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Siena, Province of Siena, Florence, Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, Elba,

Toscana Travel

Toscana Travel

Siena:
Piazza del Campo: Square popular for public celebrations (Palio of Siena). Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia. Siena Cathedral: Romanesque-Gothic cathedral with mosaics. The cathedral itself was originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure. It has the form of a Latin cross with a slightly projecting transept, a dome and a bell tower. The dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns. The lantern atop the dome was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The nave is separated from the two aisles by semicircular arches. The exterior and interior are constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, with addition of red marble on the façade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, etiologically linked to black and white horses of the legendary city's founders, Senius and Aschius. Palazzo Pubblico: Gothic style town hall building & tower. The Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) is a palace in Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. Construction began in 1297 and its original purpose was to house the republican government, consisting of the Podestà and Council of Nine. The outside of the structure is an example of Italian medieval architecture with Gothic influences. The lower story is stone; the upper crenelatted stories are made of brick. The facade of the palace is curved slightly inwards (concave) to reflect the outwards curve (convex) of the Piazza del Campo, Siena's central square of which the Palace is the focal point. The campanile or bell tower, Torre del Mangia, was built between 1325 and 1344 with its crown designed by the painter, Lippo Memmi. The tower was designed to be taller than the tower in neighboring rival Florence; at the time it was the tallest structure in Italy. It was fitted with a mechanical clock during the mid-14th century. Its design has been used as the basis for several other campaniles including the Dock Tower in Grimsby, England constructed in 1852 and the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower in the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham (completed in 1908). Torre del Mangia: Iconic landmark tower & medieval belfry. It is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena's premier square, adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). Basilica of San Domenico: St Catherine's relics in 1200s cathedral. Palazzo Salimbeni: Historic palace with a grand square. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo: Duomo museum with religious treasures. Pinacoteca Nazionale: Art gallery housing Sienese masterpieces. Basilica of San Francesco: Gothic church with a spare interior. Santa Maria dei Servi: Romanesque style church Gothic art. San Martino: is a Roman Catholic church Civic Museum Fonte Gaia: Historic fountain with reliefs & statues Fortezza Medicea: Historic setting with trails & views Siena Baptistery of San Giovanni: Cathedral building with frescoes & font Biblioteca Piccolomini: Duomo library with Pinturicchio frescoes Loggia del Papa Siena. Orto Botanico of University of Siena. Santa Caterina: Sanctuary at St.Catherine's birthplace Piazza Salimbeni: Palace and monument Palazzo Sansedoni: Palace, history, and architecture Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo: Art museum, palace, and art Toscana Travel

Florence:
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell'Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.” The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (in English "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower") is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style with the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge"), is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie. The Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace") is the town hall of Florence. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti. Piazza della Repubblica ("Republic Square") is a city square in Florence. It is on the site, first of the city's forum and then of the city's old ghetto, which was swept away during the city improvement works or Risanamento initiated during the brief period when Florence was the capital of a reunited Italy, work that also created the city's avenues and boulevards. The ghetto has disappeared from the square, and the Loggia del Pesce from the Mercato Vecchio was moved to Piazza Ciompi. Among the square's cafes, the Giubbe Rosse cafe has long been a meeting place for famous artists and writers, notably those of Futurism. Toscana Travel

Arezzo
Arezzo is a city in eastern Tuscany, Italy. The hilltop Arezzo Cathedral features painted vaulted ceilings and a 15th-century fresco of Mary Magdalene by Piero della Francesca. Nearby, the Basilica di San Francesco has a chapel decorated with more Piero frescoes. The Basilica di San Domenico contains the 13th-century “Crucifix” painted by Cimabue. The imposing Medicean Fortress has sweeping city views. The Basilica of San Francesco is a late Medieval church in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, dedicated to St Francis of Assisi. It is especially renowned for housing in the chancel the fresco cycle Legends of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca. Santa Maria della Pieve: The church is documented since as early as 1008, and, during the communal period of Arezzo, it was the stronghold of the city's struggle against its bishops. After the latter built the nearby Cathedral and palace, the church, which had been already rebuilt in the 12th century, was further renovated with the façade and the apse, and the interior was remade in Gothic style (13th century). The bell tower, finished in 1330, is in Romanesque style. Arezzo Cathedral (Italian: Cattedrale di Arezzo, Duomo di Arezzo, Cattedrale di Ss. Donato e Pietro) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy. It is located on the site of a pre-existing Palaeo-Christian church and, perhaps, of the ancient city's acropolis. Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church in Arezzo, Tuscany, central Italy. It is located on the site of an ancient sanctuary with a spring that, in the Etruscan-Roman era, it was consecrated to Apollo. In the Middle Ages it was known as Fonte Tecta The Basilica of San Domenico is a Medieval church in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, dedicated to St Dominic. It is especially renowned for housing a painted crucifix by Cimabue. The construction began in 1275 and was completed in the 14th century. Toscana Travel

