Cortona what to see

Cortona what to see in 1 day

Cortona what to see in 1 day because if you are in Arezzo then the ideal is to also go and visit this village that is located a few kilometersprecisely, of Arezzo and exactly in the Val di Chiana.

Cortona it is one of the most important Etruscan centers in this arealle and was considered the granary of Etruria. It was a center of great economic importance even in Roman times thanks to the Via Cassia which passed through here, however after the end of the Roman Empire the territory became a real marshy area and remained so until the reclamation of the eighteenth century. And, in fact, in the Middle Ages Cortona had a swamp approximately 40 kilometers long around it and there are documents that describe both the port and the boats that docked here. In 1411 it came under the dominion of Florence.

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Cortona what to see in 1 day

The village of Cortona is a real mix of styleswell done, we move from the Renaissance to the medieval to the Etruscan one which are a real pleasure for the tourist.

But before starting my trip to this village, as often happens to me, I exchange a few words with a local gentleman who is keen to specify that he is a retired professor and tells me some interesting things that I would like to share with you.

Cortona was the birthplace of several illustrious personalities such as, for example, Francesco and Luca Signorelli who are considered among the greatest representatives of Renaissance painting or Gino Severini who was a painter and art critic of the twentieth century. Without forgetting in more recent years Jovanotti, Lorenzo Cherubini, who went to live here.

But now enough delaying, let’s go!

Cortona what to see

Morning: the walls, the Piazza della Repubblica and Signorelli with the historic centre

Given that Cortona is located on a hill so it’s mostly uphill, however the views you can see along the way will certainly repay your effort!

And the first thing I notice when I go up are the walls which enclose the entire town. The walls have a length of just under three kilometers and seem to date back to the Etruscan period although they were then remodeled during the centuries to come.

A piece of advice: it’s worth it park your own here that is, just off the main road that runs just outside the walls and then continues on foot.

I start my visit from Republic square that with Signorelli Square it formed the point where the cardo and decumanus, the two main Roman streets, intersected. At this point there was the Forum which was the fulcrum of both public buildings and the most important commercial activities. Right here is a massive staircase which acts as the entrance to the Town Hall which, as can easily be understood, has medieval features.

The square closes the Lodgeactually not that big, which is located next to the Palace of the Captain of the People which was also called Palazzo Passerini.

Since it’s a beautiful spring day, I take the opportunity to walk around the center and the entrance for a bit the Via Guelfa and the nearby Via Ghibellina it is surmounted by very beautiful barrel vaulted arches and from here I arrive at Porta Guelfa or Sant’Agostino which is the only city gate to have come down to us from the Etruscan era practically intact.

Strange, but true, I end the morning with one of the few routes that are not uphill i.e National Street which is the place where the locals normally go for a walk and so I take advantage of it too.

Cortona what to see

Afternoon: Church of Santa Margherita, the Girifalco Fortress and the Archaeological Park

I continue, therefore, for the Girifalco Fortress which is the fortress which dominates the town from the hill. It was built as a headquarters for both Gothic and Lombard garrisons in the Middle Ages. In 1411 it was sold with the entire town to the Florentine Republic which began the renovation in 1527 and in this way it was joined to the walls. In this way the pentagonal-shaped internal courtyard was “born”.

It currently hosts exhibitions and events. It can be visited.

The Basilica of Santa Margherita it can be reached almost easily on foot from the steep road that takes you to the churchyard. The interior of the church is still fourteenth century by Giovanni Pisano although the current imprint is baroque and dates back to the works carried out in the nineteenth century. On the main altar there are the mortal remains of the Saint, Margaret, to whom the church is named and certainly a look cannot fail to go to the wooden crucifix, in the right nave, where the Saint went to pray.

I conclude my visit with the Archaeological Park also known as MAEC which includes a complex of testimonies found throughout the territory of Cortona such as, for example, the cisterns or the Villa of Ossaia.

And my trip to Cortona is over, but if, unlike me, you still have a day available, I have something that can do for you. Read on to learn more.

Surroundings of Cortona

If you still have some time available, here’s what to do around Cortona.

Hermitage Le Celle

It is located about 5 kilometers from Cortona the Hermitage Le Celle, exactly at the foot of Monte Sant’Egidio, which was the first convent of San Francesco. The Saint arrived here in 1211 and dictated his spiritual testament here before dying (at least according to tradition).

The name refers to the caves that were carved into the rock and were used by the inhabitants who powered the mills using the force of the stream.

Currently, a few friars live in this complex and host those in need of meditation and peace.

Worthy of note is the cell of San Francesco which is dug into the rock and the bridges suspended in the void which are used to cross the stream.

Soda Melons

Three mounds of Etruscan origin have been discovered near Cortona, which the locals say are Sodo “melons”. due to their shape of round hills. They were made to bury the dead and many rich people’s grave goods were found inside.

Local Traditions

Every year in the month of May the Archidado carousel and in this period the village returns to the Middle Ages and the 5 districts of the village compete with crossbows.

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