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The Tuscan economy has undergone great changes since the Second World War. The traditional agricultural character has almost disappeared and has been replaced by industry and a service sector dominated by tourism. Tuscany is one of the richest regions in Italy.

Agricultural sector

Today, only less than 5% of the population works in the agricultural sector. Most small farmers have disappeared and been swallowed up by large farms.

The main agricultural products are cereals, tobacco, sugar beet, olives and wine. Pescia is very well known for its floriculture; several million flowers are traded daily at the auction for export, mainly carnations and gladioli. Pescia is the Italian 'capital' of cut flower cultivation. In the area around San Miniato about 30,000 kilo of truffles are found every year. The largest truffle ever found weighed 2520 grams and was found near San Miniato in 1954.

Cattle breeding is not very important in Tuscany, nor is fishing. However, the white Chianina breed of cattle is cultivated in Tuscany and provides the meat for the famous 'bistecca alla fiorentina'.

In Tuscany, about 200,000 ha of land are planted with olive trees; the area is the fourth largest in Italy in terms of olive oil production. The area around Pistoia is home to the largest tree nurseries in Europe.

Wine growing in Tuscany dates back to the Etruscans, 3000 years ago. The most famous contemporary wine is Chianti, the best of which is called Chianti Classico, produced between Florence and Siena. In Siena there is the Academy of Wine.

Industry and crafts

Tuscany is one of the most important mining areas in Italy, with mercury around the Monte Amiata massif, rock salt and boric acid near Volterra, copper ore and pyrite at Colline Metallifere and, of course, the world-famous marble of Carrara. Alabaster is extracted in Volterra and processed by dozens of small companies.

Most jobs can be found in the small and medium-sized enterprises, with approximately 400,000 companies. More than 30% of the working population is employed in the industry. Important products are ceramics (Florence, Siena, Arezzo), leather goods (Florence, Siena, Arezzo), (green) glassware (Empoli), marble utensils and onyx (Siena). Florentine goldsmiths and goldsmiths are world famous.

The textile and wool industry, with Prato as its centre, are major employers. Most of the larger industries are located in Valdelsa, along the Florence-Prato-Pistoia-Lucca strip and along the coastal strip that runs parallel to the Apuan Alps. Tuscany has clothing and footwear industries, furniture industries, heavy metal industries (Piombo), machine industries and oil refineries near Livorno. Livorno has always been an important trading centre and possesses the largest port in Tuscany, from where many ferries depart to Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. There are also large shipyards and oil refineries here. Livorno's port capacity is 5,000 ships and 25 million tonnes of goods per year.


Aigner, G. / Toscane

Beliën, H. / Toscane/Umbrië

Breuiller, J. / Toscane, Umbrië

Büld Campetti, C. / Toscane
Het Spectrum

Catling, C. / Florence & Toscane
Van Reemst

Florence en Toscane

Leeuwen, G. van / Toscane

Leeuwen, G. van / Toscane, Umbrië

Pelz, M. / Toscane

Romig-Kirsch, U. / Toscane
Van Reemst

Schaper, A. / Toscane, Umbrië en de Marken

Tuscany & Umbria
Lonely Planet

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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