Tuscany as a State of Mind

It’s funny what people think of when they think of Tuscany. To many of us, Tuscany represents a political boundary which includes some of Italy’s most compelling cities to visit along with some stunning and varying countryside. But that’s just a travel writer’s view. We often forget “the other” view.

You see, Martha and I were discussing how to present some climate and weather data to our readers, and she related a conversation that comes up frequently. It goes something like this.

“What’s the weather in Tuscany like for June?

“Well, why not look at the Florence Weather and Climate Charts to get some idea,” advises Martha, “and then, a little closer to the sea, check the climate in Pisa."

“No, I want the weather for Tuscany.”

You see, to some of our readers (perhaps many, who knows?) Tuscany exists independently from the cities contained within it. Tuscany, thus, is a state of mind bounded by rolling hills spackled with vineyards and topped with cute little villages—but just the villages, please. There certainly is a climate specifically for Tuscany, Italy’s largest region—they are sure of it.

There are some folks, of course, who have no idea of the world’s geography, of any geography, except perhaps that of their own back yard. We’ve had arguments with folks who insist their gigantic cruise ship is going to dock right in the center of Florence, because the cruise companies also have their own warped versions of geography designed to corrupt any versions their customers may have picked up from the internet. It’s a battle for ignorance. There are no winners.

“No, you are not docking in Florence,” we tell them. It takes a while before some cruise people let go of the notion, or humor us by changing the subject. It’s infuriating. How can people book a ticket to a place without having seen a map, without having the slightest sense of the geography of a place?

So, here, a nice map of Tuscany showing the rail lines. There are also mountains. There are rolling hills, vineyards, walled cities, and yes…even Florence is there, except it’s called Firenze because that’s the real word for it, not a word somebody made up to confuse you.

The world, and its geography, is confusing enough. I hope I’ve made that clear.


Tuscany as a State of Mind originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Jan 22, 2011 © .

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