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The Tuscan Lifestyle

P.F. Listri

24,00 €

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by P.F. Listri

publication year: 2002
paperback with flaps, 230x280 mm, 160 pp.
249 colour and b&w illustrations

88-85957-99-4 English
88-7461-011-4 French
88-7461-012-2 German
88-85957-98-6 Italian

The temptation is to view this as just one more book about Tuscany. Such a work would in any case be understandable, in the light of a recent survey indicating that Tuscany is seen from abroad as a “landscape of great beauty and environmental quality where everything is in a human dimension”, revolving around “the artistic, historic and cultural centre of Florence, transposed from the Renaissance to the contemporary age”. Yet this new publication has a rather different purpose. It does not dwell on the region’s famous products, it does not narrate once again its eventful and colourful history, nor focus on the sumptuous art works that comprise what is the finest and most extensive collection in the world. It does not extol to excess the unequalled atmosphere of the landscape nor is it over-emphatic in its praise of the region’s intrinsic sense of harmonious physical and mental proportion.

What it does seek to do is to tie together these and other characteristics in order to grasp what concretely derives from them today, namely a style of life, an existential unicum. This is the region’s most precious quality, the specificity of a productive and innovative Tuscany that is fully integrated into the complexities of the contemporary age. Here art and crafts, tradition and innovation, nature and history, language and products, city and countryside blend together, giving living form to a quality of life which is now the rarest and most sought after of all commodities, one where it is possible to attain a greater sense of individual well-being and a more ordered and civil coexistence.

The book also has the rare merit of highlighting important and perhaps less well-known aspects of Tuscanicity – its productive skills, traditional artefacts, flair for research, capacity for agriculture renewal and the achievements of sophisticated technology combined with the intelligence of an ancient tradition. The author explains and recounts how all these things hold together, how an invisible thread connects minute details of everyday life to the pinnacles of history and art, creating what can be defined as ‘Tuscan style’.

This work does not focus on arid production figures and balance sheets, nor on the objects of the forced enthusiasm of tourists. Rather it recounts and persuades us of the validity of the points we have just mentioned, presenting the organic completeness of a small cosmos which combines the ancient and the modern and where a perspective a misura d’uomo yields a rare quality which is visible in everyday life.

We are pleased to have promoted and encouraged this work, and we commend it to readers as a small Baedeker of the spirit. Whether it ends up in the hands of knowledgeable Tuscans or of curious foreign visitors, we believe it will be both useful and well-received, a key to a more authentic Tuscany whose fascinating present is the fruit of its innumerable yesterdays.

(from the Preface by Ambrogio Brenna, Director of Economic Development for the Region of Tuscany)