Valleys of Tuscany :: Valli della Toscana


Valleys of Tuscany

History of Tuscany

The Medici family

Tuscany valley

The distribution and structure of the castles, villages and towns of Tuscany, Italy, retain the imprint of its bellicose past more than in many other parts of Europe. This is in part due to the simple fact that stone suitable for building is abundant and stone structures persist. And in part, the demands of effective defense have meant that a great many of the ancient inhabited nuclei in Tuscany are "hill towns". Tuscan hill towns are mostly built around castles and other fortifications, or are themselves entire fortified villages. "The hills of Tuscany", "the hills of Chianti" are the titles of innumerable introductions to Tuscany. Strangely enough, the districts of Tuscany and very often the names of the towns themselves refer not to ranges of hills but to the valleys they overlook. This makes sense when we remember that the paths of communication between hills towns are by necessity along the valley floors. Armies as well as simple trading wagons rarely make their way along mountain ridges. Towns located on valley floors came into prominence with the renaissance, modern defences and the expansion of trade.

The Italian word for valley is "Valle" and this is often shortened to "Val" when part of a place name. Innumerable towns throughout Tuscany (and elsewhere in Italy) have names of this kind, often to distinguish among synonymous towns (Barberino Val d'Elsa, Barberino di Mugello).


A Geography of the Valleys of Tuscany

Valleys of Tuscany Valli della Toscana

Click here for more about the principal valleys of Tuscany.

Click the link for a range of excellent Bed and Breakfast in Chianti accommodation options.

During your tour of the art cities of Tuscany, visit and stay in the Chianti countryside! Beautiful scenery, inexpensive food and wine, less-frequented art and architecture, authentic people.

For vacation rentals in the Chianti zone,
Greve in Chianti
, the market town of Chianti Classico.

Tuscany Toscana

Tuscany Toscana

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