Cortona Landscape ] Cortona Town ] Cortona St Francis Hermitage ] Frances Mayes ]
Back ] Next ]

View from Cortona

Click on the pictures on this page to see a larger version

The town

Cortona has changed little since the Renaissance. The streets, steep and narrow, are paved with flagstones. The squares are small and irregular.

Mediaeval ramparts have replaced the Etruscan walls.

Set on a hillside planted with olive trees, it has views across the countryside, with the Lake Trasimeno a few kilometres away.

Besides seeing the main monuments - you should take the time to stroll in town, to take in the atmosphere of this place, described so well by Frances Mayes in her bestselling book Under the Tuscan Sun at home in Italy.

Do you have some time and want to see the place well? Read the book and try to find the places she describes and where is her villa Bramasole (as long as you don't bother her - even bestselling writers deserve their privacy).

Cortona Landscape

View from the medieval walls

Cortona9908Cortona8.jpg (59906 bytes)Cortona

Cortona by car

Forget it. Driving in Cortona is a bad idea - the streets are so steep and narrow that only the tiny Italian cars can move - with difficulty. Parking is practically impossible in town. Some hotels have a parking, but it's very expensive (and difficult to get in and out of the tiny parking, unless you have a tiny Fiat 500). However, abundant parking is available outside the city walls.

9908Cortona.jpg (65437 bytes)The monastery of Santa Margherita (Saint Margaret's monastery).
Cortona statistics
  Metric Imperial
Distance from Arezzo 33 km 21 miles
Altitude 650 m 2133 ft
Population 22,000 app.
Artists/writers per square km/mile some
Cortona, view from St Francis' Hermitage9908Cortona7.jpg (82398 bytes)

St. Francis' Hermitage, a few km from Cortona. Wonderful setting, peaceful - perfect place for meditation and reflection.

Cortona, Medici Fortress , 16th century

The Fortezza
The 16 th century fortress built by the architect Laparelli for the Medici family.
Laparelli built La Valletta, Malta's fortress city.

Cortona landscapeCortona landscape
Where to stay
Hotel S. Michele
Via Guelfa 15
52044 Cortona
Phone: +39 575 604 348
Fax +39 575 630 147
I stayed at this Renaissance palace, modernised recently. Used to house the Etruscan Academy during the 17 century. Air conditioning, TV, telephone. Rooms, suites and mini-suites available. Good breakfast included in price.
Hotel garage available - but a nightmare to get in and out, unless you have a tiny Italian car.
Not cheap - but nice setting - beautiful view on the valley and lake Trasimeno from the top floor rooms. Nice, spacious reception areas.
Where to eat
via Ghibellina 3
Phone+ 39 575 604 140
Small pizzeria. Good food, cheerful service. Excellent bruschetta. Crowd of locals proof of quality and value for money . Better book in advance.
Trattoria la Grotta
Piazzetta Baldelli 3
Phone +39 575 630 271
Very popular restaurant, good quality, nice setting. Closed on Tuesday