The name Tuscany, comes from the ancient Etruscan civilization who lived in Tuscany centuries before it was conquered by Rome -over 2,500 years ago. There are still Etruscan tombs located all over Tuscany’s country side. Some are as old as 350 B.C. ·
Volterra o It was one of the most important Etruscan town more than 2,500 years ago because it was an important key trading center. o There is a museum full of artefacts from centuries before Christ that seem to have a Greek influence. o The city hall is 700 years old –it’s believed to be the oldest in Tuscany.
Volterra was independent and democratic, own army who raised their own taxes and had their own weights and measure system. o Its open theater would seat up to 2,000 spectators. o Volterra is known for its Alabaster sculptures and there are many artists there. Alabaster is softer and easier to work than marble, and has a translucent quality.
· Pienza (formerly Corsignano) was home of Pope Pius II of the Piccolomini family. In the 1400, he CHANGED the town from a medieval to a renaissance architecture in 4 years. Then the town’s name was changed to Pienza.
· Montepulciano Known for its views, villas, and wine. It’s a breezy and relaxed place to be in the summer. Their city hall resembles Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio because it was built under Florentine dominance 500 years ago. They make really good wine there.
TUSCAN FOOD & WINE FOOD
Wild Boar is popular in Tuscany. Sausages and ham hocks are the most common way it is eaten.
Tuscan wines are the most famous in Italy. The things that make them unique are the characteristics of the soil, temperature and grapes’ exposure to the sun. -Brunello di Montalcino - traditional wine in Tuscany made with Sangiovese grapes from Montalcino only. -Super Tuscan - is a Tuscan wine, but made with international grapes: Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah.