An encounter with Cortona is an encounter with the art, the history, with mysticism. To see this town “out of time” comprises an authentic discovery of the past. Cortona cherishes jealously, inside the Etruscan walls, the testimonies of a very noble civilization. Cortona can offer you these testimonies together with a charming landscape between the Trasimeno Lake and the Apennines.
From its 600 metres of altitude Cortona dominated the entire Valdichiana and the eye gets lost at the horizon until it discovers the crests of Mount Amiata. The medieval look of the buildings and the narrow roads lend the town a very intriguing atmosphere. The Basilica of Santa Margherita and the Franciscan Sanctuary of Le Celle invite the tourist to discover Cortona from the top, offering an itinerary of art and faith only a few steps away from the historical town centre. Walking, instead, on Ruga Piana, nowadays Via Nazionale, the only flat road in town, you will reach Piazza della Repubblica, reigned by the medieval Town Hall, Palazzo Casali, once the residence of the noble cortonese family and now venue of the Museum of the Etruscan Academy. The halls host an interesting collection of Etruscan and roman archaeological findings. On the north end side of the town, in front of the Cathedral, is the Diocesan Museum, a small office which holds artworks of great artists like Luca Signorelli and one of the most beautiful annunciations from Beato Angelico. Outside of town, at the foot of the hill, and just a few hundred metres from La Torre degli Elci, you can find Melone I and II of the Sodo, Etruscan tombs dating back to the VI century before Christ.
Going towards Foiano della Chiana you will find the abbey of Santa Maria a Farneta who, with her crypt, represents one of the oldest expressions of the aretine Romanesque. A prestigious appointment you don’t want to miss is Cortonantiquaria, one of the most interesting market exhibitions of national antiques. The event takes place every year in the 17th century halls of Palazzo Vagnotti, from the last Saturday in August until the second Sunday in September.
Cortona, other than for the artistic beauty, is a very important tourist destination also for her strategic geographic position. In fact if you stay in Cortona it is possible to visit with short trips various cities of high artistic value like Florence, Siena, Perugia, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Trasimeno Lake, Arezzo, Assisi, Gubbio, Orvieto, Spoleto etc...