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9 facts and curiosities about Tuscany

Things you may not know about our Region

You may already know about Tuscany, its geography, its being home to numerous artists known all over the world, how it is perhaps the most known region in the world on an iconographic level (the hills, the cypresses, the steak and the Chianti).

In this post you will find instead of the facts maybe not so famous, 9 curiosities about Tuscany. Start.

Tuscany is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here they are:

  • Florence Historic Center (1982)
  • Piazza del Duomo in Pisa (1987)
  • Historic Center of San Gimignano (1990)
  • Siena historic center (1995)
  • Pienza old town (1996)
  • Val d'Orcia (2004)
  • Medici villas and gardens, in Florence, Vaglia, Fiesole, Prato, Cerreto Guidi, Quarrata, Carmignano, Barberino in Mugello and Lucca (2013)
  • The thermal baths of Montecatini Terme in Tuscany (2021)


First in the world against capital punishment

Tuscany was the first state in the world to abolish the death penalty on November 30, 1786. Tuscany also celebrates this important record during the Festa della Toscana, which takes place every year on November 30th.


Stendhal syndrome was born in Florence

Stendhal syndrome (also known as Florence syndrome) is a condition that can include fainting, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, or delirium. It originated in the square in Florence when the author French (Stendhal) was overwhelmed by emotion:

"I had come to that level of emotion where the heavenly sensations given by the arts and passionate feelings meet. Coming out of Santa Croce, I had a heartbeat, life for me had dried up, I walked fearing to fall."

It seems that even the hospitals of Florence occasionally treat tourists with this condition.


A utopian city in Tuscany


Pienza was designed by Pope Pius II as an ideal city. It was in February 1459 that the pope passed through the village that had seen him born and found it in a situation of great degradation, so much so that he decided to take care  of it and transform it into a modern city according to the logic of the time. The city that now the whole world envies us owes everything to this humanist and for this reason changed its name: no longer Corsignano, but Pienza, the city of Pio.


The Islands of Tuscany

Tuscany has 7 islands – Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona; do you know that there is a legend behind the origin of these islands? The goddess Aphrodite lost seven pearls from her necklace in the sea off the Tuscan coast and these became the 7 islands of the Tuscan archipelago.


The "European" currency

The Florentine Florin was the international currency in Medieval Europe, used throughout the continent and also in many territories surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.


The meaning of the word Pisa

The term could have two types of origin: Lombard or Arabic.

The Lombard word from which it would derive is "kinsech" which means "marshy place". This is because, as evidenced for example by the slope of the tower of Pisa, the terrain of the area is not really "stable".

The Arabic word from which it would derive is instead "kimsouk" = "free market". And this type of resolution is also possible, given the great importance that Pisa has played for a long time in trade.


Tenet in Tuscany


Back then, Nolan Tenet's film was not shot in Tuscany. The 5 that make up the magic square of Sapor  (SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, ROTAS. of Latin origin) give rise to a palindrome as they can be read in all directions without losing meaning. And what does Tuscany have to do with it?

One of these squares is located in Siena, engraved on the wall of the Duomo.


Have Patience

In Pistoia you will find a street called "Via Abbi Pazienza".

The name derives from the times of the struggles between Panciatichi and Cancellieri: a person killed a wrong person. To apologize to the dying man, before the latter died, he said these words to him: "Have Patience".



image source: la repubblica, scienze innovazione