Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

What the monarchy did for Tuscany

What the monarchy did for Tuscany
Before the unification of Italy, the country as we know it today was actually made up of individual city-states, each ruled by a monarchy. Florence and the rest of the state fell under the reign of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Over a period of almost 300 years, a number of royal houses ruled the region. From the House of Medici to the House of Habsburb-Lorainne, each left a mark on the development of Tuscany - and in many cases, beyond.

As Florence prospered under careful leadership, many intellectuals were drawn to the city. Such a meeting of minds, along with a passion for the arts from the Duchy, led to a blossoming of creativity and the dawn of the Renaissance era. From architecture to poetry, art to science, the work of the Renaissance had a profound effect, not just on Tuscany, but the whole world.

The tradition of a ruling Duchy lasted until the unification of Italy, when the monarchy was driven out of Florence, taking their influence - and a certain much loved cigar - with them, but their legacy will go on forever.