Have you ever visited Tuscany before? We’ve already run a couple of fact files on some of the most interesting areas that the Mediterranean has to offer, but Tuscany perhaps remains one of the most intriguing. Famous for its villas and, of course, is sunshine beating down on the local promenades, it’s a quaint, historic region of Italy which remains hugely popular with tourists across the continent and beyond.
But how much do you really know about Tuscany? Even if you’ve visited here a few times before, there are always likely to be a couple of facts and figures which are likely to surprise you. Believe us – we are always surprising ourselves! Before your next Tuscan holiday, be sure to read up on the following facts to get yourself better acquainted.
Tuscany is, of course, famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Believe it or not, it wasn’t ever built to lean – it was a complete structural mistake. However, it has, over the years, gained the area a fantastic tourist appeal. Bizarrely, the dictator Mussolini tried to fix the monument, but actually ended up making it tilt even more!
Tuscany is pretty much a country based inside another one. This is because Tuscan history appears to suggest that the area was responsible for much of Italy’s origins in terms of language and culture, and what’s more, it was largely at the centre of the renaissance.
The world-famous story of Pinocchio has roots in Tuscany. Long before Disney adopted the character and turned to story of a wooden boy into one of their brilliant animated classics, Carlo Collodi wrote the original story in the region having spent years in the Tuscan army. The story was originally serialised in papers before becoming a standalone children’s story.
Believe it or not, there’s no minimum age for drinking alcohol in Tuscany. However, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old if you want to be served a drink of any kind at a bar or restaurant. These rules generally apply across wider Italy, too.
Dante, the famous Tuscan poet, originally wrote verse in dialect from Florence, where he was a local. It’s this original writing which is thought to have helped develop the Italian language as we know it to this day.
Tuscany isn’t just well known for its leaning tower or its villas – you’ll also find that the region produces more than a few delicious bottles of red wine. It’s the central region for vineyards producing grapes for Chianti. It’s entirely possible for you to visit Tuscany and to explore the local vineyards and cellars as a wine tourist!
Tuscan bread is a local, delicious delicacy, too. The region’s original breadmaking, however, didn’t use to contain any salt. This isn’t as a result of any kind of taste choice or recipe specifics – it’s to do with war. Back in the 15th century, Pisa blocked Florence from receiving salt while they continued to lock horns. Thankfully, the locals adapted pretty quickly – and the earliest Tuscan bread was less salty than the produce we know and love today.
Believe it or not, London’s Marble Arch is actually Tuscan. That’s because the stone it’s made from came directly from Tuscany, not from local sources or suppliers. Tuscany is, of course, also famous for helping to provide resources for all manner of artwork across the ages.
Is there anything that Tuscany isn’t famous for? It even has deep roots in mathematic history, too. That’s because it was the birthplace of Fibonacci, the mathematician who created the world-famous Fibonacci Sequence.
Tuscany – yet again – is well-known for another modern staple. Well – perhaps not that modern, as it’s thought that people started enjoying the first operas here. The Florentine Camerata started life in the region, and it is thanks to the troupe that we have modern operas to enjoy.
Tuscany also has its own island – in fact, there’s an archipelago out to the west, meaning that you’ll be able to enjoy an island escape or two once you’ve taken a look around the historic streets and promenades! It really does seem as though there’s something for everyone here.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Tuscany that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!