Tuscan-style architecture dates back to 900 B.C. when the Etruscan people built simple homes with local resources. While the style has evolved, it still has an old-world feel.
Tuscan-style homes are known for their use of natural materials and ability to blend with the surrounding landscape.
The Origins of Tuscan-Style Architecture
Tuscan-style architecture originates from the Etruscan people, an agricultural community native to the Tuscan region in Italy. While they drew inspiration from Grecian architecture, they framed their homes with wood rather than using only stone. They also created Tuscan columns, which were simple and unadorned. These columns, also known as Tuscan Order, are still used today.
The Romans overtook Etruscan provinces in the 3rd century B.C., but the architectural style remained. Visitors to the Tuscan region took note of the style and brought it back to their homelands.
Italian Tuscan architecture spread to England in the 1840s but fell out of favor only 15 years later.
Because it’s well-suited to warm climates, Tuscan-Style found its way to some U.S. states, with California and Florida still boasting many of these homes. Tuscan-style homes are also common in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Today Tuscan architecture refers more to the structures found in Tuscany, Italy, than the original Etruscan people. The style has evolved with time, sharing many details of Italianate architecture.
Tuscan Order in Roman Architecture
The Tuscan order, the simple column created by the Etruscan people, became one of the types of classic architectural orders after Italian architect Sebastiano Serilio described it in his book, On the Five Styles of Buildings.
Tuscan-Style Exterior Features
Traditional Tuscan-style homes feature wood framing. The exterior is clad in limestone or sandstone bricks. Marble was a typical accent, going over door arches, windows, and window sills.
The most common roof material is terra cotta tile, and the exteriors feature a warm, sun-baked look.
Because of the pleasant weather in Tuscany, homes boasted outdoor spaces like patios or loggias. Wrought iron gates and wrought iron decor hanging on the side of the house were standard.
Tuscan-style homes can be large, ranging from 2-3 stories.
Most Common Tuscan Style Building Materials
The most common Tuscan-style building materials include:
- Limestone and sandstone
- Marble, travertine, and granite
Tuscan-Style Interior Features
The traditions of Tuscany involve large multi-generational gatherings, and the people built their houses to accommodate this.
Here’s a rundown of some common Tuscan-style interior features:
- Stone, terracotta, or worn wood floors
- Massive stone or brick fireplaces
- Arched doorways
- Large rooms
- Oversized architectural elements
- Large wood or stone kitchen islands
- Textured plaster walls
Modern Tuscan Architecture
Modern Tuscan architecture pays homage to the early Etruscan people, using many of the same building materials. While these homes include newer technologies, they still maintain the looks of old-world Europe.
Since Tuscan architecture features warm-toned, rustic colors and materials, some homeowners contrast them with cooler-toned furniture and decor pieces.
Examples of Tuscan Architecture
Castello Delle Quattro Torra
Castello Delle Quattro Torra is an ancient castle located in Sienna, Italy. The castle originated in the fourteenth century, changing ownership a couple of times until the Ponticelli family purchased it in 1885.
It features a brick exterior, four corner towers, and arched windows. It’s now a bed and breakfast.
Cuvee Tuscan Farmhouse
The Cuvee Tuscan Farmhouse is in Chianti Classico. The farmhouse features a stone exterior with climbing vines, a tiled roof, and a view of the rolling landscape.
The house has five bedrooms and modern features like an infinity pool and spa-like bathrooms.
Viticcio is the name of 15 Tuscan farmhouse-style apartments located in Greve in Chianti. The building features a stone and stucco exterior surrounded by family-owned vineyards.
Each of the fifteen apartments is decorated in traditional Tuscan style but boasts modern amenities.