Some of the good reasons why it’s worth spending at least a couple of days in Cortona, the pearl of Tuscany, ”Mother of Troy and the Grandmother of Rome,”


Cortona, located in eastern Tuscany near the border of Umbria, is the perfect base for exploring the region. Situated on a hill 500 metres above sea level, it offers a unique view of the Val di Chiana. With its proximity to popular destinations such as Montepulciano (32 Km), Pienza (45 Km), Arezzo (28 km), Siena (72 km), Orvieto (95Km), San Gimignano (117 km) | and Umbria; Lake Trasimeno (15 Km), Perugia (45 km), Assisi (70 km) and Orvieto (96 km) it’s ideal for taking in the area’s impressive sights and rich history. Only 20 minutes from Lake Trasimeno, it’s worth spending at least a couple of days in Cortona as part of your itinerary.


Cortona, originally founded by the Etruscans under the name “Curtun,” still retains many of its original remains from the Etruscan period. It also boasts a rich history, including stories of famous Renaissance artists such as Luca Signorelli and Beato Angelico, as well as Pietro di Cortona from the Baroque period.


When it comes to food and local wine, Cortona is a destination not to be missed. The town is full of good restaurants and bars that serve typical Tuscan dishes. There are also many excellent restaurants outside the walls of Cortona. For wine lovers, there are many wine bars where you can dine accompanied by a good Tuscan wine or simply buy local products. Enoteca Molesini, Tuscher Bar, and Bottega Baracchi are great places for wine tasting. The area is also known for its wines made from the Sangiovese grape, which are grown in the surrounding hills of Cortona.

For those who prefer to make their own meals, there is a small supermarket called Molesini in the main square of Cortona (Piazza della Republica). For those with a sweet tooth, there is a food market in Piazza Signorelli. One of the most important gastronomic events in Cortona is the “Sagra della Bistecca” (Steak Festival) which takes place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of August each year.


“Frances Mayes’ heartwarming true story, “Under the Tuscan Sun,” and the popular film it inspired, has brought millions of tourists to Cortona. This humble working man’s town has become an international destination, but one may wonder if Cortona was better in its quieter days as an historical Etruscan hilltop town, less discovered by those seeking illusive magic.

However, one can say confidently, having visited dozens of walled towns in Tuscany and Umbria, that Cortona is perhaps the most magical and real of them all. Each town is different and special, but Cortona is one that one could see themselves living in for a while or perhaps a lifetime. There is a vast openness, even inside the walled fortress. One moment you may find yourself walking down a winding narrow path with flowered terraces and full clotheslines on either side, and then your world opens up and you can see for miles in every direction. The colors that paint the landscape are of an infinite imagination.

You may see the same person having his second cafe on the corner each morning, or you may watch a new group of aspiring artists from American and Canadian Universities display their work proudly in the center of town. Walk into a local bar, sit under a piece of exquisite modern art and have a fabulous cocktail, or have lunch in a family-owned restaurant where you can feel the heat of mamma’s stove waft past your table. Visit enchanting churches, important museums, or find a one-of-a-kind piece of handmade jewelry imprinted with the ancient Etruscan language. Watch an outdoor ballet that rivals the best of Manhattan, or sip a glass of fabulous local Syrah.

Cortona, in my estimation, can maintain its medieval allure, its Etruscan heritage, and its Tuscan charm no matter how many tourists approach its walls or how many couples walk the path to Bramasole. The marvel that is Cortona, fabulously lost in time, dynamically alive in the moment, will prevail in the fortitude, patience and integrity of its people.”



Few hours
For a delightful visit to Cortona, allocate 2 to 3 hours for a leisurely stroll through the town, indulging in some shopping, and savoring a delightful meal. The city center offers a charming ambiance perfect for a brief yet enriching experience. However, to fully immerse yourself in Cortona’s allure, dedicate a full day to explore its treasures.

To truly absorb the richness of Cortona, allocate an entire day to explore the hidden gems and embrace the cultural tapestry. Marvel at the imposing fortress of Girifalco, where history comes alive amidst its ancient walls. Discover the serene Convent Le Celle, where tranquility and spirituality intertwine in a unique setting. Immerse yourself in the artistic wonders housed in the Museums, showcasing the vibrant heritage of Cortona.


Discovering Cortona: The Perfect Balance of Crowds and Calm – Navigating the High and Low Seasons

The ideal months to visit Cortona are May,  til mid of June, and October till mid of November. During these periods, the town maintains a vibrant atmosphere with a more relaxed pace, providing a delightful experience for visitors.

For those looking to avoid the crowds, the shoulder season,  November ,and then from January to April, is extremely quiet.

In November, the town may be gearing up for the colder months, but there are still intriguing activities to explore. As December approaches, festive markets are set up in preparation for Christmas, bringing a livelier atmosphere back to the town.

Here’s some advice for the low season, spanning from January to February, when many hotels, restaurants, and shops might be closed. Nevertheless, if you seek a serene and peaceful journey, emphasizing meditation and self-reflection, this period could offer an ideal time to visit.

Do you have a free parking in Town?

Cortona provides a single public and free parking facility situated on the lower side of the town. The  “Parcheggio del Mercato” is approximately a 13-minute walk from the main square, Piazza della Repubblica. However, it’s important to note that this parking area tends to be quite busy, especially during the spring to fall seasons. Plan accordingly and consider alternative arrangements like payment parking if needed during peak times.

How far is it the railway station from Cortona?

The railway station is situated in the town of Camucia, approximately 6 km away. Public shuttle and taxi services are readily available for convenient transportation to and from the station.

Do you have a grocery store in Cortona

Currently, there are two supermarkets, but soon only one will be open. Please be aware that there might be some waiting involved as this change takes place. Your patience is appreciated.

There are mosquitoes?

Mosquito season usually lasts from June to the end of August. Fortunately, in the elevated area of Cortona at 500 meters, the mosquito presence is generally lower. While they are more common in the countryside, the species around Lake Trasimeno are non-biting.

How much is it a fear price taxi from Rome?

The ride is about 2 and half or three hours, depending on traffic. The average price is about 350€

What are some suitable places for children to enjoy in Cortona?

The historic center, including the squares, is well-maintained. Additionally, the “Parterre” park is a pleasant spot with ample greenery and children’s play areas.

Are taxi services available at night?

There is no regular night service; however, transportation is available by reservation only. We recommend booking your ride in advance for convenience.

Can I practice sports in Cortona?

Certainly, the Cortona area provides various sports facilities, including gyms, tennis clubs, golf clubs, swimming pools, and biking or hiking trails. Please note that some of these services are located outside the town.