Could this be the house that spawned a book? No, it isn't but frankly, I didn't know and I didn't really care. I just happened to notice the spring bloom of the wattle and thought I'd take a snap then later realised that this is the side of Cortona where the book was written.
It's actually higher up where "Under the Tuscan Sun" was written.
Think they're expecting tourists?
Cortona, the ancient hilltown made infamous by Frances Mayes' book 'Under the Tuscan Sun', has seen a bit of a transformation since that book and its subsequent movie smacked every dreamer in the face with a 'you too can drop everything and live in magical Italy'.
You see that there in the photo? That's right. That's an escalator. Not stairs, mind you, but an electric escalator. I'm not sure Ms. Mayes saw this coming when she saw the popularity of her book and film shoot through the roof.
I'm not saying this is necessarily a BAD thing. For some people this is a Godsend and a necessity and Cortona is quite the hilly town. But it just seems that some of the charm has been compromised. My opinion.
"World Cup Madness"
But that all being said, Cortona is still a fun, charming little town with spectacular views from its perch atop the hills. And for such a small town there is a surprising amount of activity.
This was the scene when I was there during World Cup match play in 2006. All cafes and restaurants tuned in to the match of the day. Many of them having rigged LCD and plasma TVs outside so everyone could pull up a chair.
"A view from the top"
Despite its obvious appeal, Cortona is still a worthwhile trip, but be prepared to climb a little when you get here. You will have gained some altitude by the time you reach the city and neighborhoods wind up and down and all around.