Tuscany

Tuscany/Toscana

Geography and Climate
Tuscany map
The region of Tuscany is located next to the Tyrrhenian Sea in Central Italy. It has a coastline of about 270 km (400 km if you add the coastline of the Island of Elba). It is a large region of nearly 23.000 km² and is divided into 10 provinces. Near the sea, you will find: Massa-Carrara (MS), Lucca (LU), Pisa (PI), Livorno (LI) and Grosseto (GR). Inland you will find Pistoia (PT), Prato (PO), Florence (FI), Arezzo (AR) and Siena (SI). There are 3,73 million inhabitants, which makes Tuscany a less densely populated region than the average (162 /km²). There are two international airports, Galileo Galilei in Pisa (PSA) and Amerigo Vespucci in Florence (FLR). The airport of Rome Fiumicino (FCO) is located less than 150 km below Tuscany. For those traveling by public transport, there is a fast connection (PisaMover 8 minutes) between the airport and Pisa Central station. There you can take a train to Lucca or Florence or along the Tyrrhenian coast in the direction of Viareggio and on to La Spezia and Genova in Liguria, or in the direction of Livorno and Grosseto and on to Rome. In Florence airport you can take the tram T2 to the trainstation Firenze Santa Maria Novella in about 20 minutes. From there you can go for many local destinations or take a high speed train in the direction of Milan or Rome.
Tuscan landscape
rolling hills in Tuscany
The landscape is very diverse, with the rolling hills, for which the region is famous, mountains, fertile plains and a coastline of sandy beaches alternated with rocky shores. Geographically, Tuscany is composed of many areas with different characteristics.
Carrara
Carrara (MS)
The northern border of Tuscany is formed by the Apennines. In the area beneath the mountains you will find Lunigiana, Garfagnana, Mugello and Casentino. These areas have a temperate climate and are sparsely populated. Rolling hills make up the inland area in the South-East of the region, with areas such as Chianti, Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia. You will find lots of olive groves and vineyards in this area. The climate is relatively harsh and rainy in the winter, but summers are warm and relaxing.
Tuscany seaside
Tuscan beaches
The coastal area which consists of Colline Metallifere, Maremma and the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, all have a fairly mild climate. The beaches in this area attract a lot of tourists and second home owners. Lots of sunshine and little precipitation are dominant characteristics for the coastal area.
In Tuscany there is little risk of earthquakes, except in the North and in the Apennines, where there is a risk for medium-strong earthquakes.

Food and drinks
Cacciucco alla Livornese
Cacciucco alla Livornese
The local Tuscan cuisine is highly appreciated all over the world. It mainly consists of traditional dishes and desserts, of which the preparation has remained unchanged for many years. Unsalted bread is typically Tuscan, and on the menu of many restaurants you will find wild boar (stew or with pasta). Anyone who has ever been on holiday in Tuscany will undoubtedly know many of these dishes: Acquacotta, Cacciucco alla Livornese, Fegatelli, Gnudi, Lampredotto, Panzanella, Tortelli Maremmani, Trippa and Bistecca Fiorentina; or some well-known desserts such as Torta della Nonna, Cantucci con Vin Santo or Panforte. All these delicious dishes can be combined perfectly with an extensive range of Tuscan wines.


Economy and Health care
The major part of Tuscany’s economy and especially its industry is concentrated in the Arno Valley, between Livorno and Florence. The port of Livorno is the third cargo port of Italy in terms of flow of goods. The local production consists mainly of textiles, leather, shoes and clothing, agro-food, and in Massa-Carrara stone and marble.
Poggio alle Mura in Montalcino (SI)
Poggio alle Mura in Montalcino (SI)
Agriculture, and especially the production of wine and olive oil, is another important activity. The number of wine regions in Tuscany is almost impossible to count. About 60,000 hectares of wine are grown here. The regions with the largest production of labeled wine (DOC) are Chianti (74.5 million liters), Chianti Classico (28.1), Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino (10.21), Maremma Toscana (8.5), Rosso and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (8.1), Morellino di Scansano (6.8), and the white wine region of Vernaccia di San Gimignano (4.0 million liters).

