It will most likely cost you less than a hotel and will be infinitely more restful.
In addition, many farm stays provide a swimming pool and wonderful views.
For Tuscan farm house holidays in Chianti, click here for a range of holiday homes
and farm rooms, all available directly from their owners.
For a location convenient to Siena, Massa Marittima and the Maremma,
we recommend Casa Reasco in Torniella, south west of Siena.
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. It is located in the central part of
the Italian peninsula, bordered by Latium to the south, Umbria and the Marche to the east, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria to the north, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the
west where it has a long coastline.
Tuscany :: Apennine and Villanovan cultures
The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron ages parallels that of the early Greeks. The Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture roughly 1350–1150 BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations of the Aegean basin. The Villanovan culture (1100–700 BC) saw Tuscany and the rest of Etruria taken over by chiefdoms (as was also the case at this time in Greek and the Aegean after the collapse of Mycenae and Troy). City states developed in the late Villanovan (again paralleling Greece and the Aegean) before "Orientalisation" occurred and the Etruscan civilisation rose.
The Etruscans were the first major civilisation in this region of Italy. They were advanced enough to establish a transport infrastructure, implement agriculture and mining and to produce vivid art. Etruscan civilisation grew to fill the area between the rivers Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BC, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries BC, and finally ceded all power and territory to the Romans by the first century BC. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to the surrounding civilisations of Greece, Carthage and Gaul. Despite being described as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, and later Rome, influenced Etruscan civilisation to a great extent and this increasing lack of cultural distinction, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans, was one of the reasons for its eventual demise.
The Romans in Tuscany
Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa, Sienna and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of the existing transport infrastructure, introduction of aquaducts and sewers, and the construction of many buildings, both public and private. Roman civilisation finally collapsed in the fifth century AD and the region was left by the Goths, and others, without control. In the sixth century, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca their capital. (Roman Umbria).
Tuscany :: the mediæval period
With pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France came wealth and development during the mediæval period. The food and shelter needed by these travellers fuelled the growth of new communities around churches and taverns. The conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, factions supporting, respectively, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries, split the Tuscan people.
These two factors gave rise to several powerful and rich communes in Tuscany: Arezzo, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, and Sienna. The balance between these municipalities was ensured by the assets they held; Florence, wool, silk, banking; Pisa, a port; Sienna, banking; and Lucca, banking and silk. By the time of the Renaissance, however, Florence succeeded in becoming the cultural capital of Tuscany and ensured a bright, and peaceful, future for the region.
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