A city with a view – this is how Cortona can be briefly described, the old quarters of which are surrounded by the steep slopes of a 600-meter hill. The history of the city dates back to the settlement of the Etruscans, the most valuable traces of which can be seen today in the Diocese Museum. Then the Romans and the Goths successively stayed here, until in the 15th century Cortona passed to the Medici family. They called in the illustrious masters Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli to decorate the city and thus immortalized Cortona in the annals of history. Today people come here to see the famous “Annunciation” and other masterpieces of the Renaissance, admire panoramic views of the picturesque Chiana Valley and Lake Trasimeno, wander through the medieval streets and enjoy Tuscan cuisine. Check andyeducation to learn more about Italy.
How to get to Cortona
The nearest airport is in Florence (120 km).
From the airport. Amerigo Vespucci needs to get to Santa Maria Novella Station, located in the city center. The most convenient way to do this is on the Volainbus bus route of the Sita / Ataf company. Departure from the exit of the only terminal every half an hour from 6:00 to 23:30, 20 minutes on the way, fare 6 EUR, tickets can be bought at the box office at the airport or from the driver.
From Santa Maria Novella Station, RV express trains and REG trains leave for Cortona at least once an hour. The express trip (6 stops) will last about 1.5 hours and cost 15-18 EUR. Trains will deliver to Cortona in 1 hour 50 minutes – 2 hours 15 minutes (16 stops) and will cost 8-12 EUR.
Trains arrive at the Kamucha Cortona station, from which you can get to the central Mercato square by buses LS6 and SU4, or to Garibaldi square by bus SU5. Departure every 10-15 minutes, travel time – 10 minutes, ticket price – 2 EUR (it can be purchased from the driver, you need the exact amount without change).
A taxi from Florence airport to Cortona will cost 120-140 EUR.
Cortona is a miniature city, it is most convenient to move around the historical center on foot, between the main attractions no more than 15 minutes. In addition, many central streets are closed to vehicular traffic. Buses run around Cortona (except for the historic center) and the surrounding suburbs. Travel within the city costs 1.10 EUR, tickets can be purchased at tobacco kiosks (tabacchi); When you get on the bus, you need to validate your ticket.
The minimum taxi fare within the city is 5.50 EUR; a kilometer in the city will cost 0.90 EUR, outside it – 1.50 EUR. From 10:00 pm to 6:00 am and on weekends there is a surcharge of EUR 2.50 per trip.
Cortona can be combined with a visit to Arezzo (33 km) – only 20 minutes by train.
Cortona is a popular tourist city, where there are always a lot of young people. More than 40 hotels, guest houses and hostels are ready to accept tourists. A night in a budget hotel (most of them here) will cost from 30 EUR per day. Accommodation in a hotel with several “stars” will cost at least 80 EUR, and a room in a historical institution (for example, occupying the building of an old abbey) will cost 140-160 EUR per night. A bed in a hostel will ease the wallet by no more than 10-15 EUR.
The Tourist Office of Cortona is located at Piazza Signorelli, 9 (in the Palazzo Casali building). Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:30, on Tuesdays and Thursdays also from 15:00 to 17:30.
Cuisine and restaurants
In the catering establishments of Cortona, as a rule, dishes of traditional Tuscan cuisine are served, the three pillars of which are bread (he was praised by Dante Alighieri), meat and wine. Taverns, osterias and fast foods are located almost at every step in the historical center. Popular inexpensive places are Pane e Vino and Osteria del Teatro, you can dine in style at La Bucaccia, located in a Renaissance palazzo, and for morning coffee and cake, the Banchelli patisserie is the best place.
A sandwich or pizza snack will cost 5-10 EUR, a hot lunch – 15-20 EUR. For dinner in a pompous institution with the famous Tuscan steak and a bottle of Chianti, you will have to pay 80-100 EUR per person.
Entertainment and attractions of Cortona
As befits any self-respecting medieval Italian city, Cortona begins with the Duomo – the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Piazza del Duomo). It was built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, and the interiors were painted in the 16th and 17th centuries. The most notable frescoes are The Adoration of the Magi by Pietro da Cortona and The Descent of the Holy Spirit by Tommaso Bernabei. Christian relics and renaissance tapestries, as well as fragments of an altarpiece by Pietro Lorenzetti, are now on display at the Diocesan Museum.
The Diocese Museum (off. site in It.), located on the opposite side of the Cathedral Square, is famous for its magnificent collection of religious paintings of the Renaissance. The earliest works are “Madonna Enthroned” and fragments of a painted Cross by Pietro Lorenzetti (1330s) and “Madonna and Child” by Niccolò di Segna (1336). Famous masterpieces are the “Annunciation” and “Madonna and Child with Angels” by Fra Angelico (1433 – 1436), it is also worth seeing the “Lamentations” and “Sermons of the Savior” by Luca Signorelli (late 15th century).
The third work of Luca Signorelli – “Madonna and Saints” (1515) can be seen in the church of San Domenico (Via Nazionale).
The Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the city of Cortona (off. site in it.) is one of the best historical museums in Tuscany, which has recently gone through a global reconstruction. The collections are housed on three floors of the Palazzo Casali (13th century) and cover the history of the region from the 7th century BC to the 7th century BC. e. before the New Age. The pearl of the collection is a collection of artifacts from Etruscan necropolises, including tablets with handwritten text from the 3rd-2nd centuries BC. e., a lamp and gold brooches. Also worth seeing are gilded globes and Renaissance paintings.
You can enjoy amazing panoramic views of the Chiana Valley all the way to Lake Trasimene (where Hannibal defeated the Roman army in 217 BC) by climbing the wall of the Girifalco fortress (Via di Fortezza), which once belonged to the all-powerful Medici clan. The walk takes about 15 minutes along a very steep hillside past the Basilica of Santa Margherita, where the patron saint of Cortona rests in a 14th century glass shrine. Then you can walk to the 13th century Franciscan monastery of Le Celle, famous for its stone bridge and the rock-hewn church of St. Francis.