Sweet rolling hills, steep mountain sides, white peaks over the blue sea, islands like Elba and Giglio, rivers, white marble… all of it covered in forests of oak and chestnut trees, olive groves, vineyards, cypress tress, wheat and sunflower fields. Famous monuments, the Duomo in Florence, Piazza del Campo in Siena, the leaning tower of Pisa. Leonardo, Giotto, Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, the Medici family, Galilelo Galilei and so many others… when you think of Italy, you think of all this, and yet, it is all concentrated in Tuscany.
Winemaking here has very deep roots, well before the Romans ruled these lands. When Rome was nothing but a few huts, Southern Italy and Sicily were long influenced by Greek culture, of which it became the most advanced expression. Tuscany was settled by a mysterious people, who left their indelible mark on these lands: the Etruscans. According to legend, they were the surivors of the destruction of Troy. Led by Aeneas, they settled in central Italy where they built many strong city states and after centuries, they “merged” with the Romans to form a new, unprecdented culture.
It is said that they introduced the art of winemaking in these beuatiful lands. In the town of Montepulciano, wine is still stored nowadays in cellars and tunnels dug deep inside the mountainside by the Etruscans, well over 2500 years ago. They knew how to age wine, unlike the Greeks, who needed to add resin. the wine-making tradition never faded. In the Middle Ages, wine was made in the Castles of the Chianti region, and in the Renaissance, the Medici, rulers of Florence, established some of the first appellations in the world to guarantee that wine was authentically sourced.
Tuscany is one of the most appreciated travel destinations in Italy for many good reasons. We love the combination of nature, art, architecture, crafts and gastronomy and its two main components, olive oil and wine. Does anything need to be added?
On our first trip to Tuscany we meet up with our old friend Roberto Rizzo in Florence. Roberto is proud of his city and region, indeed, he is an ambassador for Tuscany and brings local businesses in touch with international companies.