a unique and fascinating square with an unconventional shape. Here one can cherish the Torre del Mangia (taking its name from the first bell-ringer, known as “il Mangia”), the Palazzo Comunale and Fonte Gaia (a wonderfully decorated fountain). Another landmark worth visiting is Saint Mary’s Cathedral, built in Gothic-Roman style during the 13th century. Particularly interesting is the floor inside the cathedral, decorated with 56 images representing various biblical episodes. Widely known is also the Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Instituted in 1472, it is the oldest bank in the world. Other than for its extraordinary beauty, Siena is also known for the famous Palio, a horseriding tournament involving three laps in the Piazza del Campo. The Palio is held twice a year (July 2 and August 16, both in honor of the Virgin). Each time, ten Contrade (neighborhood) of the city compete against each other (the first seven are those which didn’t take park the previous year, the other three are randomly drawn among the remaining ten). In total, Siena is split into seventeen Contrade (neighborhood): Eagle (Aquila), Caterpillar (Bruco), Snail (Chiocciola), Owl (Civetta), Drake (Drago), Giraffe (Giraffa), Porcupine (Istrice), Unicorn (Leocorno), She-Wolf (Lupa), Argonaut (Nicchio), Goose (Oca), Wave (Onda), Panther (Pantera), Forest (Selva), Tortoise (Tartuca), Tower (Torre) and Valdimontone.
With Romolini Immobiliari – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent castles, luxury villas, Agriturismos, sea view villas, luxury apartments, countrysides villas, period mansions, farmhouses, hotels, historic villas, restored mills, country houses, estates, exclusive penthouses, hotels, apartments with garden, B&Bs, historic villas, boutique hotel, old monasteries and Relais in the most beautiful places of Tuscany.
Tuscany is not only art, culture and towns: another great pride of the region is the beautiful sea. The Tyrrhenian coast is “invaded” every summer by thousands of tourists from all over the world and its peculiarity is the mix between old towns and modern seaside facility.
The coastline is mainly sandy, but there are a few rocky promontories such as Punta Ala, Castiglione della Pescaia, Talamone and the Argentario). Among the most sought location one must remember Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Lido di Camaiore, Cecina, Castagneto Carducci, Bibbona, Albinia, Castiglione della Pescaia, Follonica, Punta Ala, Marina di Carrara, Marina di Grosseto, Populonia, Orbetello, Ansedonia, Porto Azzurro, Porto Ercole, Porto Santo Stefano, Talamone, Castiglioncello, Donoratico, Piombino, Marina di Pisa, San Vincenzo, Rosignano Marittimo, Tirrenia, Calambrone and the Argentario.
Under the naturalistic and touristic point of view, the island of the Arcipelago Toscano are very interesting. The best known and appreciated are Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri, Gorgona and several other minor islands which are nonetheless protected by the National Park of the Arcipelago Toscano (Cerboli, Palmaiola, the Formiche di Grosseto, Formica di Burano, Secche della Meloria, Formica di Montecristo and Secche di Vada).
The most important island is also the biggest: Elba. Its coasts are both sandy and rocky with numerous bays. Eight municipalities cover the whole island: Campo nell’Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Portoferraio, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina and Rio nell’Elba. As far as beach are concerned, these are the most beautiful ones: La Bidiola, Cavoli, Spiaggia di Sansone, Spiaggia di Padulella, Spiaggia de l’Enfola, Chiessi, Patresi, Capo Sant’Andrea, Spiaggia di Secchetto and Spiaggia di Fetovaia.
Here follows a quick list for the beaches in the Arcipelago Toscano: Capraia and Gorgona both have rocky coastlines, Pianosa (as the name implies) has a mostly sandy coast, Montecristo (the one from the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas) is almost entirely rocky with the exception of a small sandy bay, and rocky are also Giglio and Giannutri.
By contacting Romolini Immobiliari – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent castles, luxury villas, Agriturismos, sea view villas, exclusive apartments, countryside villas, country houses, historic mansion, farmhouses, prestigious penthouses, hotels, apartments with garden, bed & breakfast, historic villas, boutique hotels, old masteries and Relais in the most beautiful seaside locations of Tuscany.
Not far from San Gimignano, this beautiful resort with 31 bedrooms is the result of the careful renovation of a historic villa. The property has been finely brought back to its original look and is currently run as an accommodation business with 11 apartments, restaurant and swimming pool. The vicinity of the most famous Tuscan centers is the icing on the cake.
On the hills of Florence, with a beautiful view over the historic center of the city, this 15th-century manorial villa with guesthouse offers a total of 11 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms over 850 sqm. A well-maintained terraced garden with pool is the ideal location for weddings and events and the notable size of the buildings would easily allow starting an accommodation business.
On the hills of Lucca, in an extremely panoramic position with view over the Tuscan coastline, this beautiful villa is linked to the famous Paolina Borghese. Built in the 17th century, the villa is nowadays a 1,220-sqm private residence with 5 bedrooms and a well-maintained Italian garden and is the perfect frame for events and conventions. Over 3,500 olive trees allow producing up to 32 hl of extra-virgin olive oil.
Not far from Grosseto, in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, wine estate with state of the art cellar and vineyards for sale. The estate includes 45.4 hectares of land, with 27.8 ha of vineyard, 5.5 ha of olive grove, pasture land and fit for seed. The vineyards hosts plants of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante, Syrah, Vermentino, Fiano and Chardonnay which allow for a yearly production of 140.000 bottles.
Not far from Cortona, this 460-sqm farmhouse offers a total of 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. 26 hectares of land surround the building and houses a beautiful pool, an olive grove (200 trees) and a Syrah vineyard. The property is excellent to start an accommodation business.
Price upon request
On the hills of Cetona, we find this 18-ha estate (7 ha olive grove + 11 ha woodland) with 16th-century villa. The manor villa offers a total of 600 sqm for 8 bedrooms and is rented out with excellent results. The olive grove (roughly 2,000 trees) produces an excellent ‚ÄúTerre di Siena DOP‚ÄĚ olive oil which is exploited both as a condiment and as a cosmetic base for a Natural Skincare product.
Multi-award winning organic winery producing wine, vinsanto, grappa, olive oil and honey for sale in the Chianti Classico, in Tuscany. The estate expands over 42.9 hectares of land, of which 10 ha of vineyards, 1.5 ha of olive grove (40 year-old 300/320 olive trees), 1.7 ha of vegetable garden, fruit orchard, park and gardens, 29.7 ha of coppice and pasture land.
A short distance from Pisa and the Tuscan coast, this 19th-century villa has been rebuilt by using eco-friendly materials and offers a total of 536 sqm of surface. The guesthouse has been fully finished and is currently inhabited by the owners, the villa needs finishing works on the inside and allows building up to 5 bedrooms. A beautiful garden hosts peculiar and sought-after plants.
This one of a Kind 13th century castle, once a fortress defending Siena, is laid out onto four floors for a surface of 1,405 sqm and is currently run as an accommodation business. The building boasts all the typical traits of Medieval fortifications and a beautiful internal courtyard. The land, 17 hectares in total, includes a 400-tree olive grove and 1.4 ha of Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG vineyards.
In Tuscany, only 40 km far from the historical center of Florence, estate with prestigious villa, country houses and winery for sale. Set in the rolling hills of the Chianti region, this prestigious property is currently running as an accommodation business with 38 bedrooms. 167 hectares include 21,7 ha of Chianti DOCG vineyards, Rosso IGT and Bianco IGT. Yearly production is 1.050 hl of wine and 70 hl of olive oil.
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