Cortona in a Nutshell

Cortona, a picturesque hilltop town in Tuscany, Italy, boasts a rich history dating back to Etruscan times. This ancient civilization left behind fascinating remnants, including city walls and tombs, which can still be explored today. Cortona later flourished under Roman rule and became a prominent medieval commune. Its historic center, a labyrinth of narrow streets and charming piazzas, showcases a blend of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. The town's strategic location, perched on a hill overlooking the Valdichiana valley, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside.

2. Reasons to Choose Cortona for Your Next Vacation:

  • Authentic Tuscan Experience: Cortona offers a genuine taste of Tuscan life, away from the crowds of larger cities like Florence and Siena.
  • Rich History and Culture: Explore Etruscan tombs, medieval churches, Renaissance palaces, and museums showcasing local art and artifacts.
  • Breathtaking Scenery: Enjoy panoramic views of the Valdichiana valley, rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves.
  • Culinary Delights: Savor traditional Tuscan cuisine, including local specialties like pici pasta, Chianina beef, and pecorino cheese.
  • Wine Tasting: Discover the renowned wines of the Cortona DOC, including Syrah, Sangiovese, and Merlot.
  • Relaxing Atmosphere: Unwind in the peaceful ambiance of this hilltop town, stroll through its charming streets, and soak up the Tuscan sun.
  • Festivals and Events: Experience the vibrant local culture through various festivals and events held throughout the year, such as the Tuscan Sun Festival and the Giostra dell'Archidado.

3. Transportation Options to Cortona:

  • Air:The nearest major airport is Florence Airport (FLR), Peretola. From there, you can take a train to Camucia-Cortona station and then a bus or taxi to the town center.
    Imagem de Florence Airport (FLR), Peretola
  • Train:Camucia-Cortona is the closest train station, with regular connections to Florence, Rome, and other major Italian cities.
    Imagem de CamuciaCortona railway station
  • Bus: Regional bus services connect Cortona to nearby towns and villages in Tuscany.
  • Car: Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.

4. Accommodation for All Budgets:

  • Luxury Hotels:
    • Relais & Châteaux Il Falconiere: A luxurious hotel and spa in a restored 16th-century villa, offering elegant rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a tranquil atmosphere.
      Imagem de Relais & Châteaux Il Falconiere, Cortona
    • Villa di Piazzano: A historic villa hotel with stunning views of the countryside, offering luxurious rooms, a pool, and a gourmet restaurant.
  • Mid-Range Hotels:
    • Hotel San Michele: A charming hotel in a historic building, offering comfortable rooms and a central location.
      Imagem de Hotel San Michele, Cortona
    • Locanda del Molino: A cozy hotel with a rustic atmosphere, located in a former mill, offering comfortable rooms and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
      Imagem de Locanda del Molino, Cortona
  • Budget-Friendly Options (2 and 3-star hotels):
    • Hotel Italia: A simple and affordable hotel near the main square, offering basic accommodations and a convenient location.
      Imagem de Hotel Italia, Cortona
    • B&B Il Pozzo: A charming bed and breakfast with a central location, offering comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.
      Imagem de B&B Il Pozzo, Cortona

5. Must-See Attractions:

  • Piazza della Repubblica:The main square, a lively hub with cafes, shops, and the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall).
    Imagem de Piazza della Repubblica, Cortona
  • Diocesan Museum (Museo Diocesano):A museum housing a collection of religious art, including works by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli.
    Imagem de Diocesan Museum (Museo Diocesano), Cortona
  • Etruscan Academy Museum (MAEC):A museum showcasing Etruscan artifacts, including bronze statues, sarcophagi, and funerary objects.
    Imagem de Etruscan Academy Museum (MAEC), Cortona
  • Santa Margherita Sanctuary:A church dedicated to Saint Margaret of Cortona, a local saint, with a beautiful interior and panoramic views.
    Imagem de Santa Margherita Sanctuary, Cortona
  • Le Celle Franciscan Hermitage:A hermitage founded by St. Francis of Assisi, offering a peaceful retreat and stunning views.
    Imagem de Le Celle Franciscan Hermitage, Cortona

6. Day Trip Options:

  • Arezzo:A historic city with a beautiful Piazza Grande, a medieval church, and a monthly antique market.
    Imagem de Arezzo, Italy
  • Lake Trasimeno:The largest lake in central Italy, offering boat trips, charming lakeside towns, and water activities.
    Imagem de Lake Trasimeno, Italy
  • Montepulciano:A hilltop town known for its Vino Nobile wine and Renaissance architecture.
    Imagem de Montepulciano, Italy

7. Best Times to Visit:

  • Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-October): Pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and blooming flowers in spring.
  • Summer (June-August): Warm, sunny weather, but also peak tourist season with larger crowds and higher prices.

8. Public Holidays in Italy:

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Epiphany (January 6)
    • Liberation Day (April 25)
    • Labor Day (May 1)
    • Republic Day (June 2)
    • Assumption Day (August 15)
    • All Saints' Day (November 1)
    • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
    • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • St. Stephen's Day (December 26)

9. Useful Recommendations:

  • Take a Cooking Class: Learn to prepare traditional Tuscan dishes using fresh, local ingredients.
  • Hike or Bike in the Countryside: Explore the scenic countryside surrounding Cortona by hiking or biking.
  • Visit Local Wineries: Sample the renowned wines of the Cortona DOC.
  • Attend the Tuscan Sun Festival: If you visit in July, experience this vibrant cultural festival with music, dance, and theater performances.
  • Learn a Few Italian Phrases: Basic Italian phrases will be appreciated by locals.