Bed Breakfast La Fornace di Racciano  San Gimignano - Siena Agriturismo Cesani San Gimignano - Siena Le Caggiole farmhouse in San Gimignano La Lastra Siena Visit of vineyards
and cellar with wine tasting and light-lunch Relais della Rovere hotel relais colle val d'elsa Siena

Tuscany brief history

Tuscany is one of twenty regions in Italy. The region is located in the central, western part of the country, north of Rome and south of Genoa.


Brief history of TuscanyTuscany is one of twenty regions in Italy. The region is located in the central, western part of the country, north of Rome and south of Genoa. It is bounded by the Apennine Mountains to the North and East, the Apuan Alps on the northwest and by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the West. Its land area is about 9,000 square miles (23.300 square kilometers). Its major cities are Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, Arezzo, and Pistoia. Its major river is the Arno, which begins in the Apennines, and on which Florence and Pisa are located.

From the beginning...
Tuscany was the home land of the Etruscans, which was annexed by Rome in 351 BC. After the fall of the Roman empire, the region, which became known as Tuscany (Toscana in Italian) came under the rule of a succession of rulers (Herulians, Ostrogoths, etc.) and emerged as a political entity with its own rulers. By the twelfth century, the Tuscan cities were gradually gaining their independence as republics and forcing the nobility to live in the cities. By the high Middle Ages, the cities of Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia, Lucca, and especially Florence had become wealthy because of textile manufacture, trade, banking, and agriculture. There were many wars between the city states to conquer territory and power. Gradually, Florence came to overshadow and conquer all other cities in the region.

The Renaissance and Reign of the MediciThe Renaissance and Reign of the Medici
After several experiments with representative government, Florence was ruled by an oligarchy of wealthy aristocrats, among whom the Medici family became dominant in the fifteenth century. Under the patronage of these wealthy families, the arts and literature flourished as nowhere else in Europe and thus this period is known as the Renaissance, the rebirth after the Middle Ages. Florence was the city of such writers as Dante, Petrarch, and Macchiavelli, and artists and engineers such as Botticelli, Brunelleschi (who built the magnificent dome on the church of St. Mary of the Flowers, Santa Maria dei Fiori), Alberti, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Because of its dominance in literature, the Florentine language became the literary language of the Italian region and is the language of Italy today. Lorenzo de' Medici, who ruled Florence in the late fifteenth century was perhaps the greatest patron of the arts in the history of the West.

Decline and Renewal
Times changed and upon the death of Lorenzo, the Medici power seems to fall apart. The Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola ruled Florence when the Medici were exiled. After Savonarola turned against the pope, he was excommunicated and in 1498, tortured and burned in Piazza della Signoria. With the shift of commerce away from the Mediterranean and toward the Atlantic taking place after 1492, the economy of Tuscany went into a slow decline. By 1530, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquered Florence and re-established the Medici family in power. They were now dukes of Florence, and within a few decades, Cosimo de' Medici was made Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Cosimo aggressively pursued a policy of economic revival, building the great harbor at Livorno because the harbor of Pisa had silted up, founding universities, sponsoring the work of another famous Tuscan, Galileo Galilei, promoting the exploratory voyages of Amerigo Vespucci. Their successors began the decline of the Medici; in 1737, the last male member of the dynasty, Gian Gastone, died without an heir. Fortunately for the future of Florence, his sister Anna Maria Luisa bequeathed the entire Medici estate and art treasures to the city so that they could be forever enjoyed by Florentines and the world.

Modern times
After the Medici, Tuscany was ruled by the Austrian Dukes of Lorraine. In the seventeenth century, Florence and Tuscany had increasingly faded into relative obscurity and did not revive until the nineteenth century. The Dukes of Lorraine modernized the local administration, reorganized religious houses and enacted agricultural improvements, most notably the draining of the areas of the Maremma and Valdichiana. The march toward Italian independence, however, led to the end of the Lorraine rule in 1861 when Tuscany voted in favour of annexation to a united Italy. Florence was capital of the kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1871.

Today, Tuscany is a major cultural center, with museums, galleries and churches full of great sculptures, paintings and frescoes and magnificent monuments built by the greatest masters of all time. Tuscany attracts millions of tourists each year. If you are interested in visiting Tuscany, we hope our guide will be useful in planning your visit and in learning more about Tuscany in general.

