The Tuscan towns each have their own unique attractions, making them all worthy of a day’s worth of sightseeing. Arezzo may not stand out as much, but it is home to Piero della Francesca’s great fresco cycle. Cortona, on the other hand, captivates visitors with its views, galleries, and peaceful medieval streets. Montepulciano is equally charming and known for its art and architecture. All of these towns are within easy reach of Florence and are home to a variety of masterpieces and monuments. Siena, in particular, is a great place to visit for those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Florence, with its calm medieval atmosphere.

As for Tuscany’s villages, it’s easy to get caught up in the charm of the towns, but it’s important to also visit some of these smaller settlements. A must-see village is San Gimignano, famous for its towers. Pienza and Montalcino are also worth visiting, with the latter being home to the famous Brunello wine region. Monteriggioni, located near Siena, is becoming increasingly popular and is considered one of the most picturesque fortified villages in Tuscany. Close by, one can also find three beautiful abbeys: Sant’Antimo, San Galgano, and Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which are all fascinating examples of Tuscany’s rich monastic history.

Cortona mia has selected the most relevant places accessible from Cortona.



Montepulciano is a charming hilltop town located just a 40-minute drive from Cortona. Known for its Nobile di Montepulciano wine, which is highly regarded both in Italy and abroad, the town offers many opportunities for wine tasting and appreciation. Visitors can start by taking a stroll down the main street, Corso, and make their way to the Church of Sant’Agostino, where a crucifix attributed to Donatello is on display. Continuing along the Corso, one will reach the Piazza Grande, the heart of the city, surrounded by the Duomo, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Tarugi and Palazzo Contucci, all of which offer wine tastings and cellars. The square has also been used as a film set for movies such as Twilight.

From the Piazza Grande, visitors can also make their way to the Fortezza and the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, from where they can enjoy panoramic views of the town. The Church of San Biagio is another must-see destination, located 10 minutes away from the Piazza Grande. The church, which is completely isolated and surrounded by countryside, is made of stone and is considered one of the best examples of Renaissance art. Entrance is free.

Montepulciano is also famous for its wine production, particularly its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This wine is made from the Sangiovese grape and has a rich, full-bodied taste. Visitors can take a tour of one of the many wineries in the area and sample some of the local wines.

Overall, Montepulciano is a charming and picturesque town that offers a great combination of history, culture, and delicious food and wine. Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, or just want to relax and enjoy the beautiful Tuscan countryside, Montepulciano is a destination that should not be missed.

Time to go by car about 40 minutes
Distance: 38 Km
Average time visit: half day



Arezzo, located just 25 minutes away from Cortona, is easily accessible by both car and train. Visitors can take a train from Camucia train station, where trains run every two hours, and more frequently during peak hours. 

Arezzo is a charming city in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. Known for its rich history and cultural heritage, it offers visitors a chance to explore the past while enjoying the present.

One of the main reasons to visit Arezzo is to see Piero della Francesca’s fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross, located in the church of San Francesco. The church is open daily between 7am-12.30pm and 3pm-6.30pm and entrance is free. This masterpiece is a must-see for art lovers and history buffs.

Arezzo also has a rich history, having been an important city in the Etruscan federation and maintaining a high profile under Roman rule. In the past, it was known for its prosperity due to its location at the crossroads of trade routes over the Apennines. The city center is rich in medieval and Renaissance architecture, and its streets are filled with charming shops and delicious restaurants.

Visitors can also explore the city’s churches and museums, including the Museo Archeologico and the Museo Civico, which offer a glimpse into Arezzo’s past. The Piazza Grande, surrounded by the Duomo and Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, is a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the city.

Transport Car/train:  about 30 minutes
Distance: 28 Km
Average time visit: one day



Traveling from to Cortona to Pienza takes approximately 50 minutes, and is only possible by car. The road is pleasant and easy to drive.

Pienza is a small town located in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, known for its well-preserved Renaissance architecture and beautiful views of the surrounding hills.

One of the main attractions in Pienza is its beautiful main square, Piazza Pio II, which is surrounded by Renaissance palaces and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The palace, which was built by Pope Pius II, is now open to the public and offers a glimpse into the luxurious life of a Pope during the Renaissance.

Pienza is also known for its production of Pecorino cheese, a traditional sheep’s milk cheese. Visitors can take a tour of one of the local cheese factories and taste this delicious cheese. Additionally, visitors can explore the beautiful countryside surrounding Pienza, which is dotted with olive groves and vineyards.

