Florentine countryside

The territories of Tuscany

Florence itself hardly needs an introduction. The capital of Tuscany, “cradle of the Renaissance”, has attracted visitors for centuries, drawn by its rich cultural heritage but also by the charms of the surrounding hills. Enchanting landscapes often look like paintings to be admired with attention, where architectural jewels such as castles, palaces, churches and farms combine seamlessly with the surrounding natural beauty. Florence is a bustling city, the centre of social and cultural life for the whole region, a bridge between past, present and future. A holiday to Tuscany is not complete without visiting Uffizi Gallery (the most important art gallery in Italy for medieval and renaissance paintings), Piazza della Signoria, the Cathedral with Giotto’s bell tower, and the Ponte Vecchio (literally “the old bridge”).

Once out of the city we can find the villages making part of the Florentine area, among them Calenzano, Campi Bisenzio and Scandicci, where every small centre has a rich artistic and cultural heritage and it is immersed among the vineyards and olive groves of the farmhouses along the Arno river. In the north we find the Mugello, a region linking Florence to Emilia Romagna and extending up to the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines. Wine production flanks majestic woodland with oak, beech and chestnut. To the South the landscape becomes typically agricultural and vines extend as far as the eye can see: we are in the Chianti area between Siena and Florence, comprising fascinating villages, mostly along the Via Cassia and used by pilgrims and wayfarers to reach Poggibonsi, an important religious centre and fortress during the Medieval period. Also to the South, less known by tourists, we can find the Empolese/Valdelsa. The Elsa river, Arno’s feeder, flows among low and rounded hills, dotted with farms and quiet villages. At the southern end of the Val D’Arno the hills are steeper; the main towns are Incisa, Figline and Rignano sull’Arno.