|2507 Tuscany map|
Located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and Lazio, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". It is a traditionally popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The regional capital is Florence (Firenze), "the Athens of the Middle Ages".
|2508 Snapshots from Tuscany|
Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few (but fertile) plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence, Empoli and Pisa. The climate is fairly mild in the coastal areas, and is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino.
|2509 Tuscany: 1. Florence; 2. Massa Marittima; 3. Siena; |
4. Montecatini; 5. San Gimignano; 6. Pisa; 7. Arezzo;
8. Monteriggioni; 9. Lucca; 10. Cortona.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, reaching its peak during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, finally succumbing to the Romans by the 1st century. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, and the region fell briefly to Goths, then was re-conquered by the Byzantine Empire. In the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia.
The conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, factions supporting the Papacy or the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries, split the Tuscan people. The two factions gave rise to several powerful and rich medieval communes in Tuscany: Arezzo, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, and Siena. One family that benefitted from Florence's growing wealth and power was the ruling Medici family. The Black Death epidemic hit Tuscany starting in 1348, and eventually killed 70% of the population.
Florence extended its dominion through the annexation of Arezzo in 1384, the purchase of Pisa in 1405, and of Livorno in 1421. From the leading city of Florence, the republic was from 1434 onward dominated by the increasingly monarchical Medici family. These rulers presided over the Florentine Renaissance. Tuscany, especially Florence, is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance. In the 16th century, the Medicis annexed the Republic of Siena, creating the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
The Medici family became extinct in 1737 with the death of Gian Gastone, and Tuscany was transferred to Francis, Duke of Lorraine and husband of Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, who let rule the country by his son. The dynasty of the Lorena ruled Tuscany until 1860. After the Second Italian War of Independence, a revolution evicted the last Grand Duke, and after a plebiscite Tuscany became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. From 1864 to 1870 Florence became the second capital of the kingdom.
Tuscany has a unique artistic legacy, and Florence is one of the world's most important water-colour centres, even so that it is often nicknamed the "art palace of Italy" (the city is also believed to have the largest concentration of Renaissance art and architecture in the world). It has also a rich ancient and modern musical tradition, and has produced numerous composers and musicians, including Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni. Several famous writers and poets are from Tuscany, most notably Florentine author Dante Alighieri.
About the stamp
The stamp belongs to a series of definitive stamps, about which I wrote here.
Tuscany - Wikipedia
Sender 2507,2508, 2509: Ana
2507: Sent from Rome (Lazio / Italy) on 11.09.2014
2508, 2509: Sent from Florence (Tuscany / Italy) on 03.06.2014
Photo 2508, 2509: Luciano Mugnaini