Tuscany, Italy

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Located in north-central Italy on the west coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea is the region of Tuscany. Tuscany, Italy is the fifth largest region in Italy by size, covering a total area of around 8,900 square miles.  The capital city of Florence is home to some of the most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture. The Tuscany region also boasts of a diverse natural landscape that includes the Apennine Mountains, olive groves, vineyards, and sandy beaches. 

Cities as Seen on a Map of Tuscany, Italy:

  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Pienza
  • Montepulciano
  • Prato
  • Livorno
  • Arezzo
  • Pistoia
  • Grosseto
  • Massa
  • Carrara

Quick Facts:

  • Population = 3.7 million
  • Language = Italian (Tuscan dialect)
  • Ethnicities = Italians (93%), minorities include immigrants from the United States, Britain, and China
  • Capital = Florence


The History of Tuscany

The first inhabitants of the region of Tuscany were the Etruscans. These were ancient Italians who settled in the regions of present-day Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio. When settling the region, the Etruscans established transportation, agriculture, mining, and art; all areas of trade and commerce provided a way-of-life for the people.

By the first century BC, the Romans had acquired the region and continued to build on the infrastructure that the Etruscans started. Rome established the major cities in the area, including Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the area was acquired by the Byzantine Empire, an eastern empire of Romans. It lasted until 572 when the Lombards, a Germanic tribe, acquired the peninsula. The Lombards ruled the region until 774. 

By the 12th century, the region of Tuscany was divided. Half of the region was on the side of the Holy Roman Empire, also known as the German-Roman Empire, while the remaining half was on the side of the Pope. Roman Catholicism was split between believing that the Holy Roman Emperor was the divine successor, or if the Pope, also known as the Bishop of Rome, was the legal successor. This divide caused a split in the Tuscan people during the 12th and 13th centuries.

In 1348, the Black Death plagued the region, killing around 70% of the Tuscan population. The plague reappeared in 1630 in Tuscany and Florence.

During the Napoleonic period between 1804 and 1814, Tuscany was annexed into the French Empire. After the Napoleonic era, Tuscany was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy during the Italian Unification in 1860. 

During World War II, Tuscany was controlled by the Italian Nazis. After World War II, Tuscany became the center of culture and agriculture in the region, flourishing as it did in the centuries before. 


Italian is the primary language of Tuscany. The dialect of Italian that is spoken in the region is Tuscan. Another Italian dialect of the region is the Florentine dialect, which encompasses the city of Florence in Tuscany. Since the 1980s, there has been a rise in immigrants from the United States, Britain, and China, making English and Chinese a minor language that is spoken in the area. 


Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in Tuscany, but there are also a number of Jewish synagogues that have been constructed in the area and used by the Jewish communities. Roman Catholicism is practiced in most regions of Italy because of the large influence that Ancient Rome had on the area. Roman Catholicism is different from standard Catholicism because the regions of Italy were once ruled by Ancient Rome, making the denomination of Christianity Roman Catholicism. 


The culture of the Tuscan people has caused a powerful impact on the world with their influences in art, architecture, music, literature, and science. The city of Florence was given the nickname “the art palace of Italy” due to its artistic significance to the world. 

Additionally, there are many art schools in the region, which allows the people of Tuscany to enter the artistic field within their own region without having to leave. Tuscany has strong musical connections, as the first operas were performed in this region. In literature, some of the most world-famous love poems were written by Tuscan poets. 

Not only does Tuscany provide a wide variety of opportunities for people who are seeking a career in the arts, but the region of Tuscany has also impacted the world by producing significant art, music, and literature in the region. 

Migration Patterns

After the Italian Unification of the 1860s, Italy was left with poverty, overcrowding, and unemployment. Southern Italy suffered the most during this time, as there were not as many opportunities for work in the south as there were in northern Italy. Tuscany lies in the northern half of the country, but it was not immune to emigration. During this time, between 12 and 13 million Italians emigrated from the country in search of work, and this included a number of Tuscans. 

Today, there is a museum in Tuscany dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Tuscans who live abroad in South America, the United States, and Europe. The museum showcases letters, photos, and other documentation that Tuscan emigrants sent back to their homeland while they were abroad. 

Beginning in the 1980s, Tuscany started to see an increase of Chinese immigrants in the area. This is likely due to the mills and workshops that were in the area. The Chinese considered these businesses to pay well for cheap and undocumented labor. Typically, these Chinese workers were paid “under the table” with no paper trail. The area saw a rise in the Chinse population beginning in the 1980s until today. 


Tuscan genealogy includes mostly Italian heritage and descent, but other lineages can be included in the genealogy. The first settlers of the region were Italian with Greek influences and connections. This can include lineage from both Roman and Germanic genealogy. People who have genealogy connected to the region of Tuscany are likely descendants of Italian, Greek, Roman, or Italo-Germanic lineage. 

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Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.