Grosseto is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 kilometres from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain on the Ombrone river. Grosseto Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy. It is the cathedral of the diocese of Grosseto and is dedicated to Saint Lawrence. Palazzo Aldobrandeschi is a palace in Grosseto, Italy. It is situated in Piazza Dante. During the Middle Ages, it was the house of the Aldobrandeschi family. It was almost entirely rebuilt in the early 20th century by the architect Lorenzo Porciatti. It is now a Neo-Gothic building with ogival mullioned windows and merlons in the upper part of the walls. Museum of Natural History of the Maremma Museo archeologico e d’arte della Maremma: History museum in Grosseto, Italy Toscana Travel

Livorno is an Italian port city on the west coast of Tuscany. It's known for its seafood, Renaissance-era fortifications and modern harbor with a cruise ship port. Its central Terrazza Mascagni, a waterside promenade with checkerboard paving, is the city's main gathering place. The bastions of the 16th-century Fortezza Vecchia face the harbor and open onto Livorno's canal-laced Venezia Nuova quarter. Terrazza Mascagni: Elegant waterfront terrace with a gazebo & benches offering panoramic sea & sunset views. Palazzo Aldobrandeschi is a palace in Grosseto, Italy. It is situated in Piazza Dante. During the Middle Ages, it was the house of the Aldobrandeschi family. It was almost entirely rebuilt in the early 20th century by the architect Lorenzo Porciatti. It is now a Neo-Gothic building with ogival mullioned windows and merlons in the upper part of the walls. The Old Fortress of Livorno is a castle in Livorno, Italy. The Old Fortress is a successor building to a medieval fort built by the city of Pisa in the location of an older keep built by Countess Matilda of Tuscany in the 11th century. The Monument of the Four Moors is located in Livorno, Italy. It was completed in 1626 to commemorate the victories of Ferdinand I of Tuscany over the Ottomans. It is the most famous monument of Livorno and is located in Piazza Micheli. Fortezza Nuova: This fort, situated in a body of water, was designed by Bernardo Buontalenti & completed in 1604. Toscana Travel

Lucca is a city on the Serchio river in Italy’s Tuscany region. It’s known for the well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city center and its cobblestone streets. Broad, tree-lined pathways along the tops of these massive 16th- and 17th-century ramparts are popular for strolling and cycling. Casa di Puccini, where the great opera composer was born, is now a house museum. Piazza dell'Anfiteatro is a public square in the northeast quadrant of walled center of Lucca, region of Tuscany, Italy. The ring of buildings surrounding the square, follows the elliptical shape of the former second century Roman Amphitheater of Lucca. The square can be reached through four gateways located at the four vertices of the ellipse. A cross is carved into the central tile of the square with the arms pointing to the four gateways of the square. Lucca Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Lucca, Cattedrale di San Martino) is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint Martin in Lucca. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Lucca. Construction was begun in 1063 by Bishop Anselm (later Pope Alexander II). The Torre Guinigi is the most important tower of Lucca, Tuscany, central Italy. It is a typical example of local Romanesque-Gothic architecture. This tower is one of the few remaining within the city walls. Its main characteristic is its garden in the sky on the roof of the tower. The tower has been donated to the local government by the descendents of the Guinigi family. The ancient trees are holm oaks symbolising rebirth and renewal. The tower dates from the 1300s when a number of wealthy families were building bell towers within the walls of Lucca as status symbols. The kitchen was originally on the floor below with the rooftop serving as a kitchen garden. San Michele in Foro is a Roman Catholic basilica church in Lucca, Tuscany, central Italy, built over the ancient Roman forum. Until 1370 it was the seat of the Consiglio Maggiore (Major Council), the commune's most important assembly. It is dedicated to Archangel Michael. Ponte della Maddalena Steep, pedestrian-only bridge across Serchio river, dating from 1100 AD & used by medieval pilgrims. Toscana Travel

The Province of Massa-Carrara is a province in the Tuscany region of central Italy. It is named after the two main towns in its territory: Carrara and Massa, its capital. Carrara is an city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, of the province of Massa and Carrara and notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres west-northwest of Florence. Its motto is Fortitudo mea in rota. The Malaspina Castle is located in Massa, Italy. It crowns the top of a rocky hill and dominates the wide underlying plain and part of the Tyrrhenian coast. The Carrara Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Carrara, northern Italy. Nearly all of the exterior is covered by local Carrara marble. Monte Sagro is a mountain in the Alpi Apuane, in Tuscany, central Italy, overlooking the city of Carrara. It is located in the northern part of the range, and, being mostly composed of marble of renowned quality, is home to several quarries. Cave di Marmo: Local history museum in Italy Castello Aghinolfi: Castle in Italy. Toscana Travel

