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 ART CITIES in Tuscany
 
Very few places in the world can boast an artistic legacy with contents so deeply rooted in the territory and popular culture as Tuscany. We invite you to discover this elect land of art and civilisation which today continues to be a sought-after place of residence and source of inspiration for numerous Italian and foreign artists. The countless testimonies of art in Tuscany indeed narrate a story as articulated and complex as it is unique and unrepeatable, starting at the dawn of civilisation and continuing, without solution of continuity, up until present day. For the visitor, a trip to Tuscany at the beginning of the Third Millennium holds much the same fascination that accompanied the travellers on the Grand Tour. The first-time visitor to the lands of Tuscany can not but be amazed by the natural symbiosis between landscape and culture, history and the expressive means of architecture and town-planning, the urban and rural dimension, and its patrimony of art, architecture, monuments and museums. A cradle of Italian civilisation and one of the greatest crucibles of modern European culture, Tuscany is not only tied to the extraordinary elaboration of concepts and the original expression of forms and methods that left their mark in more than two millennia of history: it was itself a forge of an extraordinary artistic production that set pace and means on the continent. We need only recall the universal nature of the Renaissance which, starting in Florence and thanks to the versatility and genius of its extraordinary interpreters, spread and took root throughout Europe. Tuscany as a workshop of artistic experiences, as a place of synthesis and rebirth on a universal level. A synthesis of art in this region begins with the cave dwellings of Cetona, the stele-statues of Lunigiana, the presence of ancient civilisations on Elba Island, and then continues with the Etruscan necropolises with tangible signs of a Roman past, the countless testimonies of the Middle Ages, the flowering of the Gothic, the explosion of the Renaissance, the opulence of the Baroque, the Macchiaioli, the flowery art nouveau style, termed Liberty, finally reaching the expressions and trends of contemporary art.You could start your trip from the south, with the city of Grosseto, the chief town and market of Tuscan Maremma, you can visit The Cathedral built at the end of 1200, the Art and Archeological Museum, the Walls and the church of St.Francis, in the surroundings there is the Natural Park of Maremma and the Etruscan ruins of Roselle.keeping on your itinerary in Tuscany, you could go to Siena, an international centre of culture, with a University aged 750 and great Istitutions as the Chigiana Music Accademy, the University for Foreigners, The Accademia dei Fisiocratici, The accedemia degli Intronati. This is the town where any single stone has remained unchanged over the centuries, the atmosphere is unique for everything bear witness to ancient past which is still alive in the celebrations for Palio taking place every year with renewed enthusiasm.In your choice among the artistic itinerary in Tuscany you shouldnt forget to see the city of Arezzo that sets on a hill above the plain made up of the floods from Arno river. In the upper part of the town you can find the Cathedral, the Town Hall, the Medici Fortress, from which the main streets branch off towards the lower part as far as the gates. The upper part of the town maintains its medieval aspect even if we can find later architectonic monuments. From here you could go on your trip discovering the beautiful small towns in the province of Arezzo as Montevarchi and Cortona.If you look for the best, you must visit Florence, that keeps an exceptional artistic heritage which is a marvellous evidence of its aged culture. Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, lived in Florence as well as Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renewers of architecture and sculpture; Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio forefathers of the Renaissance, Ghiberti and the Della Robbias , Filippo Lippi and Angelico ; Botticelli , Paolo Uccello and the universal genius of Leonardo and Michelangelo . Their works, together with those of many other generations of artists up to the artists of our century, are gathered in the several museums of the town : the Uffizzi, the most selected gallery in the world, the Palatina gallery with the paintings of the Golden Ages . The Bargello Tower with the sculptures of the Renaissance, the museum of San Marco with Angelicos works, the Academy, the chapels of the Medicis , Buonarroti s house with the sculptures of Michelangelo , the following museums: Bardini , Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini, The Gallery of Modern Art, The museum of Opera del Duomo,the museum of Silverware and the museum of Precious Stones. Great monuments are the landmarks florentine artistic culture: the Baptistry with its mosaics; the Cathedral with its sculptures, the medieval churches with bands of frescoes; public as well as private palaces: Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati; monasteries, cloisters, refectories; the Certosa. In the archeological museum you will find plenty of documents of Etruscan civilization.You also have to visit the city of Pistoia: set under the Appenine mountains, Pistoia is a tourist mixture of history, art, folk traditions, monuments. Among the famous towns in Tuscany, Pistoia shows original claracteristics and it is really worth sighseeing it, as, after all, Lucca: In the medieval town surronded by walls, artistic and historic monuments stand out, as the Roman Amphiteatre, The Basilica of San Frediano, The Square and the Church of St. Michele, the Ducale Palace in Napoleon square, last evidences of the Principato of Lucca.

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