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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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Experience an official tuscany tour with

Livorno Shore Excursion: Chianti and Tuscany Countryside Private Wine Tour

When your cruise ship docks in Livorno and you have only a single day to see the Tuscan countryside, you’ll need a privately guided, fully narrated shore excursion to make the most of your time in this region that is so renowned for its beauty. On this nine-hour tour, immerse yourself in Italian life, admire Tuscany’s rolling hills and explore the vineyards and olive groves of Chianti. Taste local wine and olive oil before returning to your cruise ship in Livorno.

from 130,62 US Dollar

Healthy Organic Italian Cooking Class in Florence

Learn, hands-on, how to prepare wholesome, healthy and delicious Italian traditional meals in a beautiful Cooking School Kitchen in the heart of Florence.
Bring seasonal, fresh ingredients and good eating in your everyday life, broaden your knowledge and get inspired.
This cooking class nourishes the body and the soul for a radiant level of wellness.
Menus are mostly vegetarian but not at all restricted to vegetarian dishes. All products used during our hands-on culinary experiences come from local certified farmers and producers.

from 118,71 US Dollar

Small-Group Palazzo Vecchio Secret Passages Tour with Lunch

Experience the emotional discovery of hidden locations of Palazzo Vecchio museum, not accessible to the general public, recently opened only for small groups of visitors.

from 43,8 US Dollar

Private Tour: Guided Hike in Tuscany with Transport from Siena

Explore Tuscany's picturesque rolling hills on a private, full-day hiking tour with transport from Siena. With your expert guide, enjoy a scenic, full-day adventurous hike through the beautiful Chianti region in Tuscany, full of lush vineyards and quaint villages, stopping halfway to relax over a picnic of classic Tuscan specialties. Continue in the afternoon by minivan to the medieval hill town of San Gimignano for a walk around its UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center. Spend time at your leisure in this gorgeous town before a relaxing drive back to Siena.

from 119,86 US Dollar
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