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Day out in Cortona

  • Day out in Cortona

    Cortona is a charming town located in the Valdichiana, around 30 km south of Arezzo. Set high above the Valdichiana plain, Cortona surveys terraced slopes of olive groves and vineyards. This perfect medieval town is deservedly popular but brave the summer crowds for some of the loveliest views in Tuscany. Set on a rocky spur 600 metres above sea level, Cortona climbs upto a Medici fortress and views of both Lake Trasimeno and Monte Amiata. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating to Etruscan and Roman times, was the most important Etruscan city in the north of Tuscany.

    Begin a walking tour in the delightfully asymmetrical Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Signorelli, once home to the ancient Etruscan-Roman forum. The Etruscan Museum is, of course, the place to get to grips with the city’s origins. Even so, Cortona is a place for medieval musings rather than specific sites. The city’s medieval core is centred on the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), which dates back to 1236 but Cortona is riddled with medieval alleyways. On a higher level, you can also visit the monumental complex of San Francesco, which includes the church and the convent. Continue ever upwards to reach the higher part of the town with its narrow streets and medieval buildings. Crowds in Cortona are nothing new, especially since an American author gave it a further boost. The city is famous for being the setting of the bestselling book, Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes. Much like San Gimignano and Pienza, Cortona is a tourism hotspot so its over-popularity is a given. Luckily, there are enough quaint inns and cafes to restore any grumpy spirits.

    Web: www.visittuscany.com/en/ideas/cortona-one-day-trip-from-florence/

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