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Tuscan Character 03/04/2011

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c. 1905

Those who know and live among the Tuscan people do not fail to realise that, though they may possess the faults common to Latin races, yet there is much charm to be met with in the national character. This combines a sunny nature with real refinement of manner and taste, producing on the stranger an impression that the Tuscans must all be persons of blue blood. The glibness of their tongues is often deceptive; yet once inspire in a servant, for example, who comes from a respectable family an attachment to your person, and you will find that he, or she, is capable of a devotion and fidelity which cannot easily be matched. Cleanliness is to be found to an extent which might astonish the visitor, and there is among the poorer classes a sense of self-respect which leads them to make many sacrifices in order to present a good appearance to the world, however meagre may be their fare, or however ragged their garments within the four walls of home. Thrift is considerably encouraged by the Government, who have established well-administered Savings Banks (‘Case di Risparmio’) in the towns, although, on the other hand, they have legalised the form of gambling known as Lotto, which absorbs many hard-earned quattrini.

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