In a landscape of vines and olive trees, Cortona rises from the Valdichiana Valley, at the meeting point of the mountains of Siena and Lake Tresimeno. Founded by the Etruscans (and descendants of Noah!), Cortona is the main cultural and artistic centre of the Val di Chiana in the province of Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy.
The town – made famous by the novel and movie Under the Tuscan Sun – is full of charm and character. There are numerous festivals and events in Cortona and its surroundings throughout the year. The most famous of these include the annual Tuscan Sun Festival (music, arts and culture), Giostra dell’Archidado (crossbow tournament in period costume), Sagra della Bistecca (for steak lovers) and the Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Mobile Antico (antique furniture fair).
Further afield, possible day trips include the famous vineyard (and cheese) towns of Montepulciano, Montalcino and Pienza. Siena is nearby with its world-famous Palio horse race, held every year in the city’s Piazza del Campo. Heading east into Umbria there are a host of beautiful places to visit, such as Assisi, San Francesco and Gubbio.
We are also close to Lago Trasimeno, which also offers a great day out to beautiful Castiglion del Lago – a fortress town on the lake shores. Cortona is accessed from Italy’s main A1 Autostrada or rail via Camucia-Cortona station, with direct trains from Florence, Rome, and Foligno (via Perugia). Visit www.trenitalia.com for timetables and bookings (in English).
The nearest airports to Cortona are Perugia (60km via motorway), Foligno (90km), Florence (120km), Pisa (190km), Rome (220km) and Bologna (230km).