Pienza is also home to several great restaurants, offering traditional Tuscan cuisine with a focus on local produce and ingredients, such as truffles, olive oil and cheese. Visitors can enjoy a delicious meal of pasta, bread and steak, accompanied by a glass of local wine.

Overall, Pienza is a charming and picturesque town that offers a great combination of history, culture, and delicious food and wine. The town’s well-preserved Renaissance architecture and beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside make it a must-see destination for any tourist visiting Tuscany.

Transport Car: about 50 minutes

Distance: 45 Km
Average time visit: half day



Val d’Orcia is a picturesque region located in southern Tuscany, known for its rolling hills, cypress trees, and charming medieval villages. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding cultural and natural landscape.

One of the main attractions in Val d’Orcia is its beautiful countryside, characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees. Visitors can take a scenic drive or bike ride through the countryside and enjoy the stunning views. The area is also home to several charming medieval villages such as Pienza, Montepulciano, and Montalcino, each of which has its own unique history and culture to explore.

Val d’Orcia is also known for its excellent food and wine. The region is home to some of Tuscany’s most famous wines, such as the Brunello di Montalcino and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Visitors can take a tour of a local winery and sample some of the local wines. Additionally, visitors can also enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the area, which often use locally grown produce and ingredients.

Overall, Val d’Orcia is a charming and picturesque region that offers a great combination of history, culture, and delicious food and wine. The area’s beautiful countryside, charming medieval villages, and excellent food and wine make it a must-see destination for any tourist visiting Tuscany.

Transport Car:  about 1 hour
Distance: 50 Km
Average time visit: 1 day



When coming to Cortona, as with the majority of tourists, you may already have visited Florence, but if you haven’t, it’s a must. Traveling from Cortona to Florence is very easy by train from Camucia train station, with trains running approximately once an hour. All trains stop right in the central railway station of Santa Maria Novella. From here it is really easy to get to the centre of Florence and visit the main sites. If this is a day trip we suggest that you go early in the morning and stay until the evening, where you can catch the last trains in time to take you back. We have made some suggestions on what you should visit on this day trip.

From the station let’s head towards the town centre. The first attraction you will find at hand is the fabulous Cathedral “Santa Maria del Fiore”, today known as the world’s largest masonry dome, and where this majestic cathedral features 600 years worth of stunning architecture and art works. If you like you can go on the roof to visit the bell tower, where you can enjoy charming views of Florence from the rooftops. Let’s keep walking through Via Calzaioli (the main street with many shops) to the magnificent Piazza della Signoria to see the Palazzo Vecchio, with the reproduction of Michelangelo’s David at its feet, while the original is located just behind this, at the Galleria dell’Accademia.  Next let’s visit the Gallery of Uffizzi, one of the largest art museums in the world (you need to book a ticket in advance and it will take at last 3|4 hours). From here we head to the Boboli Gardens, created by the Medici family in the 16th century. A mandatory stop at the “Mercato Nuovo” (New Market), the oldest central market of Florence to do some shopping, where we search for the Fountain Boar to touch his nose for luck… A few steps from here you are able to walk on the amazing old bridge, where you should stop half way across to admire the River Arno, and the breathtaking beauty of Florence in all of its entirety. Finally, head to the Pitti Palace, which was the long the residence of Florence’s rulers until 1919, when it was handed over to the Italian state, which transformed the palace into a museum complex. Last but not least is the wonderful panoramic view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, which is a 40 minute walk, or short drive by bus or taxi.

Transport car or train: about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Distance: 120 Km

Average time visit: one day



The best way to go to Siena from Cortona is by car (about a 1 hour drive), but you can also catch a train from Camucia train station to Chiusi, from where you switch to a local train to Siena.

Siena is   one of the most important medieval cities in Italy, and a trip worth making, as it is one of the “must see” town in Italy. The most famous part of the town is the central piazza known as Piazza del Campo, known worldwide for the famous medieval Palio that runs here, a horse race run around the piazza twice each Summer. The city sits above three hills with its heart in the huge piazza del Campo, where the Roman forum used to be. The brick pavement of the piazza represents the council and symbolizes the Madonna’s cloak which shelters Siena.

