The links between Florence and its vineyards are ancient and indissoluble. The production and commerce of wine profoundly influenced the civic economy in the past, and even today many of the most ancient Florentine families continue to be involved in wine production. In recent years, ideas emerging from the vineyards and research laboratories of the Province of Florence have had an enormous influence on modern viticulture, effectively contributing to establish Tuscan wine at the level of a veritable myth the world over.
General Picture of the Tuscan and Florentine Economy
Florence is an important centre of industrial, trades, artistic and handicraft activities. Placed in the middle of great highway arteries, is an important gravitational centre not only for the Tuscany, but also for the near Emilia-Romagna and Umbria.
With the province of Prato and Pistoia, Florence constitutes a huge metropolitan area, even though each one of these provinces has a characteristic economical field of specialization.
Florence productive structure is organized in small and medium enterprises, and all together they form the so-called industrial districts. The employment high profile and strongly specialized human resources achieves a very elevated quality of labor.
The economic system of Florence encourages the diffusion itself of innovative ideas, in a context that arranges cooperation and competition effectively. Industry, manufactures and field of the services, are the most important ones in the Florentine economy. The agriculture, concentrated in the Chianti for the cultivation of grape and olive trees ,and in the Mugello area for the production of milk and cheeses, stimulates a good business for the transformation activities.
Moreover, biological agriculture is going to be more and more important, having by now exceeded the 25,000 hectares of surface invested in all the region. In the greater part of the typical local workings, the high concentration of know-how, design, style and creativity have a key role. The local economic system is based on the light industry, from fashion to furnishing, mechanics for chemistry and pharmaceutics. In particular, fashion represents the principal source of the Tuscan richness , with approximately 26,000 enterprises, 150,000 employed people, the production of a third part of the regional income, and 40% of the total export.
With more than 4,000 companies in the high tech, this sector is in the Tuscany one of the points of force of the economic development. The companies are concentrated in Arno Valley, in Florence, Pisa and Pistoia. These commons have recently underwrite a program to encourage the local enterprises to create a recognizable brand for the external markets and to attract the foreign investments. The artistic handicraft has a primary role in the province of Florence. “terracotta” goods, decorated paper, workings in wood, stone and metal are known and well appreciated all over the world.
A strong income comes out thanks to tourism, which represents a very important sector for one of the more visited cities in Italy and Europe. Moreover University for foreign students, organization of fairs, markets, conferences and shows, contribute to increase the tourist flows.
Beyond being a traditional destination for the tourism of the art, Florence is also being a more and more innovative centre that has spaces and equipments for the so-called congress tourism. Florence also offers a valid large amount of agritourisms. A real boom, that counts in Tuscany nearly 40% of the total presences to national level.