The Legend of the Tuscan Cigar
Tuscany, and indeed the city of Florence, are famous for many things, including arts, cuisine and wine, but also for the special Tuscan cigar, that came about by accident in 1815. It has a really unique flavor and aroma due to fermented tobacco.
Tuscany, and indeed the city of Florence itself are famous for many things, including of course art, sculpture and architecture, but also the Florentine steak, the tasty aperitivo Negroni and the famous Tuscan cigar, the latter of which actually came about by accident. Whilst on your walking tour of Florence, imagine yourself to be back in 1815; the very year in which this legendary cigar was born…
So how on earth is a cigar produced by accident? Well, almost two centuries ago the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III, owned a tobacco factory. Legend has it, that one day, when a bale of Kentucky tobacco leaves were drying out in the open, they were drenched by a sudden downpour of rain, and started to ferment. Instead of discarding the leaves, they were sold to the common people of Florence at a very decent price, having just a simple band around each cigar.
This simple band is still a characteristic of these cigars today. Surprisingly, the decision to sell this fermented tobacco was a good one! The cigars gained much popularity, and with the unique ‘new’ flavour and aroma, they had almost immediate success. Over the centuries, famous and prestigious Tuscan cigar smokers have included the likes of King Vittorio Emanuele II, Puccini, Garibaldi, Verdi and more recently, Francis Ford Coppola and Sergio Leone, the latter of whom made the cigar famous via Clint Eastwood in some spaghetti western films.
This cigar is popular for one main reason: its unmistakable rich aroma which comes from the production process. The tobacco used for these cigars is flame cured, before undergoing a fermentation process that can last from 30 to 50 days, and is fundamental to the manufacture of the Tuscan cigar. Once this process is complete, the cigars are prepared and wrapped by hand, before being sent to the warehouse to mature for no less than about 6 months. And there isn’t only one type of Tuscan cigar either; you can get your hands on the Toscano Originale, Toscano Antico, or even the more mature Extra Vecchio. Whichever cigar you choose, it’s sure to be a one of a kind experience.
Are you keen on taking a Florence tour? We have many Florence city tours available to choose from, whether you want to see the Pitti Palace, the grand Uffizi or just fancy a stroll around this wonderful Renaissance city. And when you’re done? You’re in the perfect place to kick back and relax, whether you want good food, good wine or a good Tuscan cigar…