Art & culture
Tuscan art and culture each year attracts visitors from around the world and since its inception has been a model for centuries to come. Every city, town and village in the region, despite the passage of time, has always retained its own individuality with pride and passion. This has meant that each area has created a strong ingenuity, and creativity that is often the result of the relationship with the surrounding landscape. Michelangelo, one of the greatest Tuscan famous artists, argued that his talent and skills were due to the ‘lightness’ of the air where he was born. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that many illustrious souls have in common the origins in this region.
Art and culture in Tuscany are intertwined in a continuous relationship of harmony and add value to places. With immediate effect on your arrival you will notice that also the smaller towns in Tuscany are worth visiting. Of course, the most famous Tuscan paintings are in Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca, as their monuments, paintings, photographs, postcards and multimedia reproductions are known throughout Europe. One cannot fail to recognize the Tower of Pisa or Florence Cathedral with its unique 'dome'.
Another important aspect of art in Tuscany to consider is the variety of ages that it brings together: some areas have preserved historical artifacts and Etruscan and Roman art, such as the necropolis of Populonia, up to the dawn of Christianity, of which there remain the Francigena way for pilgrims passing through the region, which still represents a walking trail of inestimable value.
The Middle Ages characterize the Tuscany art especially in villages and small towns, where you will often find Romanesque city walls, towers, abbeys and churches. In particular the city of Pisa has contributed more than others to influence with its own style, namely, Pisan Romanesque, other places along the coast. Do not miss the opportunity to take a tour of Pisa to discover its unique Tuscan art!
At the beginning of the 13th century Tuscan artists mainly specialised in sculpture: Nicola Pisano, Giovanni Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio, whereas Cimabue and Giotto specialised in painting. The latter, was born in Vicchio del Mugello (near Florence) around 1267, and trained under the leadership of Cimabue, who was also from Florence. The student, Giotto, however, surpassed the teacher, by finding a stylistic innovative way and totally independent of the previous models of the Byzantine tradition. Giotto created a painting technique that could communicate and relate through the depth of the characters and that made him one of the main references of Italian and Tuscan art during the following centuries. In addition to the Tuscan paintings and masterpieces in Padua and Assisi, if you are in Florence we suggest you also visit the Uffizi to admire its splendid Ognissanti Madonna!
The subsequent period represents the pinnacle of artistic grandeur and development of the Renaissance architecture in Tuscany. Florence is known worldwide as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and, by visiting this city, you are surrounded by monuments and buildings that will take you back to the time of the Medici and the great Tuscan artists who have made this place an undisputed symbol of elegance and urban harmony.
Tuscan culture has spread from Florence and throughout Europe. It has enchanted all visitors, pilgrims and noblemen, from the 15th century onwards. The itineraries of the Grand Tour, fashion and customs of the following centuries, regarded this region as a key point for the formation of young people who were preparing to learn culture and art in Tuscany and its crafts.
Tuscany Renaissance Art also brought the development of engineering and architecture, exemplified by the prospective discoveries and the buildings designed by Brunelleschi, one primary example being the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Painting continued its journey with Masaccio up to the masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Botticelli and Donatello. From this, especially in Florence new developments were created such as art workshops, artisans, new neighbourhoods and the merchant class started businesses throughout Europe. Patronage by the nobles favoured the development of the city and the construction of religious buildings, gardens and large monuments.
At the end of the century and the beginning of the 16th century the art of Tuscany, Italy could boast among its masters Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Leonardo was born in the village of Vinci in 1452. He is considered to have had the most brilliant and extremely talented mind for his time. In addition to being a painter of masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the fresco of the Last Supper, his knowledge ranging from science to engineering was unique. His artistic training took place in one of the most prestigious workshops in Florence, that of Andrea Verrocchio. As it often happens, the student surpassed the teacher by demonstrating from his early works a talent beyond measure. His talent manifested itself through inventions, hydraulic works, studies of anatomy, flight projects and more. In one of the rooms during your guided tour of the Uffizi you will discover early works of this great artist.
The path of art and culture of Tuscany continues with Michelangelo. Born in Caprese near Arezzo in 1475, this artist became famous for his great work in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and his origins marked his entire artistic career. His training took place at the famous workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the most important Florentine artist of this time. After his travelling due to the training and the works commissioned throughout Italy, Michelangelo returned to Florence where, in 1501, he was commissioned by the Opera del Duomo the famous statue of David which today you can enjoy during a visit to the Accademia Gallery together with the sculptures of the Prisons and St Matthew. If you are particularly attracted to the works of Michelangelo, we suggest you also visit the Bargello National Museum in the historical centre of Florence, where you can also see the bronze statue of David by Donatello.
The following periods were, for art in Tuscany, and Italy in general, characterized by the Mannerist and Baroque style up to the new reforms of modern times. For example, during the 19th century, the artist Giovanni Fattori developed the Macchiaioli School, while from an architectural point of view the Tyrrhenian coast was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style which was very popular in the 20th century. Another Tuscany famous artist of the 20th century who has had international fame was Amedeo Modigliani, who was also born in Livorno.
Art and culture in Tuscany, Italy including its landscapes, will leave a pleasant sense of enchantment and a deep calm given by its unique beauty. As people from Tuscany aer used to saying: “culture in Tuscany is no laughing matter!'
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Tours & Activities
Skip the line: Guided visit to the Accademia Gallery in Florence
Duration: approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes
Tours & Activities
Day trip to Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti area: departure from Florence
Duration: approx. 11 hours