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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).
from the medieval walls
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.
|The monastery of Santa Margherita (Saint Margaret's
|Distance from Arezzo
|Artists/writers per square km/mile
Francis' Hermitage, a few km from Cortona. Wonderful setting, peaceful - perfect place for
meditation and reflection.
The 16 th century fortress built by the architect Laparelli for the Medici
Laparelli built La Valletta, Malta's fortress city.
|Where to stay
|Hotel S. Michele
Via Guelfa 15
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
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