5 interesting facts about Tuscany

When you travel do you like to discover the mysteries of your host country? Are you the typical traveller in search of the legends that are handed down from generation to generation?

Here, then, are some interesting facts about Tuscany, its records and the mythological plots concerning it.  

San Galgano and the sword in the stone

You have surely heard of the Sword in the Stone. The Walt Disney Classic and the exploits of King Arthur are probably what came to mind. But perhaps you didn't know that the sword in the stone is in Tuscany, in Montesiepi to be precise. 
It all began when a capricious nobleman, Galgano Guidotti, saw the Archangel Michael in a dream, converted to Christianity and became a pious man. As a symbol of devotion, he pierced the stone with his sword, forming a cross with the hilt and this was his miracle. The Abbey of San Galgano was then built around the pierced rotunda, and has now become a suggestive destination for thousands of tourists due to its history and the structural charm of the church without a ceiling. 

The rarest seagull in the world

Yes, that's right, the rarest seagull in the world is in Tuscany. It is a smaller and more slender breed than the herring gull, extremely beautiful, with a red beak and a darker crown on the tip. The Corsican gull only eats fish, unlike the herring gull that has changed its habits, and is also threatened by other disturbing factors, including humans and terrestrial predators. For this reason the specimens that nest among the islands of Tuscany are of fundamental importance for the survival of the species, and have been elected, moreover, as the symbol of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago! 


The birth of the Tuscan Archipelago

Do you know the mythological origins of the Tuscan Archipelago? Legend hasit that Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, lost some precious pearls from her necklace when she emerged from the waters of the Tyrrhenian to join Eros. Seven of these fell into the sea. Instead of sinking, they began to be populated, each with its own fauna and flora. They are the 7 islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri.  
Different and yet all beautiful, surrounded by crystal clear water, they could not but be daughters of Venus! 

Tuscan bread without salt

If you have already visited Tuscany, you will probably have asked yourself why bread in this region is unsalted. 
For many it is simply the fact that it combines well with particularly tasty typical products such as Tuscan ham, cured meats in general or meat, just think of Florentine tripe. But for many others this theory has no foundation, given that Tuscany is certainly not the only region in Italy with very tasty recipes. 

The history of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany seems to ensure that another hypothesis, that relating to money, prevails. Florentines and Pisans have always been lively political rivals, but it was Pisa that controlled the salt due to it being a city port. When the merchants of Pisa began to raise the price, Florence countered the provocation by starting to produce bread without salt
And thus, the mystery of Tuscan bread is revealed.  

The geniuses of Tuscany

Among the many records held by Tuscany, we must also include the most brilliant minds in the world. There are many names of artists, poets and illustrious thinkers, who were born and lived in this region, thus increasing its artistic heritage and fame. 

Starting with Michelangelo Buonarroti, protagonist of the Renaissance and recognised as such by his contemporaries, or Dante, writer, politician and known to everyone as the Supreme Poet. 


We can then continue with Leonardo da Vinci and his pioneering projects, with Giotto's perfect circle and Petrarch's verses. 
Who did we forget ? Machiavelli, Donatello, Puccini, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Amerigo Vespucci, Carducci, Galileo Galilei…

 

And now that you have an idea about the wealth of Tuscany, it's up to you to discover more interesting facts! Happy exploring!

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