Cruise in Italy shore excursions holiday

When we speak of Tuscany we must first of ali understand what we are talking about: a certain area with certain boundaries, a historical region the confines of which may coincide with those of the present politicai and administrative region, though not entirely and not necessarily. Ali the same, we would be doing an injustice to its landscape, to its peo-ple, to its various modes of speech, to the traditions stili flourishing there, if our appreciation of the basic unity with-in the region did not also do justice to the profound differ-ences, the particulars, and in short ali the very diverse, though harmonizing, voices that go to make up the chorus.
We often say "Tuscany" while thinking simply of Flo­rence. It is for the most part non-Tuscans who fall into thìs trap, to the great indignation pf the Tuscans (Florentines included), since the historical, linguistic and cultural struc-ture of the region - in spite of the exceptional importance of the "capital," which in any case exceeds the confines of the region itself - is eminently polycentric. Someone attempted to defìne it, rather detightfully, as a "thou-sand-year-old city-culture." Yet even today, in the era of the megalopolis, between the folds of its hills and moun-tains, and on the carpets of its few restricted plains, this region of cities stili preserves broad areas that are entirely or prevalently rural, or even uninhabited. It is often said that the Tuscans are absolutely unmistakable amongst the Italians, but by so saying we underestimate the fact that the region has many "frontier" areas, where this uniqueness is toned down, and where a Tuscan takes on something of Liguria, Emilia, Romagna, Umbria or Lazio. The region contains a wealth of small differences, and even more or less evident internai divisions. From the ba­sic point of view of climate, altitude and economy, there are in fact at least three Tuscanys: the region of the Apen-nines; the hilly areas which, from the rolling country of the "Lucchesia" across the gentle hills of Chianti and the Val d'Elsa, extend as far as the Colline Metallifere and Monte Amiata; and finally the coastal areas and the nar-row river valleys wedged between hills and mountains. And this apart from the Tuscan islands, similar only in part to the coastal areas.
But the region also changes a great deal from north to south.




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