Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo.
Cortona has been the perfect setting for a romantic Italian movie ' Under the tuscan sun Country houses and farm holidays in Tuscany Italy.
Cortona, a jewel of Etruscan and medieval arts and history, is enclosed by beautiful walls and is characterized by narrow streets with breathtaking views onto Valdichiana and the Tuscan hills, by imposing medieval and Renaissance buildings and many important churches from the historic, artistic and religious points of view.
Cortona in Tuscany is a place that you will enjoy without any doubt.
Its relationship with antiquity and with myths makes it one of the most popular towns with tourists from all over the world.
Where is Cortona?
If you look at a map, you will easily find that there are many places that you can easily reach from Cortona: first of all Arezzo, but also Montepulciano, the towns of the Orcia Valley and the Trasimeno Lake.
You will also find that in addition to the visit of Cortona, the surrounding areas are places full of history and beautiful landscapes. You will have a lot of things to do and see in Cortona and will not have any difficulties in finding out what to see in Cortona and its area!
Cortona is one of the oldest hill towns in Tuscany and is featured in Francis Mayes book Under the Tuscan Sun (see Books about Tuscany). Cortona's medieval streets are pleasant to wander and you'll be rewarded with fabulous views of the countryside along the medieval town walls.
Cortona has remnants of its pre-Roman Etruscan past, Renaissance artists Luca Signorelli and Fra Angelico, and Baroque artist Pietro di Cortona.
It was one of the most evolved medieval city-states, still profuse with pure renaissance forms; The Calcinaio church, Francesco di Georgio Martini's masterpiece.
The present perimeter is about 3 Km. And it coincides, for almost 2/3, with that one of the ancient Etruscan town-walls, on which the present walls are built. The Etruscan remains can be distinguished from the overhanging walls which were built during the Middle Ages, because they are made of huge quadrangular rocks. On the hilltop of the cortonese's hill is the Medicean fortress required by the Medici family and built by Francesco Laparelli in 1549.
Cortona, hometown to so many famous painters from Luca Signorelli to Pietro Berrettini da Cortona to Gino Severini. And then the last little secret about Cortona: some ancient historians suggested that Ulysses was buried here! It is only a legend, but what an extraordinary one!
Town Hall, already in existence from 1236, altered and enlarged in the course of the centuries, surmounted by a crennelated tower furnished with a clock ; it overlooks the Piazza della Repubblica in front of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, also dating from 1200.
Palazzo Casali, erected by the Casali family in the XIII century (Lords of Cortona) and then becoming Seat of the Fiorentini Lords and Captains, houses in its interior the Museum of the Accademia Etrusca (1727), the Municipal Library and Historical Archives. Palazzo Luparelli, among the most noteworthy buildings of Cortona, it has a formidable facade in three styles.
Medicea Fortress, erected in 1556 on the ruins of an Etruscan wall and of a successive small fort in an exceptionally panoramic position desired by Cosimo I.
The Cathedral, constructed at the end of the 1400s encompassing the pre-existing parish church, internally it has three naves and preserves vdarious works of art. Opposite, in the venue of the ex church of Gesù is the Diocesan Museum in which are collected pieces by important artists and a Roman Sarcophagus of the II century, found near the Cathedral. Also worth a visit is the collection of goldsmith’s craft and vestments and church plate.
Basilica di S. Margherita, of present day form (1856) with Roman Gothic imitations, it was constructed to substitute a previous church of the XIII-XIV centuries. Other than the precious works of art preserved in its interior, on the altar there is a silver urn containing the body of Santa Margherita. S. Francesco, III century church of Gothic establishment, has been altered several times. S. Domenico, constructed in 1438, basilical interior with single nave.
Cortona is located in eastern Tuscany, near to the border of Umbria and only 20 minutes from Lake Trasimeno.
Cortona is situated on a hill (500 metres above sea level), where you can enjoy a unique and amazing view of the Val di Chiana.
We can definitely consider Cortona as a strategic base from where to explore Tuscany and Umbria, and where you should spend at least a couple of days as part of your itinerary.
Its location, near to Montepulciano (32 Km), Pienza (45 Km), Arezzo (28 km), Siena (72 km), Orvieto (95Km), San Gimignano (117 km) | and Umbria; Lake Trasimeno (15 Km), Perugia (45 km), Assisi (70 km) and Orvieto (96 km) makes it the perfect base from which to explore some of the most impressive sights and attractions of history and from where famous personalities have become successful in the world.
Cortona is full of many good restaurants and bars that serve, mainly, typical dishes of Tuscany, and there are also many excellent restaurants outside the walls of Cortona.
Cortona is also full of wine bars where you can dine accompanied by a good Tuscan wine, or wines, or simply buy local products.
The cheese Brillo in Piazza Signorelli and Enoteria, in Via Nazionale, are great places for wine tasting. If you prefer to make your dinner, there is a small supermarket called Molesini in the main square of Cortona (Piazza della Republica), while for those of you with a sweet tooth, there is a food market in Piazza Signorelli. The most important festival in Cortona, from a gastronomic point of view, is the “Sagra della Bistecca” (steak Festival) which takes place on the 14th, 15th and 16th August of each year.
La cittadina, situata a sud-est della Toscana al confine con la regione Umbria in provincia di Arezzo, è un crogiolo armonioso di storia e cultura, arte e tradizioni.
Intorno al borgo si apre la vallata e, trovandosi a 500 metri sul livello del mare, a sud si vede il Lago Trasimeno.
Adagiata su un promontorio, Cortona è una fortezza etrusca costruita su una posizione strategica, vicina a numerose importanti città e centri storico culturali, come Arezzo, Montepulciano, Pienza, Perugia, Assisi e Siena.
Come arrivare a Cortona?
Sebbene Cortona non si trovi sulla rotta delle principali autostrade, è a breve distanza verso l'interno rispetto a diverse località di interesse turistico (come Arezzo & Montepulciano).
Per coloro che viaggiano in Toscana senza l'auto, vi è la possibilità di prenotare un tour organizzato con visite guidate non solo alla città di Cortona, ma spesso anche ad altre destinazioni come Arezzo, Assisi o Montepulciano.
A Cortona in Treno
Ci sono treni regionali diretti (per Roma) che partono con corse frequenti e regolari da Firenze (e da Roma) e si fermano alla stazione di Camucia, da dove puoi decidere di fare una passeggiata fino in centro o prendere un autobus.
Vi sono anche treni frequenti che partono da Arezzo, dove puoi trovare un parcheggio vicino alla stazione, a pagamento ma abbastanza conveniente.
L'autobus che parte con corse regolari dalla stazione di Camucia ti porterà in Piazza Garibaldi, da dove puoi entrare direttamente in centro (questa zona offre anche vedute spettacolari sulla vallata sottostante). Il servizio autobus è attivo 7 giorni su 7 a luglio ed agosto, mentre da settembre a giugno non ci sono corse la domenica e durante le festività.
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