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, one in Pisa and one in Florence. The airport of Rome Fiumicino is located less than 150 km below Tuscany.

Tuscany 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
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.

The local cuisine is highly appreciated in the whole world. Very typical is the unsalted bread, and on the menu in many restaurants you will find wild boar (stew or with pasta).
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.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Florence, Ponte Vecchio
Economy and Health care
the leaning tower in Pisa
Pisa, the Leaning Tower
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. Agriculture, and especially the production of wine and olive oil, is another important activity.
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. Also smaller cities such as Volterra, Cortona and Pistoia, are 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.

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
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.