Tuscan Tourism on the Rise

If it seems like more and more people are treking off to spend some time “under the Tuscan sun,” it’s not just your imagination. According to The Florentine, “Statistics from 2006 reveal that tourism in Tuscany is up 7.6 percent from the previous year and there is no sign of it declining. Second only to the region of Veneto, Tuscany’s popularity has been growing steadily, especially among Europeans, Americans and Scandinavians.”

But really, what’s not to enjoy about the sunflower-filled rolling hills, cypress trees that dot the horizon, freshly pressed olive oil, and world-class Chianti wine at dirt-cheap prices? Not to mention the amazingly in-tact Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture that can be seen all over the region. It’s no wonder Florence took home the “Best City in Europe” award from Travel + Leisure. But if you ask me, the best part of visiting Florence is not Botticelli’s Primavera (which has been visited by 24% more tourists this year than in 2005), or Michelangelo’s David (up by 5.1% from 2005), but simply knowing that you’re walking around the same city that inspired these great masterpieces. — Laura Cimperman