Tuscany (Florence) - Central Regions

"Tuscany (Florence) - Central Regions" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

The name Tuscany comes from the ancient Roman denomination of the region Tuscia and the people Tusci (or Etruscans) who settled here for a long time.

Area: 22 992 sq.km (8877 sq.miles) (7.6%), population 3 527 00 inhabitants (6.2%), density 153 inhab./sq.km.

The first human beings occupied the territory of region already in ancient times, but those who began its real rearrangement were Etruscans. They founded the first cities, introduced some agricultural plants, improved the fertile lands, built aqueducts, excavated and elaborated iron of Elba and mercury of Amiata, constructed the first ports on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Romans continued this work founding the colonies and building the long roads connecting the region with Rome (Aurelia, Clodia, Cassia, Flaminia). With the collapse of empire Tuscany was first devastated by German peoples, Odoacre and Goths. Later it was governed by Lombards and Franks.

For nearly all of its history Tuscany was a prosperous region very well supplied with the communication network of roads, ports and later railways, industry (Florence-Prato-Pistoia, Valdarno) and touristic infrastructure.

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History

Man and Territory Economy and Resources

Archeology and Art

Origins

The region was inhabited since the Palaeolithic ages and was the principle seat of Etruscan people between VII and VI centuries b.C. Foundation of the cities (Volterra, Chiusi, Populonia, Ansedonia); usage of iron mineral resources; beginning of marine commerce. Numerous Etruscans tombs (Vetulonia, Populonia); rests of the city of Roselle; gates and walls of Volterra.

Roman Epoch
(from IV century b.C.)

After long conflicts  of IV-III centuries b.C. the Romans conquered the region. Transformation of the territory with the foundation of colonies and road constructions. Roman theatre of Fiesole; water pool and theatre in Volterra.

Middle Ages
(V - XV centuries)

After Barbaric invasions the region was first governed by Lombards and then by Franks. Civic and economic revival after the period of invasions: numerous cities became the centers of manufacturing and artisan production, commerce, art and culture. Religious, civic and military architecture all over the region: cathedrals of Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia, Massa Mrittima, etc., gothic churches of Florence (S.Maria Novella, S.Maria del Fiore, S.Croce) and of Siena (Duomo); palaces of S.Gimignano, Pienza, Volterra; noble residences in Florence and Siena.

Renaissance
(XV - XVI centuries)

Civic, economical and political supremacy of Florence under the court of the Medici family. . Villas of Medici, palaces of noble families (Pitti, Strozzi, Rucellai); architectural works of L.B.Alberti, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi.

Modern Epoch (XVII=XVIII)

Medici are followed by the great dukes of Hapsburg-Lorena in XVIII century. Important changes of the environment: creation of the port of Livorno, improvement of agriculture and commerce. .

XIX - XX centuries

Being annexed to the new Italian state Florence became the capital of it in 1865-1871. Construction of railways, new roads, industries. Florence is enlarged and modernized by the architect G.Poggi.

Tuscany (Florence) Map

Tuscany (Florence) Map

Position.

Tuscany borders on Liguria (north-west), Emilia-Romagna (north), Marche and Umbria (east), Latium (south). Region includes the following islands :Elba, Gorgona, Capraia, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio, Giannutri.

Climate.

The region has Mediterranean climate on the sea costs, continental climate in the inland, and mountain climates in the zones of higher altitudes.

Florence

January: 3.8

July 23.4

Altitudes

plain: 8%

hill: 67%

mountain:25%

Landscape.

Tuscany posesses a number of various landscapes. The zone of Apennines is characterized by modest agricultural economy and depopulation of the territory. The zone of hills lies on the territory of Florence, Pistoia and Lucca. The plain zone of Pisa and Valdarno is the most industrialized part of the central Italy. The zone of the sea costs is quite low and is covered by the pine forests, it is a well developed touristic part of Tuscany. The greatest valleys of the region are Lunigiana, Garfagnana, Mugello, Casentino, Val Tiberina, the main river is Arno and two lakes are Massaciuccoli and Chiusi. Should be noticed that with the ages the original landscape of Tuscany changed a lot, and only few places conserved the ancient classic beauty.

Communications.

There are two main railways crossing the region: Rome-Florence-Bologna and Rome-Pisa-Genoa. The highway network is more developed with Florence as a junction of the traffic.

Tourism

Total: 31 100 000

Italians: 68%

Foreigners: 32%

Employment

agriculture: 4%

industry: 34%

tourism,

commerce: 62%

Agriculture and breeding.

During the last decades the agricultural system of the region transformed a lot. Numerous countryside zones were urbanized due to the effect of industrialization. Some traditional cultivated plants were substituted by the new ones: olive-yards to wine-yards. The most important agricultural products in Tuscany are flowers, wine grape and oil. Less important are cultivation of maize, vegetables and fruits. On the way of development is production of tobacco and sugar beet.
The breeding (sheep) and fishing is on the medium level in comparison with an average Italian rate in these sectors.

Industry.

Tuscany continues the extraction tradition of marble (Apuane) and of thermic energy (Larderello). But since the 60's of this century especially in the valley of Arno between Pisa and Montevarchi and Lucca and Florence was settled so called industry of transformation. It includes a great number of little and medium metallurgical, mechanic, food, textile, chemical, clothing, furniture, construction, publishing and etc. companies.
Among the other activities of the region on the first place is tourism (10% of national touristic sector) and on the second is commerce.

Hydroenergy

Italy:

44 000 000 kWh

Tuscany:

700 000 kWh

Thermoenergy

Italy:

128 000 000 kWh

Tuscany:

6 400 000 kWh

Births (per 1000)

Italy: 9.9

Tuscany: 7.4

Deaths (per 1000)

Italy: 9.3

Tuscany: 11.1

Remnant

Italy: 0.6

Tuscany: -3.7

Population.

Nowdays 2/5 of the Tuscanian population lives in communes with more than 20 000 inhabitants. Among the provinces the most densely populated is the province of Florence which contains 1/3 of the entire regional population. The most depopulated provinces are Arezzo, Siena and Grosseto where agricultural activity was abandoned in its big part and new industrial infrastructure not created yet.

Life.

Last 30-40 years brought to this region more changes than in any other part of Italy: intensive urbanization of the territory, concentration of the working population in industrial, touristic and commercial spheres of activity which meant reduce of agricultural sector. Tuscany is on the second place among the central regions by the product per inhabitant. Here people spend a lot for their primary needs; women and men live more than an average Italian citizen. The rate of expenses for sport and recreation is one of the highest in Italy. Tuscanians read a lot of newspapers and magazines which shows high level of education and developed spirit of participation in social life. The number of reported crimes is much lower than shows an average Italian statistics.
One of the problems of Tuscany is situation in Florence: growing cost of life, often not satisfactory city administration connected with the chaotic increasing of population and city area, traffic congestion.

Inhabitants per car

Italy: 2.0

Tuscany: 1.7

Monthly income

per inhabitant

1 429 000 It.Liras

(714 US Dollars)

Provinces and communes.

The region is divided into nine provinces: Florence, Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, and Siena with 287 communes.
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