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Art & Culture in Tuscany

It’s not surprising that the striking landscapes, medieval villages and rolling hills of Tuscany have inspired artists, writers and creative legends over the years. Michelangelo, born in in Caprese near Florence, is a fine example of the artistic gifts this region has to offer.

Tuscany is blessed with a collection of historic buildings, cultural landmarks, world class art, and seven World Heritage Sites. Considered the birthplace of the renaissance, The art and culture in Tuscany can be seen through its art galleries, museums, sculptures and breathtaking architecture.

Florence and Siena, two of Tuscany’s major cities are infused with delicate art and magnificent masterpieces. Then there’s the historic hilltop towns such as San Gimignano, Lucca and Pienza to uncover. There’s a very relaxed culture throughout Tuscany, here the locals enjoy a slow pace of life. If you are lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time in Tuscany, you may want to consider discovering its language.

Art & Culture in Tuscany

Useful Italian Phrases

Italians are very proud of their country and welcome tourists willingly to try their wonderful food and wine, to experience their culture and to speak a bit of their language… They just love it. The fathers of modern Italian were Dante, Manzoni and television. Each did his part in creating a national language putting together an infinity of regional and local dialects.

Thank you..............................Grazie 
Do you speak English?...........Parla inglese?
You are welcome....................Prego 
I don’t understand..................Non capisco
Excuse me?...........................Mi scusi
I am English...........................Io sono inglese
Excuse me (may i pass).........Permesso
Yes / No / Please...................Si / No / per favore
Yesterday..............................Ieri 
Today....................................Oggi
How are you?........................Come sta?
Fine, thank you......................Bene grazie
Tomorrow..............................Domani 
Good morning.......................Buon giorno
Morning.................................Mattina 
Good evening........................Buona sera
Noon.....................................Mezzogiorno
Good night............................Buona notte
Afternoon..............................Pomeriggio
Good bye..............................Arrivederci
Evening.................................Sera 
Hello.....................................Ciao
When?..................................Quando? 
What time is it?.....................Che ora è?
How much does it cost?.........Quanto costa? 
Where is it?...........................Dove è?
Could you assist me?..............Potrebbe aiutarmi?
I don’t know...........................Non lo so
All right..................................Va bene 
It doesn’t matter.....................Non importa
I am lost ................................Mi sono perso
Nothing...................................Niente
I am tired ..............................Sono stanco
I am hungry............................Ho fame
I am sleepy.............................Ho sonno
I am thirsty.............................Ho sete
I am ill....................................Mi sento male
I am sorry...............................Mi dispiace
Breakfast................................Colazione
Leave me alone.......................Lasciami in pace
Lunch.....................................Pranzo         
Dinner....................................Cena
Big.........................................Grande
Small......................................Piccolo
Why.......................................Perché
where.....................................Dove
I would like............................Vorrei
I want....................................Voglio
please....................................Per favore
right.......................................Destra
left.........................................Sinistra
hotel......................................Albergo
bank......................................Banca
market...................................Mercato
shop......................................Negozio
beach....................................Spiaggia
hospital.................................Ospedale
chemist.................................Farmacia
station..................................Stazione
train.....................................Treno
platform...............................Binario
ticket...................................Biglietto
one way (ticket)………..........Andata
return ticket..........................Andata e ritorno
bus.......................................Autobus
bus stop................................Fermata
one way (street)....................Senso unico
hot........................................Caldo
cold......................................Freddo
too much..............................Troppo
well......................................Bene
good luck.............................Buona fortuna
parla lentamente....................Speak slowly
What is your name?..............Come si chiama?

PUBLIC NOTICES
Open................................Aperto 
No smoking......................Vietato fumare
Closed..............................Chiuso
Lift....................................Ascensore
Entrance...........................Entrata / Ingresso
Vacant..............................Libero
Exit...................................Uscita
Occupied..........................Occupato
Entrance (trains /buses)...Salita   
Stairs................................Scale
Exit (trains / buses)...........Uscita
Forbidden.........................Vietato
Push.................................Spingere
Do not touch....................Non toccare
Pull..................................Tirare   
Toilet...............................W.C / Bagno
Ladies..............................Donne / Signore   
Gents...............................Uomini / Signori
Not drinkable water.........Acqua non portabile

PRONOUNCIATION
CH is pronounced K
CI is pronounced CH
C + Vowel is pronounced CHI / CHE
CA is pronounced as in English

NUMBERS
Uno  -  one 
Due -  two
Tre - three
Quattro - four
Cinque - five
Sei - six
Sette - seven
Otto - eight
Nove - nine
Dieci - ten
venti - twenty
trenta - thirty
quaranta - forty
cinquanta - fifty
sessanta - sixty
settanta - seventy
ottanta - eighty
novanta - ninety
cento - hundred
milione - million

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Local Customs Tuscany

While travelling in Italy you’ll be able to tell that habits, landscape, cooking and even language change considerably from north to south. Italy is a very young nation compared to other European countries and it’s been divided in several lordships and under foreigner kingdom, not to mention the Papal States, until 1861.

However there are some common habits and customs found throughout Italy and you might find that they are quite different from the ones in your home country. Here are some of the most common to help you understand the locals.

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Public transport Tuscany

The Italian rail network is reasonable and train travel between cities is definitely possible. Visit the website www.trenitalia.com to purchase tickets and consult the timetables. The best trains to take, even if a little more costly are Le Frecce, highspeed trains between the major cities. The type of train is indicated by the following symbols:

Eurocity (ETR) and EuroNight (EN) – international connection with Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany.

Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca and Frecciargento (Le Frecce) - fast train between Italy's major cities. These cost extra and seats must be reserved. High speed trains, very comfortable but more expensive.

Intercity (IC) and Intercity Notte (ICN)– train between Italy’s medium and major cities. They connect about 200 train stations (leaving from Roma, Ancona, Reggio Calabria/Sicilia, Lecce, Taranto, Torino, Genova, Milano and Napoli). If you want to travel for a lower cost but slower than Le Frecce, these trains run a few times per day but do long trips and take you to almost any town. Reservation are needed.

Regionale (R) and Regionale Veloce (RV) - travel within and between regions. Slow trains which stop at every station within a region e.g. from Florence to Siena, it stops at all stations in between, even the tiniest towns.

The following expressions are useful to understand what is happening in the station:
treni in arrivo - arrivals
treni in partenza - departures
binario - platform
in orario - on time
in ritardo - delayed

If you are travelling with a Regional Train ticket (without reservation), please make sure you stamp your ticket at one of the machines on the platform before boarding.

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Medici villa in Tuscany

Made up of bankers, politicians, patrons of the arts and even popes, the wealthy Medici family were particularly powerful in the region of Tuscany between the mid 14th and mid 18th Century, when they left behind some true treasures in the form of Medici Villas.

These rural and elegant buildings near Florence were used by the family as country palace residencies, where they could spend their leisure time in style. The several estates, farm houses and hunting lodges are beautiful examples of Renaissance and Baroque architecture and often come with scenic gardens as well. Here are some noteworthy villas:

•The fortified Villa del Trebbio and Villa di Cafaggiolo in the Mugello area are the oldest Medici villas in Tuscany.

•Villa di Careggi and Villa Medici in Fiesole were made for recreation, with courtyards, balconies and gardens.

•Villa di Castello is home to a beautiful garden, designed by Niccolo Tribolo.

All in all, there are around 16 major villas and another 11 minor Medici villas in Tuscany for you to visit and enjoy in all their historical and architectural splendour!
Click here for the locations of all Medici villas in Tuscany

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Language and Language schools


AmicaSiena was born of its director’s twenty years of teaching experience. It is not a school, or at least in the traditional sense, because AmicaSiena suggests ideas with which to color your holiday, helps you learn in a short time in places and hours chosen by you, as well as offers you a variety of services that a school alone cannot offer.
AmicaSiena is your friend here in Siena and in Tuscany and will deliver its services to you, so that all you have to do is relax and fully enjoy your personalized stay that will be truly yours. AmicaSiena consists of a group of highly qualified teachers and professionals with many years experience each in his/her own special field. Therefore, no surprises and no improvisation.
AmicaSiena offers you ideas, opportunities and experiences tailored to satisfy your tastes and needs. No compromises: you design your holiday.
AmicaSiena - Servizi Culturali di M.Serena Fantechi
The Italian culture and language always with you, everywhere you want
Siena P.zza 3 Luglio 6c
Tel: +39 0577 285636 
Email: info@amicasiena.it
www.amicasiena.it

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Daniel Spoerri's Garden

This exciting garden was the vision of the artist Daniel Spoerri, begun during the early nineties it opened to the public in 1997 and since its inception more than 40 artists have donated their work, with more than 80 pieces of art to view as you take a leisurely walk around the garden.

The garden is a charitable foundation and visitors can join as members or friends of the foundation. The garden is open from Easter until October but is closed on Mondays. A visit to the garden usually takes around three hours, and there is also a small restaurant serving meals and light refreshments.
For further info please click here: http://www.danielspoerri.org/

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Chianti Sculpture Park

The Chianti Sculpture Park is located in Pievasciata, about 10km north of Siena and is the perfect place to sniff out some art in Tuscany while still enjoying its glorious sunshine. It’s a permanent exhibition of 26 contemporary installations and sculptures by artists from all over the world, including a labyrinth, a rainbow, a huge keel and more - all beautifully set within the surrounding woodland. Visitors to the park will enjoy the typical landscape and art in Tuscany at the same time, along a 1 km walking trail. It really is a pleasant walk through art and nature!
The park is also home to an amphitheatre, where concerts and other cultural events take place from May to September in a magical atmosphere.

Chianti Sculpture Park opening hours
Every day from 10am to sunset.
From November to March it’s advisable to call first.
If you intend to visit the Park we suggest you to download the free application ChiantiPark either from Apple Store or Google Play.
How to get to the Chianti Sculpture Park
From the Superstrada Firenze-Siena: Siena Nord exit.
Turn left onto SS222, towards Castellina and then take a right turn after 1.5km towards Vagliagli. Drive for about 8km and then turn right towards PIEVASCIATA. This is a country road and you will find the park on your right after about 4km.

GPS: Long. E. 11° 22' 53" – Lat. N. 43° 23' 36"
Contact
Loc. La Fornace S.P. 9
53010 Pievasciata (Siena)
www.chiantisculpturepark.it
info@chiantisculpturepark.it
+39 0577 357151

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Florence Art School

Italy and especially Tuscany is well known for its richness in art and culture. Florence has a long history in art and craft and restoring ancient art pieces. Florence Art school is specialized in the finest artisan creations and teaching traditional Italian decorative arts, providing art course for experienced and beginners  many who want to improve their skill while in Tuscany.
Florence Art offers not only courses but also tours of the Artisan quarter of Florence which has existed since the renaissance.
For more information please contact:
Florence Art
Tel. (+39) 339 4292531
Email: info@florenceart.net
www.florenceart.net

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