The Piazza del Campo is dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia.   If you feel energetic you can climb the 500+ steps, to watch an amazing panorama of the city.  The Museum inside of Palazzo pubblico offers some of the greatest of Sienese paintings. The Sala del Concistoro houses one of Domenico Beccafumi’s best works, ceiling frescoes of allegories on the virtues of Siena’s medieval government. But it is the Sala del Mappamondo and the Sale della Pace that hold the palaces’s highlights: Simone Martini’s huge Maestà and Equestrian Portrait of Guidoriccio da Fogliano and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegories of Good and Bad Government, once considered the most important cycle of secular paintings of the Middle Ages. The magnificent complex of the Cathedral of Siena and its Duomo houses a series of some of the most important monuments of the European artistic panorama. With more than one million visitors every year, the Cathedral without doubt represents the fulcrum of the entire complex, while other significant elements include the Crypt, the Baptistry and the Museo dell’Opera, all part of the impressive mass formed by the “Duomo Vecchio” (Old Cathedral), and the “Duomo Nuovo” (New Cathedral). Visitors  travel along a memorable itinerary of self discovery and truth of faith through culture and art, the result of more than a millennium of Western history.

Transport Car:  about 1 hour

Train: about 1 hours

Distance: 71 Km

Average time visit: 1 day




Probably one of the longest journeys from Cortona is to San Gimignano, for which you must travel by car. Most of the road is straight but you can’t avoid the curves. The journey  is compensated by the excellent Tuscan landscape.

San Gimignano is a small walled town, famous for its medieval architecture and towers that rise above the surrounding buildings, and offers an impressive view of the town from the surrounding valley. At the height of its glory they called the medieval town New York, San Gimignano’s patrician families had built around 72 tower-houses as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 towers have survived, San Gimignano still retains its feudal atmosphere and appearance. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, San Gimignano offers visitors the chance to step back in time, while enjoying its local products, including saffron and its white wine, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Don’t forget to visit San Gimignano Bell Tower and the amazing museum of medieval Tortures.

Transport Car:  about 1 hour and 30 minutes
Distance: 110 Km
Average time visit: 1 day



It is best to travel from Cortona to the Abbey by car. The road is easy, although the Abbey is quite a distance from Cortona, taking approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes.

San Galgano is a Catholic saint from Tuscany. He was born in Chiusdino, in the modern province of Siena, Italy. His mother’s name was Dionigia, while his father’s name (Guido or Guidotto) only appeared in a document dated in the 16th century, when the last name Guidotti was attributed. The canonization process to declare Galgano a saint started in 1185, only a few years after his death, and his canonization was the first conducted with a formal process by the Roman Church. A lot of Saint Galgano’s life is known through the documents of the canonization process in 1185 and other Vitae: Legenda beati Galgani by anonymous, Legenda beati Galgani confessoris by an unknown Cistercian monk, Leggenda di Sancto Galgano, Vita sancti Galgani de Senis, Vita beati Galgani. Galgano led a ruthless life in his early years, but later abandoned it in favour of a pious hermitage in the place now known as Rotonda di Montesiepi. His mother Dionigia reported that Galgano had two visions, both involving Archangel Michael: in the first vision the Archangel told Galgano that he was going to be protected by the Archangel himself. In the second vision, Galgano was following the Archangel and they arrived at the hill of Monte Siepi, where they met the twelve Apostles and the Creator himself. After the visions, Galgano’s horse refused to obey his orders and led him to the top of Monte Siepi where his visions took place. Convinced that this was a sign, Galgano decided to plant a cross. Since he had no way to make one of wood, he planted his sword in the ground. Immediately the sword became one piece with the ground so that nobody could remove it.

The Sword in the stone of San Galgano

Near the ruins of San Galgano Abbey at the Rotonda at Montesiepi, a round church was built over his tomb, where pilgrims came in large numbers and miracles were claimed. In that year Cistercian monks took over Monte Siepi at the request of Hugh, bishop of Volterra, but most of Galgano’s monks left, scattered over Tuscany, and became Augustinian hermits. By 1220 a large Cistercian monastery was built below Galgano’s hermitage: they then claimed him as a Cistercian saint. His cult was lively in Siena and Volterra, where numerous representations survive. The ruins of his hermitage can still be seen, while his cloak is kept in the church of Santuccio at Siena.

Transport Car:  about 1 hour and 25 minutes
Distance: 100 Km
Average time visit:  a day



Within a 20 minute drive by car or by train you can reach Umbria and Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy, with a surface area of 128 km2 (49.4 sq miles). Only two minor streams flow directly into the Lake, with none flowing out. In 1995 a natural park was established over the entire surface and shores. A 50 km (31 mi) bicycle path was opened in 2003 around the lake that allows tourists to explore it. There are also cross-country paths, especially over the hills on the eastern side. Half of Trasimeno is surrounded by hills, rich in olives that are an important agricultural resource. On the western shore, near Tuscany, there are vineyards, and fruit and vegetables are grown. The hills are much lower and the climate is warmer. Monte Subasio near Assisi, about 70 km (43 miles) to the east, and Monte Amiata, about 70 km (43 miles) to the west, can be seen. The vegetation includes pines, willows and poplars around the shores, many over 30 m tall.

