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“One of the most beautiful small cities of Tuscany.....”

Cortona Guida Turistica Autorizzata-Silvia Vecchini - Tour Privato
Ranked #8 of 18 Tours in Cortona
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Owner description: Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo. Originally an Umbrian city, it was conquered and enlarged by the Etruscans, who called it Curtun. During the 600's BC, it joined the Etruscan League. Cortona eventually became a Roman colony under the name Corito. The origin-legends and ancient names of Cortona are described by George Dennis.[2] In the final stages of the Gothic War (535-554), Cortona was sacked and destroyed. Cortona became a Ghibellinian city state in the 13th century, with its own currency. From 1325 to 1409 the Ranieri-Casali family successfully ruled the town. After being conquered by Ladislaus of Naples in 1409, Cortona was sold to the Medici in 1411. In 1737, the senior branch of the Medici line went extinct and Cortona came under the authority of the House of Lorraine. Following the Italian Wars of Independence, Tuscany - Cortona included - The foundation of Cortona remains mixed in legends dating to classical times. These were later reworked especially in the late Renaissance period under Cosimo I de' Medici. The 17th-century Guide of Giacomo Lauro, reworked from writings of Annio da Viterbo, states that 108 years after the Great Flood, Noah entered the Valdichiana via the Tiber and Paglia rivers. He preferred this place better than anywhere else in Italy, because it was so fertile, and dwelt there for thirty years. One of Noah's descendants was Crano, his son who came to the hilltop and, liking the high position, the fine countryside and the calm air, built the city of Cortona on it in 273 years after the Great Flood. The prevailing character of Cortona's architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside (altitude 600 metres), embracing a view of the whole of the Valdichiana. From the Piazza Garibaldi (still referred to by the local population by its older name, Piazza Carbonaia) is a fine prospect of Lake Trasimeno, scene of Hannibal's ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC (Battle of Lake Trasimene). Parts of the Etruscan city wall can still be seen today as the basis of the present wall. The main street, via Nazionale, is the only street in the town with no gradient, and is still usually referred to by locals by its older name of Ruga Piana. Inside the Palazzo Casali is the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca, displaying items from Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations, as well as art and artefacts from the Medieval and Renaissance eras. The distinguished Etruscan Academy Museum had its foundation in 1727 with the collections and library of Onofrio Baldelli. Among its most famous ancient artefacts is the bronze lampadario or Etruscan hanging lamp, found at Fratta near Cortona in 1840 and then acquired by the Academy for the large sum of 1600 Florentine scudi. Its iconography includes (under the 16 burners) alternating figures of Silenus playing panpipes or double flutes, and of sirens or harpies. Within zones representing waves, dolphins and fiercer sea-creatures is a gorgon-like face with protruding tongue. Between each burner is a modelled horned head of Achelous. It is supposed that the lampadario derived from some important north Etruscan religious shrine of around the second half of the fourth century BC. A later (2nd century BC) inscription shows it was rededicated for votive purposes (tinscvil) by the Musni family at that time.[3] The Museum contains several other important Etruscan bronzes. The Fra Angelico Annunciation. Etruscan chamber-tombs nearby include the Tanella di Pitagora[4] (halfway up the hill from Camucia): the fine masonry of the tomb stands exposed, but was formerly covered by an earth mound. two at the foot of the hillside at Il Sodo, and a complex in Camucia itself. Il Sodo I, the 'Grotta Sergardi' commonly known as 'Il Melone', contains a passage, opening into parallel passages leading to square inner chambers, within a mound about 640 ft in circumference. Although the chambers are paved with slabs of masonry the walls are constructed of pieces of rock roughly-formed into bricks.[5] This tomb can be visited. Il Sodo II contained a large stone-stepped altar platform with carved sphinxes devouring warriors.[6] The town's chief artistic treasures are two panels by Fra Angelico in the Diocesan Museum, an Annunciation and a Madonna and Child with Saints. A third surviving work by the same artist is the fresco above the entrance to the church of San Domenico, likewise painted during his stay at Cortona in 1436. The Diocesan Museum houses also a group of work by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, known as Lo Spagnuolo, called Ecstasy of Saint Margaret. The Academy Museum includes the very well known painting Maternita of 1916 by the Cortonese artist Gino Severini. There are also examples of the works of Pietro da Cortona. The villa Bramasole built in 1504 was used as the location for the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun.
geneva
Level Contributor
477 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“One of the most beautiful small cities of Tuscany.....”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Cortona is a old city perched on the moutainside near Lago di Trasimeno.
It is a bit off the regular Tuscany tour but believe me it is worth the visit.It is about 45 minutes from Siena.Taking the super-strada Siena/Perugia is the best option.Their are two options.Get there early and sip a cappucino on one of the beautiful Piazza's before all the crowds arrive.Otherwise arrive late afternoon and profit by the lovely evening ambiance and maybe dine at one of the good restaurants.Believe me Cortona is a must.

Visited July 2013
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Thank angelo65Geneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Pretoria, South Africa
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101 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Not under the Tuscan sun...”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We decided to visit Cortona for a day while staying in Florence. The trip by regional train took around 90 minutes one way and it is quite a distance to get from the station (which is actually situated in another town) all the way to Cortona which is located on the hill top. Although the town itself is quite nice do not expect to see much of the Hollywood version here as was portrayed in "Under the Tuscan Sun". Most of the settings where changed especially for the movie and is nowhere to be found today. It is possible to see some of the sights as long as you are willing to look past the cheap flea market items being sold in front of the old buildings. Also be warned that the roads are extremely steep and personally I wouldn't advise it to older travellers.
To sum up I would say that this is only worth a visit if you have seen almost everything else. As far as hill top towns go rather go to San Gimignano which is absolutely spectacular!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Faansie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN TOURS IN CORTONA”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Hello everybody!
If you come in Tuscany don't skip Cortona, the movie set of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN ! You can follow the Diane Layne steps and see the Bramasole Villa!
So charming and quiet village so far from the noises!
We enjoy a tour in Cortona and Siena with our driver Andrea - www.underthetuscansun.it

Sofia

Visited May 2013
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Thank UnderTheTuscanSunT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver BC
Level Contributor
269 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Villa di Bramasole, "Under the Tuscan Sun"”
Reviewed June 14, 2013 via mobile

Frances Mayes' book about her Cortona experience talks about her home, the Villa di Bramasole, at 151 Strada Provinciale Umbro-Cortonese, or maybe 151 Via Santa Margherita. Drove there after much stumbling about, and following Italian instructions. The street was a dead end street, and we started with a sharp right hand turn at a bar (Enotecha). But we found it.

Visited June 2013
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Thank 8Peter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Square has a real buzz”
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Cortona revolves around this square and you will often find weddings, and other events occurring. From 5pm the locals come and sit for the evening.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank aussieos09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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