Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, artistic legacy, its influence on high culture, it is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Lucca, Versilia and Chianti; the village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val d'Orcia are internationally renowned and popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals. Triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche to the northeast, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast; the comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna. Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, among, the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, with few plains, the region has a relief, dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, mountains, a further 25%, or 5,770 square kilometres.
Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa; the climate is mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle, in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks; the Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture in the late second millennium BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in the Aegean Sea. Following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before "Orientalization" occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in the area of Etruria well into prehistory; the civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BCE, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. succumbing to the Romans by the first century BCE. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, Rome, influenced the civilization to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, ensured peace.
These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, the construction of many buildings, both public and private. However, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather; the Roman civilization in the West of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the region fell to barbarians migrating through the Empire from Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Goths was re-conquered by the revived Eastern Roman Empire under the strong Emperor Justinian. In the years following 572, the Lombards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their subsequent Tuscia. Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period; the food and shelter required by the
Vinci is a town – a "city" – and comune of Metropolitan City of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany. The birthplace of Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci lies just outside the town. Museo Leonardiano, museum of Leonardo da Vinci; this museum has displays of some of the inventions. Casa Natale di Leonardo, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, it is in Vinci not in Anchiano. There are some reproductions of his drawings at the house. Church of Santa Croce, built in the 13th century but remade in neo-Renaissance style. Vinci has two official sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International: Allentown, USA Amboise, France Museo Leonardiano
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Metropolitan City of Florence
The Metropolitan City of Florence is a metropolitan city in the Tuscany region, Italy. Its capital is the city of Florence, it replaced the Province of Florence. It was first created by the reform of local authorities and established by the Law 56/2014, it has been operative since January 1, 2015. The Metropolitcan City of Florence is bordered by the Metropolitan City of Bologna in the north, the province of Ravenna and Forlì-Cesena in the north-east, the province of Prato and Lucca in the north-west, the province of Pisa in the west, the province of Siena in the south and the province of Arezzo in the east and southeast. Much of its territory lies in the plain of the Arno river and has thus become an exurban sprawl around the city of Florence; the northeastern part of the metropolitcan city, in the Apennines, remains less developed. Romagna Granducale is the name given to the region lying on the northern slopes of Apennines. Corn and silk are the chief products in the valley regions. Silk manufacturing was an important industry in the medieval times.
The well known Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci was born in the village of Anchiano, a part of the Metropolitican City of Florence. The capital Florence is a large tourist centre; the Metropolitan City receives large number of tourists every year. The capital city Florence has been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Major tourist attractions of the city are Piazza del Duomo, Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Loggia del Bigallo and Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio and many others. Sights in Barberino di Mugello include Palazzo Pretorio; the Certosa del Galluzzo houses artworks by Pontormo. Giovanni Boccaccio's hometown Certaldo is home to the Palazzo Pretorio and Boccaccio’s House, while Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, houses a museum dedicated to the Italian polymath. Sesto Fiorentino is known for the Etruscan tomb “La Montagnola”. Wholesale and retail is the largest sector in the Metropolitan City: As of 2008 29% of the firms in the former Province of Florence were involved in it.
Manufacturing, real estate and agriculture are the next important ones with a percentage share of about 19.5%, 14%, 13.6% and 8% respectively. Tourism is an important industry. Empoli is known for its ancient glass-making industry. Domenico, Roy Palmer; the Regions of Italy: A Reference Guide to History and Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-30733-1. Cooke, Philip. Creative Regions: Technology and Knowledge Entrepreneurship. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-07865-3. Media related to Metropolitan city of Florence at Wikimedia Commons
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more Leonardo da Vinci or Leonardo, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, painting, architecture, music, engineering, anatomy, astronomy, writing and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology and architecture, he is considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute and tank, he epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal. Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man", an individual of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination", he is considered one of the most diversely talented individuals to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent in recorded history, "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, while the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci notes that, while there is much speculation regarding his life and personality, his view of the world was logical rather than mysterious, although the empirical methods he employed were unorthodox for his time.
Leonardo was born out of wedlock to notary Piero da Vinci and a peasant woman named Caterina in Vinci in the region of Florence, he was educated in the studio of Florentine painter Andrea del Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan, he worked in Rome and Venice, he spent his last years in France at the home awarded to him by Francis I of France. Leonardo is renowned as a painter; the Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most parodied portrait, The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time. His drawing of the Vitruvian Man is regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, T-shirts, his painting Salvator Mundi sold for $450.3 million at a Christie's auction in New York on 15 November 2017, the highest price paid for a work of art. 15 of his paintings have survived. These few works compose a contribution to generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary Michelangelo, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, his thoughts on the nature of painting.
Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, the double hull. Few of his designs were constructed or feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance; some of his smaller inventions, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. A number of his most practical inventions are displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci, he made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on science. Leonardo was born on 15 April 1452 "at the third hour of the night" in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno river in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence.
He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense—"da Vinci" meaning "of Vinci"; the inclusion of the title "ser" indicated. Little is known about Leonardo's early life, he spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother, from 1457 lived in the household of his father and uncle in the small town of Vinci. His father had married a 16-year-old girl named Albiera Amadori, who loved Leonardo but died young in 1465 without children; when Leonardo was 16, his father married again to 20-year-old Francesca Lanfredini, who died without children. Piero's legitimate heirs were born from his third wife Margherita di Guglielmo and his fourth and final wife, Lucrezia Cortigiani. In all, Leonardo had 12 half-siblings, who were much younger than he was and with whom he had few contacts, but they caused him difficulty after his father's death in the dispute over the inheritance.
Leonardo received an informal education in Latin and mathematics. In life, Leonardo recorded only two childhood incidents. One, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face; the second occurred while he was exploring in the mountains: he discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there and driven by curiosity to find out what was inside. Leonardo's early life has been the subject of historical conjecture. Vasari, the 16th-century biographer of Renaissance painters, tells a story of Leonardo as a young man: A local peasant made himself a round shield and requested that Ser Piero have it painted for him. Leonardo responded with a