|Modern Italian was born in Tuscany, from the great literature of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. Can there be a deeper bond, a greater and more noble debt owed by a nation to one of its regions, than that of the common language? But the whole of Europe is in debt to Tuscany for its extraordinary contribution to European culture. It was in Tuscany between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries that the great era of humanism and the Renaissance was born and developed, movements which radically renewed the culture and art of the time, leaving a profound and indelible mark on the common civilisation of Europe. Of that extraordinary period of history, Tuscany, starting from the regional capital Florence, bears the greatest witness. Great works of civic and religious architecture, sculpture and paintings of extraordinary artistic value, testify to the creative genius of great artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Filippo Brunelleschi. But Tuscany is not just Florence. There is Siena too, with its Piazza del Campo, the theatre each summer for its famous Palio. In the province of Siena (also famous for its great wines, such as Chianti and Brunello) Montepulciano and Pienza stand out, extraordinary gems of renaissance art, and San Gimignano, with its famous towers and turreted houses. Then there is Pisa with its world-famous leaning tower; Carrara, with its Duomo clad in the precious marble that takes the name of the city; and also Lucca, Pistoia, Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, and Prato, that all boast churches and other monuments of great architectural and artistic value. The beauties of the Tuscan countryside are innumerable. Above all, its landscape: the typical, unique, gentle and warm Tuscan countryside.