HOUSESinTUSCANY

Tuscany

Tuscany (Toscana), in the centre-north of Italy, geographically nearly corresponds to the ancient region of Etruria. It is famous worldwide for the beauty of its landscape and vegetation, its art and monuments, its traditional gastronomy, and the friendliness of its inhabitants.

Throughout the centuries Tuscany has been home to many important names in the world of science, music and literature, the memories of which are still alive today in Tuscany's 'citta' d'arte' (cities of art).

Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Puccini, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Brunneleschi, Dante Alighieri, Giotto, Boccaccio, Lorenzo de' Medici to mention the most famous worldwide.

Interesting museums are the Uffizzi Gallery and the Medici Chapel in Florence. Cities worth seeing are Pisa (for the Leaning Tower in Piazza dei Miracoli), Siena (famous for "Il Palio") and Lucca.

Typical food produce includes wine and olive oil, which it exports across the world (Chianti wine for example). Typical regional foods are 'panzanella', 'bistecca alla fiorentina' (steak), 'salsiccie con fagioli', polenta, 'castagnaccio', ecc.

The Garfagnana valley is located in the north of Tuscany, enclosed between the gentle slopes of the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines and the harsher chain of the Apuan-Alps. Garfagnana's isolated position, far from the crowded main roads, has allowed the area to remain somewhat " detached" from the rest of Tuscany.

It has preserved unique natural beauty, tradition and culture, in many ways different from the well known classical image of central and southern Tuscany. This picturesque Tuscan area is filled with breathtaking views across lush valleys and rugged hills, charming ancient towns and hilltop castles to explore, as well as some of Italy's largest national wildlife reserves and natural parks.

It offers the perfect landscape for hiking, climbing, mountain-biking and horse-riding.

From spring to summer the landscape presents itself in every imaginable shade of green, in autumn nature turns golden, and in winter the hilltops an surrounding mountains are covered in snow.

Interesting attractions are the 'Parco dell'Orecchiella' (a natural park), 'Il Ponte del Diavolo' (the Devil's bridge, see picture), the 'Lago di Vagli' (Vagli lake) with the submersed village, and the 'Grotta del Vento' (a cave), to mention a few.

Local gastronomy includes "castagnaccio", "polenta di neccio" (chestnut flour polenta), the necci, the soup and the cakes made with farro (spelt), the bread with potatoes made in wood fired ovens, the cheeses and ricotta of our sheepherders, the mushrooms, the meat of animals still raised in the traditional way, the fresh water, and much more.

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