Art and culture in Tuscany
Being in Tuscany offers you the opportunity of looking at some of the most beautiful and historically relevant cities in Italy. The period known as Renaissance took place entirely inside the territory today known as Tuscany before spreading and influencing the whole Europe.
There are many guided tours that can help you uncover some of the wonders of that time, especially by staying in the most famous cities of Florence, Pisa, Lucca, all declared as UNESCO Human Heritage Site.
Starting with Florence, beside admiring the city itself for its many artistic treasures, you should pay attention to the bridge called Ponte Vecchio, which connects the northern part of Florence to the southern one. This bridge had been constructed many times, due to the frequent flooding of the Arno River, and during its last construction, it was enlarged by creating workshops to the side which reinforced the structure. Nowadays the bridge is considered as one of the most picturesque part of Florence and it attracts many tourists to see this strange shopping street.
Pisa instead has always been known for its impossible Leaning Tower that seems to be falling even if it had been finished in the XV century. The suggestive Piazza dei Miracoli hosts the Cathedral and its Belfry (the Leaning Tower) both realized with precious white and coloured marbles. Even if the leaning Tower is the most famous one, your guide will show you that Pisa has two other leaning towers to be discovered by the careful tourists.
Siena doesn’t have strange monuments or architectures, however it can be considered the city where history flows freely through the streets. The oldest bank in the world still active, has its headquarter here (Monte dei Paschi di Siena) and even if most of its buildings are as beautiful as the other Tuscan cities ones, it is widely known for the traditional Palio, which is held twice a year in the beautiful setting of Piazza del Campo and it’s a bareback ride between some of the Contrade (city quarters) of Siena that dates back to the 13° century.
Final mention for a smaller city also declared as UNESCO Human Heritage Site: San Gimignano. Even if it isn’t known as the previous three, San Gimignano is considered a city to be seen for its numerous towers which gave her the nickname of “Medioeval Manhattan”. During the middle ages it was common to build a tower to demonstrate your family’s wealth and power. Higher and wider was the tower, the more power your family had. San Gimignano brought this competition to the extreme, making 72 rival families build their own towers. Today only 16 are still standing, the others having been severed to prevent collapses but still visible in the urban pattern; definitely a view that won’t make you regret the detour.
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