First of all, we need a good map of Tuscany. Do you have one? You will see that this region is by no means small, and has a vaguely triangular shape.
To get an idea of the Tuscany territory, its surface is approximately 22.992 km2 (this is the fifth Italian region by extension). The Tuscany territory is hilly, 67%, 25% mountainous and only 8% is flat. In addition, there are 278 provinces and municipalities.
After this opening words made up of numbers and percentages, it is clear why hills dominate in the photographs of the Tuscan landscape . Geography and morphology help us to find our bearings and to understand also what can be more suited to our needs ... even though at school you hated making casts of maps and memorize what were the sectors of a nation's development, now that you are travellers you can finally appreciate the art of the great explorers and navigators. You will not want to displease poor Christopher Columbus ? Did you forget Marco Polo ? Come on!
Geographers and cartographers enable us to get to know the world we live in without getting lost! Therefore, not only is it important to know about the Tuscan borders and how to read a map of Tuscany, Italy and its reference symbols, but also to observe the geography of Tuscany: seas, islands, mountains, hills, roads, valleys, towns, villages, beaches ... it's all here in Tuscany!
GEOGRAPHY OF TUSCANY. A region bathed by two seas, Tuscany is one of the richest in landscape and natural density. Starting from the west, the coast extends along the Ligurian Sea to the north (the area of Versilia to the Gulf of Baratti) and the Tyrrhenian Sea (from Piombino onwards); amongst the waves is a portion of floating region or the Tuscan archipelago. The island of Elba is the largest of the islands, pearls of Tuscany. A geographical regions emerging from the boundary of the peninsula, these marine territories are sometimes as mountainous or flat as Capraia Pianosa.
To the northern Tuscany map, the region borders with Liguria and Emilia Romagna, east of Umbria and Marche and finally to south with Lazio!
The physical geography of Tuscany shows us that the predominant area is hilly, but there is also much more. We see, then, how to divide it and where are the various parts of the region are.
HILLS. The morphology of Tuscany - its shape and appearance in the photographs- is hilly. The Tuscan territory is in fact famous for being 'soft' and harmonious', devoid of dizzying heights and suitable, therefore, for oil crops and wine. The hilly areas are often defined as the Tuscan countryside and are divided by valleys and streams that are slowly degrading as one gets closer to the coast.
In the central area there are the hills of Pisa and Livorno, the very special Cliffs of Volterra, the Valdelsa area near Florence, the famous Chianti hills that extend from Siena to Arezzo and finally the Tiber Valley.
To the south of the region you will find the metalliferous hills in the area between Grosseto and Livorno, Crete Senesi to the south of Siena, known for its lunar landscape and where the beautiful area of Val d'Orcia begins, a listed UNESCO heritage site. These groups of hills are perfect if you're looking to discover a bit of the rural world that has remained in this region and of rural traditions that are part of it. To say nothing of D.O.C. wines produced in these regions of Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino)!
MOUNTAINS. The Apennines surround Tuscany in the northern Tuscany map and the eastern area. The Tyrrhenian coast of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines boasts impressive heights such as Corno alle Scale (1945 m), Mount Falterona (1654 m) and Mount Cimone (2165 m). Among the most fascinating mountain ranges are also to be cited the Apuan Alps in the north-west between the Versilia and the Garfagnana.
With the geographical map of the Tuscany region of Italy at hand, you will also see another important area in the south: it is the massif of Monte Amiata. This mountain was once a volcano! From here, moving your finger on the map to the southeast you will also find Mount Cetona between Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana. On these mountains it is possible to enjoy skiing, walking or climbing!
COAST. On the map of Tuscany, the coast is generally low and sandy, starting from the north, and reaching the Livorno area where it is more rugged, rocky and elevated in sections. The last section, however, the area in front of the Maremma, is flatter and sandy.
You understand then that if you want more regular beaches you should turn your attention to Versilia. But if are looking for a more varied landscape and dissolves and coves then you might prefer to head south to Argentario. However, the coast is not always homogenous, so you can find sandy areas also in the southern belt, in particular we suggest: Cala Violina, Punta Ala and Talamone. The geography of Tuscany also helps you choose where you can go for a swim and where to go in search of hidden beaches!
LAKES AND RIVERS. The Tuscany territory does not boast the presence of many lakes. But it does boast the Arno river which runs through Florence, the capital.
However, you should visit Lake Massaciuccoli in the province of Lucca, suitable for sports such as rowing and is close to the Natural Park of San Rossore and Migliarino.
As for the rivers, know that the Arno has an extension of 241 km and covers an area of 8247 km2. It originates from Mount Falterona and flows through the Casentino to the southeast. Considering that it is only secondary to the Tiber River in scope and size, the city of Florence and surrounding areas suffered epochal damage due to flooding of the Arno in 1966.
Another of important watercourse is the Ombrone River that flows from Chianti to Grosseto and among the various tributaries has the Arbia river, mentioned by Dante in the Inferno in relation to the famous battle of Montaperti took place in these areas.
Finally, Magra River in Lunigiana, Serchio which runs along the Garfagnana, Cecina that originates in the Metalliferous Hills and the two courses that start in Monte Amiata, rivers Albegna and Flora.
Now that you have mastered the geography of Tuscany with your Tuscany map, you are ready to embark on your journey like experienced explorers!
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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