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The Thematic Itineraries

Off the beaten track, away from the obligatory stages of the tour, its recommended itineraries, a number of more out-of-the-way and less popular and obvious destinations are to be found in the travel books. They are places that certainly entered the imagination of the visit to Tuscany, but without becoming mass attractions. They are localities to which only a few travelers went, or rather only a few types of traveler, drawn by something special, something that suited their tastes, desires, professional interests or aspirations. These places (Vallombrosa, Camaldoli, Cortona and others) were not secret but elitist, and they were so precisely because the people who visited them were driven by a particular motivation, seeking in the journey not just a general sense of gratification but the satisfaction of needs that were clearly defined within themselves: religious aspirations (the monasteries), a love of the ancient world (the Etruscan past of Cortona and Volterra) or a passion for landscape painting, for instance.

Among the “thematic” itineraries that created routes running in parallel to the “common” ones, however, there were also some that took people to already well-established and widely known places. This was the case of the travelers who came to Tuscany to learn the language and who divided their favors between Florence and Siena, tending to prefer the latter. Instead of broadening their view by including unusual destinations, these travelers placed the emphasis, for sites that were already familiar, on specific vocations and uncommon requirements.


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