, from its 500 meters hight dominates the entire Valdichiana and your gaze gets lost on the horizon untill it meets the top of Mount Amiata.
According to the legend narrated by Virgil, the legendary Dardano, during a battle occurred on the place, lost his helmet (Corys): hence the name Coryto, which later became Cortona
is an important art center, famous for being the land of distingished citizens and artists such as Luca Signorelli (1441-1523), Pietro Berrettini known as Pietro da Cortona
(1596-1669) and Giovanni di Stefano also known as Sassetta (1400 ca.-1450).
The birth of Cortona
is dated fifth century BC, it was one of the most important Etruscan cities (Coryto) and reached the peak of his power perhaps towards the end of the fourth century BC, when it entered Rome’s orbit.
It continued being a thriving center and an important town up to the imperial age, thanks to its proximity to the route of the Via Cassia which connected the Etruria to Rome. Later, it met a sudden decline.
Subsequent reports about Cortona
are dated back to the beginning of XII-XIII century, when it fought against the perugini and the aretini to defend its autonomy.
After the lordship of Casali (1325-1409), the city was conquered by Ladislaus of Naples, which in 1411 sold it to Florence for the price of 60,000 florins.Cortona
Became the border territory of the Republic of Florence, and one of its captaincy, until the Leopoldine’s reforms. Cortona
will be won in 1559 under Cosimo I, which will be Grand Duke, from this date its history is interwoven with that of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, first under the Medici, then, from 1737, under the Lorraine.
With the plebiscite of 1860, Cortona
joined the new Kingdom of Italy.
The medieval and Renaissance buildings and narrow streets give the city a very engaging atmpsphere. The Basilica of Santa Margherita
and the Franciscan sanctuary of Celle
invite tourists to discover Cortona
from an high location, offering a journey of art and faith just a few steps from the city center.
Narrow alleys and wonderful views of the valley below, give Cortona
, with its splendid palaces, something magical and enchanting. Also the imposing walls built by the Etruscans, that almost completely surround the town define the typical features of the Etruscan centers.
Walking in Ruga Piana, present day’s via Nazionale, the only flat road in town, you meet Piazza della Repubblica
, dominated by the medieval Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Casali
, once home of the noble family from Cortona
, now Museum of the Etruscan Academy
. The halls are home to an interesting collection of Etruscan and Roman archaeologicals.
At the north edge of the city, opposite to the Cathedral
, of a Renaissance style is the Diocesan Museum
, a small chest that holds great works of local artists such as Luca Signorelli
and also keeps one of the most beautiful Annunciation of Fra Angelico
Out of town right at the bottom of the hill, there are Sodo’s Melone I and II
, hypogeum Etruscan tombs of the sixth century BC.
Towards Foiano della Chiana we meet the Abbey of Santa Maria a Farneta
which, with its crypt, is one of the oldest expressions of Arezzo’s Romanesque period.
A prestigious event not to miss is CortonAntiquaria
, one of the most interesting national market exhibits of antiques. The event takes place every year in the eighteenth century’s rooms of Vagnotti Palace
and inside Palazzo Casali
, from the last Saturday of August to the second Sunday of September. Height
: 494 meters o.s.l. Postal Code:
Arezzo Km 27, Lake Trasimeno 10 km, Perugia km 50, Siena 70 km, Florence 116 km Population:
about 23,000 inhabitants Telephone: