It is known as the soul of the Renaissance, but in reality, its soul is eternal.
The deep roots of Tuscany extend far back, before even the Etruscans from whom the region takes its name. Its fertile, volcanic soil brought the first farmers into Italy. They settled down in villages, some of which still exist today.
Then the Etruscans came, settling in their great towns of Clusium, Volterra and Tarquinia. The Etruscans lost their identity in the great wars, expansion and decline of Rome. Their unique civilization disappeared, but the people didn’t – those high arched eyebrows so typical of Florentines are the same that you can see in Etruscan frescoes.
And then there is the Renaissance, which was born of the beginnings of humanistic art a hundred years earlier, fired by the exodus of culture and knowledge after the fall of Byzantium.
Names without end: Dante, Giotto, Bramante, Leonardo, Michelangelo. All Tuscans, fruit of its rich earth. The same earth that gives us some of the best wine in the world, some of the best food in the world, and some of the best views in the world.
Whether by the sea at Lucca or Pisa, or in the hills of San Gimignano and Siena, or at Prato, Tuscany is marvellous and wonderful. The people know it, and they are happy to share it with everyone. For such riches are eternal and without end.
Article © Carl Ottersen