Tuscany is known as the Italian region with landscapes of rolling hills coated with vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees, with medieval hill-top villages and beautiful cities of art with rich culture. Tuscany has many faces and that is understandable, given its extension over a surface of 23.000 km2 and the great variety of geographical areas. On this blog you find lots of information about many areas of Tuscany, some famous, some less known, and about the main touristic attractions. On this page you find some general information about the region of Tuscany and its geographical and administrational division. Each area has its own characteristics and this short description is meant to help you picture this splendid Italian region.

Tuscany is divided into 10 provinces, which are named by its provincial capital. The northern provinces are Massa-Carrara (MS) and Lucca (LU), and further inland the smaller provinces Pistoia and Prato. The biggest part of the Tuscan upcountry is made up by the provinces of Florence (FI), Arezzo (AR) and Siena (SI).
Marciano Marina on Elba Island
The coastal provinces are Pisa (PI) and Livorno (LI), to which the Island of Elba pertains, and the most southern province of Grosseto (GR). The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago make Tuscany complete.

There are two international airports in Tuscany. In Florence, the region’s capital, there is the airport Florence-Peretola (FLR) where also intercontinental flights arrive and depart. The second Tuscan airport is Pisa Galileo Galilei (PSA) where mainly European flights arrive and depart and with lots of low-cost airline activity.
The main economic activities in Tuscany are agriculture, tourism and fashion and textile industry. As you can see on the geographical map of Tuscany the northern part of the region is mountainous. 
The northern border of Tuscany is formed by the Apennines.
This is where the Lunigiana and Garfagnana area are located. These are particularly green and mountainous areas, which are separated by the Apuan Alps near Massa and Carrara. The area around Carrara is world famous for its marble production. The most northern coastal area is called Versilia and boasts some of Italy’s most prestigious beach resorts, Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio. Viareggio is also famous for its yearly carnival parades.

In the central part of Tuscany the river Arno flows from east to west, from Florence to Pisa. This zone has a higher population density and here the economic activity is more diversified. Most of Tuscany’s industry is located in the Arno valley.
Right below Pisa, in Livorno, we find Tuscany’s most important seaport. Cruise ships dock here, ferries are leaving for Corsica and Sardinia and Livorno is also an important commercial port.
Poppi Castle, Casentino, Arezzo
East of Florence there is the mountainous and forested area of Casentino. This the area of the upstream part of the Arno river with an Apennine climate which is characterized by average summer temperatures of no more than 22 degrees and on average more precipitation than elsewhere in Tuscany.

Talamone, south coast of Tuscany (GR)
In the southern part of Tuscany the landscape is alternated by hills and fertile plains. The coastal area has a Mediterranean sea climate and the hinterland a continental climate. Here, in summer, the average maximum temperature is over 30 degrees and the climate is relatively dry.
Orcia Valley
This territory is the most touristic part of Tuscany. Here the most famous geographical areas are the Chianti region, Valdichiana, Orcia Valley, the Etruscan Coast, Colline Metallifere (literally the metal-bearing hills) and the most southern area, Maremma.
Chianti Vineyards
The Chianti region is located mainly between Florence and Siena and is world famous for its production of quality wines. Thanks to its central position between the Cities of Art of Florence, Arezzo and Siena, every year it attracts many tourists from all over the world.
Maremma landscape
The Etruscan Coast, the Colline Metallifere and Maremma are located closer to the sea which makes them more attractive for family tourism. Until approximately 200 years ago, the area around Grosseto (Maremma) was a marshland but major infrastructure projects made it into a fertile territory. Nowadays it is a rather sparsely populated area with lots of olive groves and where lately lots of new vineyards have been developed. They produce wines of improving quality like Morellino di Scansano, Montecucco and Monteregio di Massa Marittima, which are gradually more appreciated and requested.
The influence of the sea ensures mild temperatures both in summer and in winter, which is an ideal circumstance for vineyards. Another example of such a fortunate territory is Bolgheri, a small wine region where one of the world's best white wines (Sassicaia) is produced.  

Mount Amiata
Finally north-east of Grosseto there is Mount Amiata, a lonely peak with an elevation of 1.738m. On Mount Amiata there are ski lifts although admittedly the winter season is rather short. Mount Amiata is an extinct lava dome and consequently in the area around it there are many hot water springs which are mainly used as thermal baths for tourism. Well known are the thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni, Bagno San Filippo and Saturnia.

Thermal baths in Saturnia (GR)

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