the leaning tower in Pisa
the leaning tower in Pisa
Finally, tourism accounts for a big part of the economic activity of Tuscany. The entire region attracts many visitors from all over the world. The major cities of art such as Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca and Arezzo attract visitors all year round. Smaller cities such as Volterra, Cortona and Pistoia, are also very popular from springtime throughout the autumn. Montepulciano, Montalcino, the Chianti area and San Gimignano are places which are famous for their wine production. Finally there are many places which are well known for their thermal baths, such as Montecatini Terme, Saturnia, Chianciano Terme, Rapolano Terme, Bagni San Filippo, Bagno Vignoni and San Casciano dei Bagni.

Tuscany ranks 3rd in the crime index, with 4,483 reports of crime per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020, above the national average of 3,816. With regard to the number of thefts and thefts in houses, the number of reports in Tuscany last year was 2,658 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the figure for the whole of Italy is 2,051.

Servizio Sanitario Toscana
For the Tuscan Health Service the area is divided into 3 areas: North-West Tuscany (PI-LU-LI-MS) with 13 hospitals for 1,33 million people on a territory of 6.500 km², Central Tuscany (FI-PO-PT) with 13 hospitals for 1,56 million people on 4.800 km², and South-East Tuscany (SI-AR-GR) with 14 hospitals for 830.000 people on 11.556 km². On top of that there are 4 University hospitals: Careggi and Meyer in Florence, Santa Chiara in Pisa and Le Scotte in Siena. Needless to say that the last area is very extended and sparsely populated, which makes the average distance to a hospital for the population much longer. This is the link to the website of Servizio Sanitario della Toscana, the regional health service of Tuscany. 

Second homes
Ponte a Serraglio in Bagni di Lucca
Ponte a Serraglio in Bagni di Lucca
The provinces with the highest number of foreigners who own a home in Tuscany are Florence, Livorno, Grosseto, Pisa, Siena and Lucca. In Tuscany you can choose for an apartment in a beach resort or in town or city in the inland, or for a countryside apartment or villa. Overall the prices are higher than in other regions, except for the mountainous areas, where the prices are relatively low. Some of the municipalities with a relatively high percentage of residents of Western European citizens are Gaiole in Chianti (SI), Montalcino (SI), Bagni di Lucca (LU), Anghiari (AR) and Montecatini Val di Cecina (PI).

The most beautiful towns
Italy has hundreds of beautiful villages both inland and on the coast. Many of them are included in the guide “I Borghi pi├╣ belli d’Italia”.  26 Tuscan towns are mentioned in this guide.
Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole (GR)
The provinces of Arezzo and Grosseto each have seven "most beautiful towns". In Arezzo (AR) there is Anghiari, Castelfranco Piandisc├▓, Loro Ciuffenna, Lucignano, Poppi, Raggiolo and in Grosseto (GR) Capalbio, Giglio Castello, Montemerano, Pitigliano, Porto Ercole, Santa Fiora, Sovana.
In the province of Florence (FI): Montaione, Montefioralle, Palazzuolo sul Senio, Scarperia e San Piero.
In Siena (SI): Buonconvento, Cetona, San Casciano dei Bagni.
In Livorno (LI): Populonia and Suvereto.
In Lucca (LU): Castiglione di Garfagnana and Coreglia Antelminelli.
And in the province of Pisa (PI) there is Montescudaio.
Volterra
Volterra (PI)
The guide "Bandieri Arancioni" published by Touring Club Italiano also lists these towns:
Lucca: Barga , Montecarlo
Pistoia: Abetone Cutigliano, Collodi
Firenze: Barberino Val d'Elsa, Certaldo, Vinci
Pisa: Casale Marittimo, Casciana Terme, Lari, Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, Peccioli, Pomarance, Volterra
Siena: Castelnuovo Berardenga, Cetona, Chiusi, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Murlo, Pienza, Radda in Chianti, Radicofani, San Gimignano, Sarteano, Trequanda
Grosseto: Massa Marittima.