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Exploring the Mediterranean Climate Region:
A Californian View of Eastern Tuscany
Gerald Taylor spent seven weeks in the summer of 2003 studying the region of Tuscany around Castiglion Fiorentino with a group of landscape architecture students to answer the question of whether this was a true Mediterranea-climate area. He found that in comparison with Southern California precipitation was greater and winters were colder allowing for forests of broad-leafed trees which would not survive in his American home but not permitting the cultivation of citrus without protection. Clearly the definition of mediterranean climate is not an absolute and depends on the recognition of similarities rather the differences.
A view of the town of Castiglion Fiorentino in Eastern Tuscany near
the border with Umbria.
The deciduous oaks and chestnut trees (Quercus cerris, Q pubescens
and Castanea sativa)
on the hills round Castiglion Fiorentino did not
suggest the usual Mediterranean-climate flora, whereas the olive groves did.
"Part of our educational experience would
be to explore the landscape and the vegetation
native to this Mediterranean country" The students
on a 'plant walk'.
Mediterranean-climate living - an ice
cream in a street cafe in Castiglion Fiorentino.