7 Fascinating Tuscan Facts

Friday, October 21, 2016

7 Fascinating Tuscan Facts

Posted by Virginie (21/10/2016)

Tuscany is full of surprises. You might have an impression of the region in your mind, but when you visit, you will discovered it’s more spectacular than you could ever had imagined.

If you are lucky enough to uncover every corner of the region, you will soon discover the variation in scenery and the surprises that Tuscany has up its sleeves. There are some facts that everybody knows about Tuscany, and then there are things that people might find very surprising or intriguing. Here are seven fascinating facts about Tuscany.

1. You can go skiing in Tuscany
Believe it or not, you can actually go skiing in Tuscany. Most people associate the region with its rolling hills and vineyards, but have no idea there’s an alpine side to the area. There are eight ski resorts in Tuscany, 96 kilometres of slopes and 42 ski lifts.

2. You can do a degree in wine production
Siena is home to Italy’s only University that does a degree in wine production (‘Oenology’). Oenology is defined as ‘the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking except vine-growing and grape-harvesting, which form a subfield called viticulture.’

3. The Crete Senesi region has lunar like landscapes
There is a region underneath Siena called the Crete Senesi region. When driving through this area you might feel like you are on another planet. It’s characterised by lunar landscapes and low rolling hills.

4. Tuscany has a total of seven UNESCO sites
Tuscany has more World Heritage Sites than some entire countries do. Pienza, San Gimignano, Siena and Florence are all listed. Florence (the capital of the region) was the first Tuscan site to be put on the UNESCO list.

5. The author of Pinocchio was from Florence
You have probably heard about the world famous 1940 Disney Film, Pinocchio. The original story was actually written by a man called Carlo Collodi who was from Florence.

6. The Leaning Tower of Pisa isn’t the only one
A lot of people are unaware that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only one. It is one of the most visited landmarks in the whole country, and people travel from around the world to snap photos in front of it.

There are actually two other towers that lean, the Campanile of San Michele Degli Scalzi and the Campanile of San Nicola, both of which are also in Pisa. Part of the problem with building here was that the city was built on marsh wetlands, which presents challenging construction issues.

7. There’s no legal drinking age

You will find that there is no legal drinking age in Italy. However, there is one catch. A person has to be 16 years or older in order to be served alcohol in a bar. Binge drinking isn’t a big problem here, which is partly why the rules are relaxed. Although you have to be 16 to purchase alcohol, kids younger than this often enjoy wine with their families at mealtimes. 

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