16 Things You Don’t Know About Tuscany

Are you planning a vacation to Tuscany? It’s one of the famous regions of Italy known for its history, traditions, landscapes, culture and artistic legacy. It’s also referred to a ‘nation within a nation.’ The leaning tower of Pisa, Grosseto, Florence, and Castiglione Della Pescaia are some of the destinations that attract tourists from all over the world to Tuscany. It covers 9000 square miles and no wonder it’s the largest region in Italy.

Tourists have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation. You can even book Tuscany villa rentals with a chef and enjoy the freshly made cuisines in front of your own eyes.

Since you will be exploring Tuscany, you might want to get your hands over some facts to appreciate it even more:
1. It’s the Birthplace of The Italian Language
Tuscany has been the influence of commercial and artistic development in entire Europe. Although Italian have a close relationship with Latin, the modern Italian spoken through the country is based upon the dialect from Tuscany that was formed during the Renaissance time period.
2. Small Towns Earn Orange Flags
Each year, orange flags are awarded to the most beautiful small towns in Tuscany. The criterion for selection is the promotion of cultural heritage, quality of food, accommodation facilities, welcoming atmosphere and preservation of the landscape.

3. Cafes Are Almost Non-Existent
You will hardly find cafes in Tuscany. Although the locals love coffee but they generally stand at the corner to drink it. Also, the espressos sold in the country are in tiny cups. People drink and leave.
You will find multiple elegant coffee shops in Florence and some of them have seating areas but people don’t use them to spend time using their laptops and work.  These historical cafes were used by painters, writers and philosophers to hang out and talk about work or share their thoughts.
4. The Locals Speak English Too But A Few Italian Phrases Will Go A Long Way
Italians are very polite and friendly. If you want them to be more welcoming, then throw a few Italian phrases as you talk.
5. Italians Have A Small Breakfast
Most Italians simply like small pastry or brioche with their coffee. It’s very common to eat while standing. That’s probably because some places charge you extra if you sit.
In Italy, a bar is a place where you go to drink coffee, not alcohol. So don’t get confused when you see a sign that says bar.
6. Chianti Is Also Known as Chiantishire
Tuscany is famous for its fine wines. Its popular wine region Chianti was given the nickname Chiantishire because it was visited by lots of British tourists. Chianti is not just appreciated for its wines but incredible scenery too. Apart from tasting wines, whoever visits Chianti must taste its, cheese honey, and special local dishes. Everything just tastes so good.

7. Pisa Is Not the Only Leaned Tower
Leaning tower of Pisa was a huge bell tower constructed in the 12th century in Pisa. Galileo used to perform gravity experiments here in the 1990s. Engineers took 11 years for straightening the structure of the tower. They managed to improve the lean of 15 ft. This leaning tower of Pisa leans because it was built on an unstable marshland. There are lots of other towers in Tuscany that are lean such as the bell towers at St. Nicola Church.
8. Tuscany Is Home to The Best Food in Italy
Since the soil in Tuscany is rich in nutrients, it produces herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables of intense flavors. These flavors are widely reflected in each of their local dishes. Cured ham, cheese, olive groves all taste magnificent. You will miss the flavor when you go home.
9. The Legacy of Pinocchio Started Here
There is a town in Tuscany called Pescia-Collodi. Its residents celebrate Pinocchio’s birthday on 25th may. There is even a Pinocchio park that features mosaics, sculptures, and architecture. The market also hosts puppet shows and workshops for making wooden dolls.
10. Tuscan Bread Doesn’t Have Salt
Tuscan bread is known for not having salt. This trend emerged in the middle ages as a protest against salt taxes. By the time the tax issue was resolved, people were accustomed to baking bread without salt. Hence why the bread tastes so good with spreads and sauces.
11. It’s the Birthplace of Western Musical Tradition
In the mid-16th century, a group of musicians, intellectuals and poets gathered in Florence and experimented with the Greek myths to music on stage. From there, the very first opera originated.
12. Tuscany Was the Trendsetter of Pavements
The pavements that we walk on today originated in Tuscany. Tuscany decided to pave its road in 1339 and then this trend was implemented in throughout Europe. The cities then become more accessible.
13. Finding A Free Beach Is A Little Hard
Tuscany has wonderful beaches but lots of them ask for an entry fee. It’s meant to keep the beaches safe, clean and quieter. Otherwise, the beaches would just be crowded with people.
14. Tuscany Is Like Hollywood To Europe
Due to the beauty of Tuscany, it has become a film set for blockbuster movies. You may see lots of A-list celebs here because it’s a nice place to hang out if you are looking for some peace.
15. There Is No Drinking Age
Surprisingly, there is no legal drinking age in Tuscany or to be precise, entire Italy. Even a young person can consume alcohol without getting into trouble. However, there is one rule. If you are at a restaurant or a bar, you will only be served if you are 16.
16. The Festivals of Arezzo
Arezzo has the history of more than 2,500 years preserved in it. If you really want to experience his medieval history, you must attend the Giostra del Saracino Festival. It takes place in Piazza Grande. The fun part is it is compulsory for the attendees to wear medieval costumes. There is no better way to experience the cultural delight of Arezzo than this.
Apart from all these wonders, Tuscany is a great place for recreational activities like swimming, hiking, kayaking, and diving. That’s why plenty of Hollywood celebrities have been seen vacationing here.
Have you ever been to Tuscany? It's on my personal bucket list!

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