Share:

Accommodations in the area

  • Il Convento di Monte Pozzali Farmhouse Massa Marittima Grosseto Il Convento di Monte Pozzali
    The convent of Monte Pozzali is an ancient monastery dating from the 12th century which has been completely renovated into a welcoming country residence.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • I Monti Farmhouse Montieri Grosseto I Monti
    Located in Montieri, at 500m above sea level, in the heart of Tuscany between Siena and Grosseto, near the San Galgano Abbey, Farmhouse I Monti is a stone farmhouse with adjacent Hay Barn recently renovated.
    BOOKING ONLINE
  • B&B Giardino dei Sugheri Bed Breakfast Scarlino Grosseto B&B Giardino dei Sugheri
    Bed Breakfast Giardino dei Sugheri is located in Maremma Tuscany and is the result of a careful restructuring which gave new life to an old farmhouse in the heart of Tuscany.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Agriturismo San Ottaviano Farmhouse Monterotondo Marittimo Grosseto Agriturismo San Ottaviano
    San Ottaviano is a small paradise immersed in the enchanting nature of Maremma Toscana, located at the converging point of the provinces of Grosseto, Livorno, and Pisa.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Cielsereno Farmhouse Casole D'Elsa Siena Cielsereno
    The farm holiday Cielsereno is located in Casole d'Elsa in the heart of Tuscany, in the the countryside between Siena and Florence. It is a corner of paradise for those who love nature and relax.
    BOOKING ONLINE
  • Podere Vignanova Relais Castagneto Carducci Livorno Podere Vignanova
    Podere Vignanova, little charming resort in Tuscany, in one of the more enchanting corners of the Etruscan coast, where vineyards with wines which are conquering the world.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Relais della Rovere Relais Colle Val D'Elsa Siena Relais della Rovere
    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
    BOOKING ONLINE
  • Agriturismo Marciano Farmhouse Siena Siena Agriturismo Marciano
    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • B&B la Fornace di Racciano Bed Breakfast San Gimignano Siena B&B la Fornace di Racciano
    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto Farmhouse San Gimignano Siena Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto
    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Poggio all'Agnello Holiday Resort Resort Piombino Livorno Poggio all'Agnello Holiday Resort
    Surrounded by sea and nature of the Etruscan Coast, the Poggio all'Agnello Residential Resort Country & Beach is a large holiday resort in Tuscany complete with all services and facilities.
    BOOKING ONLINE
  • Agriturismo la Lucciolaia Farmhouse San Gimignano Siena Agriturismo la Lucciolaia
    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Tombolo Talasso Resort Resort Castagneto Carducci Livorno Tombolo Talasso Resort
    The Tombolo Talasso Resort is the perfect solution for a beach holiday in Tuscany, the only hotel in Tuscany that offers a SPA completely dedicated to thalassotherapy
    BOOKING ONLINE
  • Agriturismo Cesani Farmhouse San Gimignano Siena Agriturismo Cesani
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Hotel Hermitage Hotel Bibbona Livorno Hotel Hermitage
    In the relaxing environment of Marina di Bibbona the Hermitage Hotel welcomes its guests in a 4 star modern and comfortable establishment close to the splendid Etruscan Coast.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Agriturismo La Valle Farmhouse Montaione Florence Agriturismo La Valle
    In the hearth of Tuscany, less than 1 km far from Montaione, are displaced the holiday cottages of La Valle.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • Fignano Villa Montaione Florence Fignano
    Set among the green hills of Tuscan countryside, 3 Km far from Montaione, are displaced the holiday cottages of Fignano.
    AVAILABILITY REQUEST
  • La Locanda Hotel Radda in Chianti Siena La Locanda
    The Country Hotel La Locanda is a old farmhouse completely restored overlooking the most beautiful landscape of Chianti Classico near the beautiful medieval village of Volpaia in Radda in Chianti.
    BOOKING ONLINE

Show accommodation on the map


Tombolo Talasso Resort thalassotherapy and SPA in Tuscany Poggio all'Agnello resort tuscany coast Poggio all'Agnello Tombolo Talasso Resort Tuscany coast