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Visit Florence and Tuscany

Discover the beauties of Florence and Tuscany with our Tours

“… spend your holidays in Florence and visit Tuscany, land of excellent wines and good food…”

Take a break in Florence and discover its medieval streets, the craftsmen’s workshops, the Renaissance Palaces and the works of exceptional geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarrotti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri

From Florence, to Siena, Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano… great works of civil and religious architecture, sculpture and paintings of extraordinary artistic value

It was in Florence that the great era of Humanism and Renaissance was born and developed, movements which radically renewed the culture and art of the time, leaving a profound and indelible mark on the common civilization of Europe. Of that extraordinary period of history Florence bears the greatest witness

Florence, the quintessential City of Art

An extraordinary city

Even from afar, before even stepping foot in it, one can grasp that Florence is an extraordinary city. Situated in a magnificent scenic location, it lies at the heart of a vast amphitheater-shaped basin, nestled against the foothills of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, traversed by the River Arno, and surrounded to the north, east, and south by enchanting hills.

Founded around the 9th century BCE by the Etruscans, the city truly began to flourish almost 2000 years later. It became an autonomous municipality in 1115 and, in the 13th century, it was divided by internal strife between the Ghibellines (supporters of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) and the Guelfs (supporters of the Roman Papacy). After various vicissitudes, the Guelfs emerged victorious. From that moment on, Florence embarked on its ascent into history.

The cradle of the Italian language

Thanks to Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, Florence is recognized as the cradle of the Italian language since the early 14th century. But it is also the cradle of the Renaissance: the entire city is characterized by the incredible literary, artistic, and scientific development that took place between the 14th and 16th centuries. Much of this was made possible by the will of the de’ Medici family, who fostered artists, thinkers, writers, and scientists. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Galileo… These are just a few of the many names that have contributed to transforming Florence into one of the most famous and culturally rich cities in the world.

Internationally renowned landmarks

Today, among the 15 most visited museums in Italy, at least 5 are in Florence, foremost among them being the Uffizi Gallery, which welcomes over 1.5 million visitors every year. Furthermore, the city is full of names of places and monuments known throughout the world. Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (with the largest dome ever built, of which, during the Grand Duchy era, it was said that its shadow covered the whole of Tuscany), Giotto’s Campanile, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti… It is certainly no coincidence that the entire historic center of Florence was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as early as 1982.

It should be noted, however, that Florence’s splendor is also thanks to the great artisanal and commercial skills of its inhabitants, dating back to the Middle Ages. From goldsmithing to leatherworking, to the founding of the world’s first bank, Florence has always remained at the center of an idea of life projected towards the future and based on the ability of its inhabitants to seek out and create beauty from practically any material.

For all this and more, to visit Italy and not see Florence is a sin one should try not to commit.

The timeless charm of Tuscany

Landscapes among the most beautiful in the world

Located in the heart of the Italian boot, with its almost 23,000 km2, Tuscany is one of the largest regions in Italy. Its territory is largely composed of hills, but also includes plains, mountain ranges, extinct volcanoes, a desert of 150 km2, rivers, lakes, and islands (Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, and Pianosa), with a total of 663 km of coastline.

Among the 10 provinces that make up the region, in addition to Florence, we must also mention Pisa, Carrara, Lucca, Siena, and Livorno; all very famous cities that, in addition to their celebrated beauty, contribute to making Tuscany a true catalog of the finest arts and most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Getting to know Tuscany

The history of Tuscany begins in the mists of time. The earliest definite traces of human presence date back to the Paleolithic era. Between the 10th and 8th centuries B.C., the Etruscan civilization appeared, reaching its peak around the 6th century B.C., a time when cities like Pisa, Arezzo, Chiusi, or Volterra were founded, which later inspired Roman urban planning. The remarkable level of civilization achieved by the Etruscans is evidenced by the equality of rights between men and women, truly unusual for their time (actually, even for ours!).

In the 3rd century B.C., the Etruscans were defeated by Rome, and the entire region quickly declined economically, culturally, and socially. The Romans founded new cities, including Florentia (modern-day Florence) and Cosa (modern-day Ansedonia: one of the best-preserved, with its walls, forum, acropolis, Capitolium…).

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region passed through several centuries from one invader to another. Among these: the Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards (who transformed it into a duchy with its seat in Lucca), or the Franks of Charlemagne, just to name a few. Centuries, in short, not exactly bright, during which each city grew as it could. Thus, in the 11th century, the most powerful and important city in Tuscany was Pisa, which, becoming a Maritime Republic, dominated almost all of the Tyrrhenian Tuscany, Sardinia, and Corsica. Meanwhile, however, Siena also grew, destined to become so beautiful and powerful as to compete with Florence.

A revolutionary example of cultural, social, and economic autonomy

In the 12th century, the period of free municipalities began, and Pistoia became the first municipality in Italy. Yes, it is indeed in Tuscany where the first forms of participatory democracy and guild associations were born, making the region a revolutionary example of cultural, social, and economic autonomy. In this period, among the most important cities, Lucca stands out, becoming very wealthy thanks to textile production and silk trade; while, for cultural, economic, but also military reasons, the municipality of Florence soon established itself…

Visiting Tuscany

And then the Italian language, banking, the Renaissance to Haute Couture. All things born in Tuscany, a truly special region, where, as if that were not enough, agriculture and livestock still play a huge role today, given the quality of the products provided (meat, vegetables, wines, olive oils…). It’s no coincidence that Tuscany was the first GMO-free region in Europe (again, the first!), approving, in 2000, a specific law banning the cultivation and production of genetically modified organisms and their consumption in public canteens.

Supertuscans

In short, Tuscany is a truly special region, where, as if that were not enough, agriculture and livestock still play a huge role today, given the quality of the products provided (meat, vegetables, olive oils…). One above all: wine. Tuscany has always been famous for its wines, among which some very high-quality productions stand out, known in the oenological world with the appellation of Supertuscans.

Not just Chianti

The areas of Florence and Siena are known worldwide for the production of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. However, in recent years, wines produced in coastal areas (Livorno and Grosseto, favored by a milder, drier, and sunnier climate) have also gained prominence, including the excellence of Bolgheri, red wines such as Morellino di Scansano, Montecucco, and Monteregio di Massa Marittima, and whites such as Ansonica. Also increasingly valued are the red and white wines of the province of Arezzo. Among the other wines of Tuscany, mention must also be made of Carmignano, one of the oldest, produced in the homonymous municipality in the province of Prato; the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Pitigliano, Montescudaio, and Vin Santo…

OGM-free

On the other hand, it’s no coincidence that Tuscany was the first GMO-free region in Europe (again, the first!), approving, in 2000, a specific law banning the cultivation and production of genetically modified organisms and their consumption in public canteens.

A visit to Tuscany, therefore, entails a great danger: that of wanting to stay forever!

our Tours in Florence and Tuscany

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