HIDDEN TREASURES

An original section to reveal legends, mysteries, anecdotes and Tuscany curiosities


The exuberant spirit and strong attachment to their land
that have always characterized the Tuscans - it seems that the term 'parochialism' was born here - have spawned hundreds of legends, anecdotes, folk beliefs and mysteries.

In this section, curated by a true insider and constantly updated, you can discover many curiosities of Tuscany and get to know the hidden treasures of Tuscany!

Do you want to know about illustrious and famous people from Tuscany? Or are you curious to discover the most famous (but even the less known) Tuscan anecdotes and legends? Then you are in the right place! Toscanainside will reveal the myths, legends, anecdotes and curiosities of Tuscany: based on historical facts, these brief descriptive texts will take you on a fun journey through the history, folklore and mysteries of a hidden Tuscany!

Anecdotes and Tuscan Curiosities is the fortnightly publication of toscanainside.com dedicated to those who want to learn about places, oddities, legends and whimsical Tuscan characters who, for some reason, have become part of the history of this land. Do you find the history and culture of Tuscany interesting? Our legends, mysterious places and Tuscan historical curiosities will be the same! Embrace this exciting reading... we're sure you will want to visit first-hand the places mentioned and the villages where the most famous Tuscan historical characters lived!

If you want to be kept informed about new anecdotes of Tuscany (curiosities about Tuscany, but also photos, tours and current events), visit the Facebook page of toscanainside and click 'Like' and start interacting with us: let us know what your curiosities linked to the Tuscan territory are and we will do everything to satisfy them!

Highlights

Tennis_Firenze

The birth of Tennis in Florence

That modern tennis was born in Wimbledon is a fact everyone knows; however, it isn’t as known that the term 'tennis' was used for the first time in Florence where, already in the 14th century, people played ‘pallacorda’, the main ancestor of this racquet sport. Rules and instruments were quite similar to those used today in squash. The term 'tennis' does not have Anglo-Saxon origins as many of you might expect, but rather French roots. First things first! In the manuscript 'Chronicle of Florence' by Donato Velluti, the event which marked the invention and spread of the term 'tennis' is described, namely the visit of some French knights to the Tuscan capital in the year 1325. These gentlemen used to warn their match opponents that the ball was coming by shouting 'tenez!'- a word which over time and passing the Channel was modified until it reached the definitive form of 'tennis'. ‘Pallacorda’, as well as tennis and similar sports, have retained a widespread  popularity in Florence: just think that Sferisterio delle Cascine, the tennis field used, still exists and two more - one at Cure and the other one outside Porta a Pinti - survived until the end of the nineteenth century, overtaken by various regulatory plans. As you have understood by reading this anecdote, the city of Florence has been a pioneer in sports activities and not just tennis! Do you know the 'Calcio Fiorentino', the sport that was already played in Florence in the fifteenth century? It is the ancestor of modern football and every year, in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, teams challenge each other ruthlessly in a truly adrenaline-filled historical re-enactment! If you are fond of sports and physical activity in general, we recommend taking part in our 'Florence by bike' tour to explore the 'Pearl of the Renaissance' in an alternative and ‘green’ way!

Latest posts

Grosseto: The witch’s olive tree: ancient mysteries in Maremma

olivo-strega-magliano-24
Mysteries & Legends

Olives, cypresses and vines are what characterizes the Tuscan hilly landscape. But the olive tree that lies just outside the walls of M...

View

Florence: The Lion in the Florence Cathedral

Leone_Duomo_Firenze
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore there are sculptures of many different animals and it seems that each of these, in addition t...

View

Florence: The magic summer solstice in Florence

Solstizio_Firenze
Did you know that...

In Florence, on the dome that rises above the Cathedral, stands the largest gnomon in Europe. If you are not lovers of astronomy, the i...

View

Florence: Clet, the road sign street artist

Clet_cartelli
Unknown places & works

Walking around Florence you might happen to come across strange road signs. Just that this time, Tuscan pranksters are not the ones to ...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View