The main towns to visit are Passignano sul Trasimeno, (perfect to spend a Sunday and dinner with family, and in Summer there is a beach with bar and swimming pool) Tuoro, (from here you get the boat to visit one of the lake’s islands “Maggiore”)  Monte del Lago, Torricella (perfect in Summer to relax and sunbathe) , San Feliciano, San Arcangelo, Castiglione del Lago, (where you can also arrive by train direct from Camucia train station. Don’t forget to visit the Medieval Fortress built in 1247 by Frederic II of Swabia. Castiglione del Lago has the longest shore) and Borghetto (where here you can enjoy the best lake fish restaurants).  Surrounding the lake are other old small towns, and isolated castles, like Zocco castle and a tower near Passignano.

Transport Car or train:  about 20 minutes
Go with Train:about 20 minutes
Distance: 22 Km
Average time visit: 1 day

10 Assisi


Assisi  is an Umbrian town near Perugia, on the western flank of Monte Subasio. Cortona is very close to the Umbrian border and so it is very easy to get to and visit Assisi in just one day. You can go by car, or by train (from Camucia train station and then at San Giovanni train station to Perugia, where you can take a taxi or bus to reach the town. Assisi was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d’Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. The 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.

Assisi has had a rich tradition of art through the centuries and is now home to a number of well known artistic works. Artists Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini worked shoulder to shoulder at Assisi. The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi includes a number of artistic works. Simone Martini’s 1317 fresco there reflects the influence of Giotto in realism and the use of brilliant colours. Lorenzetti’s fresco at the lower church of the Basilica includes a series of panels depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus, Deposition from the Cross and Entombment of Christ. The figures Lorenzetti painted display emotions, yet the figures in these scenes are governed by geometric emotional interactions, unlike many prior depictions which appeared to be independent iconic aggregations. Lorenzetti’s 1330 Madonna dei Tramonti also reflects the ongoing influence of Giotto on his Marian art, midway through his career.

The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi (St. Francis). The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church (Italian: Basilica inferiore and Basilica superiore) of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228, and completed in 1253. The lower church has frescoes by the late-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto; the upper church houses frescoes of scenes in the life of St. Francis previously ascribed to Giotto, but now thought to be by artists of the circle of Pietro Cavallini from Rome. The Basilica was badly damaged by an earthquake on 26 September 1997, during which part of the vault collapsed, killing four people inside the church and taking with it a fresco by Cimabue. The building was closed for two years for restoration.

Assisi -Town of Chuches – More you should visit

        • Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary the Greater), the earliest extant church in Assisi.
        • The Cathedral of San Rufino (St. Rufinus), with a Romanesque façade with three rose windows and a 16th century interior; part of it is built on a Roman cistern.
        • Basilica of Santa Chiara (St. Clare) with its massive lateral buttresses, rose window, and simple Gothic interior, begun in 1257, contains the tomb of the namesake saint and 13th century frescoes and paintings.
        • Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels), which houses the Porziuncola.
        • Chiesa Nuova, built over the presumed parental home of St. Francis
        • Santo Stefano, one of the oldest churches of Assisi.
        • Eremo delle Carceri, a small monastery with church at a canyon above the town, where St. Francis retreated and preached to birds
        • Church of San Pietro (St. Peter), built by the Benedictines in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 13th century. It has a rectangular façade with three rose windows; the Gothic chapel of the Holy Sacrament houses a triptych

Transport Car:  about 1 hour
Go with Train: about 1 hours and 20 minutes
Distance: 72 Km
Average time visit:
a day

11 Perugia


Is possibile to reach Perugia with car or train in about 50 minutes. Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria who is bordered by Tuscany, Lazio and Marche. Skyline of Perugia hilltop city and valley The history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. Perugia was one of the main Etruscan cities. The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci”) public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded on 1788, and others Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).

Perugia is a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy. The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes; eight of his pictures can also be admired in the National Gallery of Umbria.[1] Perugino was the teacher of Raphael,[2] the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia (today no longer in the city)[3] and one fresco.[4] Another famous painter, Pinturicchio, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia. The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city.

Transport Car/train:  about 50 minutes
Go with Train: about 1 hours and 20 minutes
Distance: 50 Km
Average time visit:
a day