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Sunday, June 6, 2010

When in Tuscany...

copyright 2010, art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc
Guest Blogger: Emily Brauchle

In the beautiful utopia of Tuscany, thousands of places call out your name. You know that you can leave your boredom on the plane and release yourself into the paradise of Tuscany. You have countless places in Tuscany you’re just dying to see for the first time and breathe in all the artistry, history, and shopping. However, there are three places you must see during your holiday in Tuscany.

One is the beautiful city of Florence, or Firenze, where tourists flock to -like ants to a watermelon. Florence is the capital region of Tuscany, as well as the birthplace of the Renaissance. Being known as the ‘Athens of the Middle Ages’, Florence has a vast amount of architecture, music, art, culture, and cuisine wrapped up in the center of Tuscany like a gift. Florence was home to famous artists like Michelangelo, Dante, Botticelli, and da Vinci in older times, and is now home to the best modern art, courtesy of Prada, Cavalli, and Gucci. With one museum after another, and market after the next, no wonder it’s considered the art capital of Italy, and one of the most visited cities in the world. It’s an artist’s realm, and a shopper’s heaven.

Another gem to visit under the Tuscan sun is the famous Pisa. Yes, home to the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’. All of those pictures you see with a person looking like a giant holding up a tall bell tower on an incline? Yes. That would be the Tower of Pisa. Not that you would travel half way around the world to see a falling building that is. The tower is company to the Duomo (neighboring cathedral rich in artistic works), the Baptistery of San Giovanni (which is rumored to cause bad luck among surrounding underclassmen who visit it), and the Camposanto (a monumental cemetery that is simple on the outside, and magnificently designed on the inside) in a beautiful square set apart form the rest of the town. Pisa is a pillar of necessity when visiting Tuscany.

Last, but not least, is Siena. Siena, along with it’s obviously desired cuisine, architecture, landscapes, and art, is widely known for its Palio di Siena. The Palio di Siena is a horse race held twice a year during the summer that attracts thousands to the city. The race has ten horses (symbolizing ten city regions in Siena) racing against each other, ridden bareback by jockeys. What makes this race unique is the requirement for winning. The only thing that needs to cross the finish line is the district’s horse, not the jockey! The excitement of the race is only amplified by the intensity of the jockey’s fate, as well as the fate of the district’s pride.

When in Tuscany, time can be passed by the years easily. The beauty of it is ravishing and divine, as well as its history and art. World-weariness is in short supply, so have fun! See everything, but be absolutely sure you see the three centered provinces of Florence, Pisa, and Siena.

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