Pisa is a city in Italy's Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Already tilting when it was completed in 1372, the 56m white-marble cylinder is the bell tower of the Romanesque, striped-marble cathedral that rises next to it in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Also in the piazza is the Baptistry, whose renowned acoustics are demonstrated by amateur singers daily, and the Caposanto Monumentale cemetery. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the centre. The Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), is a walled 8.87-hectare area located in Pisa, recognized as an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. Considered sacred by the Catholic Church, its owner, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery). Partly paved and partly grassed, the Piazza dei Miracoli is also the site of the Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito (New Hospital of the Holy Spirit), which houses the Sinopias Museum (Italian: Museo delle Sinopie) and the Cathedral Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo). The name Piazza dei Miracoli was coined by the Italian writer and poet Gabriele d'Annunzio who, in his novel Forse che sì forse che no (1910), described the square as the "prato dei Miracoli," or "meadow of miracles". The square is sometimes called the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). In 1987, the whole square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pisa Cathedral (Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta; Duomo di Pisa) is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Italy. It is a notable example of Romanesque architecture, in particular the style known as Pisan Romanesque. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Pisa. Santa Maria della Spina is a small church in the Italian city of Pisa. The church, erected around 1230 in the Pisan Gothic style, and enlarged after 1325, was originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo for the newer bridge that existed nearby, collapsed in the 15th century, and was never rebuilt. The name of della Spina ("of the thorn") derives from the presence of a thorn, putatively part of the crown of thorns placed on Christ during his Passion and Crucifixion. The relic was brought to this church in 1333. In 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous infiltration of water from the Arno river. The church was altered in the process, however, and John Ruskin, who visited Pisa in 1872, was outraged about the restoration. The church of Santa Maria della Spina has always been administered by the city, except for short interruptions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it fell to the responsibility of the local hospital. The Knights’ Square (Piazza dei Cavalieri) is a landmark in Pisa, Italy, and the second main square of the city. This square was the political centre in medieval Pisa. After the middle of 16th century the square became the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen. Now it is a centre of education, being the main house of the Scuola Normale di Pisa, a higher learning institution part of the University. Toscana Travel

Pistoia is a city in Italy’s Tuscany region. Set around its central Piazza del Duomo are the Cathedral of San Zeno, which has a silver altar, and the octagonal Battistero di San Giovanni in Corte baptistery. Also on the square is the Palazzo dei Vescovi, an 11th-century palace housing a number of museums. On the nearby Piazza della Sala, the Pozzo del Leoncino is a well with a marble frame. Pistoia Cathedral is the main religious building of Pistoia, Tuscany, central Italy, located in the Piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city. It is the seat of the Bishop of Pistoia and is dedicated to Saint Zeno of Verona. Piazza del Duomo: Medieval square lined with Gothic buildings, used for traditional cultural events & folk festivals. San Giovanni Fuoricivitas is a Romanesque religious complex in Pistoia, Tuscany, central Italy. The adjective fuoricivitas refers to the fact that, when it was founded during the Lombard rule in Italy, the complex was located outside the city walls. Zoo di Pistoia is a Zoo and Amusement park in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy, created in 1970 with an area of 75,000 square metres Battistero di San Giovanni in Corte: Baptistery, Monument in Pistoia. Toscana Travel

Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is at the foot of Monte Retaia, elevation 768 metres, the last peak in the Calvana chain. Historically, Prato's economy has been based on the textile industry. The renowned Datini archives are a significant collection of late medieval documents concerning economic and trade history, produced between 1363 and 1410. Prato textile museum: The Campolmi Factory, the Prato textile museum and Lazzerini Library is a textile museum and library in Prato in Tuscany, Italy. The museum is an Anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci is sited at 277 Via della Repubblica, Prato near Florence, Italy. The centre is devoted to the contemporary arts of the last three decades. The Cathedral museum of Prato, Italy was founded in 1967 in a few rooms of the Bishop's residence and in 1976 grew to include items from both the Cathedral of Saint Stephen and the diocesan territory. Prato Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prato, Tuscany, Central Italy, from 1954 the seat of the Bishop of Prato, having been previously, from 1653, a cathedral in the Diocese of Pistoia and Prato. Castello dell'Imperatore: A castle with crenellated walls and towers. Built for the medieval emperor and King of Sicily Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, it was built in Prato, Italy on top of a previous fortification of which two towers remain. Toscana Travel