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iconchurch photo tuscany 1

Roughly triangular in shape and situated between the northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the central Apennines, Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometers. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and a few plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country; whereas mountains cover 5,770 km2 (25% of the total area) and plains a mere 1,930 km2 (8.4% of the total area, almost all coinciding with the valley of the Arno River), hills make up two-thirds (66.5%) of the region's total area, covering 15,292 km2. The climate, which is fairly mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the inland, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer. The subsoil in Tuscany is relatively rich in mineral resources, with iron ore, copper, mercury and lignite mines, the famous soffioni (fumarole) at Larderello and the vast marble mines in Versilia. Although its share is falling all the time, agriculture still contributes to the region's value-added. In the region's inland areas cereals, potatoes, olives and grapes (for the world-famous Chianti wines) are grown. The swamplands, which used to be marshy, now produce vegetables, rice, tobacco, beet and sunflowers. This photo was taken from the top of one of the many church towers that can be found scattered throughout the region and captures both the beauty and uniqueness of this region.
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