Cortona Travel Guide

  • Al Fresco Dining
    Al Fresco Dining
    by cjg1
  • Steep street in Cortona.Italy.
    Steep street in Cortona.Italy.
    by alectrevor
  • The gate to the Villa
    The gate to the Villa
    by cjg1

Cortona Things to Do

  • Santa Maria Nuova

    The Church of Santa Maria Nuovo is in very bad condition and no one is allowed inside. The church is very old and was built in 1554. It's a shame since the exterior of the building looks very interesting and made us wonder what was behind the doors.

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  • Santa Maria delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was rumored to have be built because of a sighting of the Virgin Mary on the site. The church itself is rather plain on the outside which is surprising when we stepped inside to the high arches and beautiful white walls of the church.

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  • Piazza Garibaldi

    Piazza Garibaldi is a busy area of Corona with cars, buses and taxi's letting out and picking up passangers. There is a nice area with benches that have an incredible view of the countryside, mountains and Umbria. Lake Trasimeno is clearly visible from this vantage point. This was a nice place to sit and relax with such an awesome view in front of...

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  • Palazzo Comunale

    The Palazzo Comunale is a dominating point inthe square with the large clock tower and long staircase. The steps are often lined with people taking a rest, enjoying a snack or people watching; very much like the Spanish Steps of Rome but less crowded.

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  • Piazza della Repubblica

    Piazza della Repubblica is the busiest piazza in Cortona. This is a great place to people watch from a bench, the steps or a cafe. The buzz of people is quite amazing especially when the street performers start cranking out music or puting on a show. We spent much time in this piazza just taking it all in and meeting some of the friends of the...

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  • Abbey of Farneta

    The Abbey of Farneta is also a museum. The Abbey is from the 11th century with its terracotta looking structure well maintained. The museum has Roman tombs, Etruscan urns, religious statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, paintings from the 16th century and some fossil exhibits. Make sure to call ahead before visiting they are not always open and you...

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  • Monastery of Saint Francis

    The monastery of St. Francis was a nice walk from Liz's family's villa. The monastery is very old and draws both religious and non-religious visitors. The stone ctructures are impressive and there is a peaceful feeling as we walked through. We stopped into the chapel to see where St. Francis lived and prayed. It was a small room...smaller than the...

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  • Enjoying Pastry and a Cappucino

    Going out for a pastry and a cappucino at one of the town cafes was a social event. This simple ritual lasted two hours in which we had cappucino, pastry and socialized with just about everyone Melva and Giacomo know (which is everyone in the town it seems). I like the lazy laid back atmosphere and the people watching. My head did spin from all the...

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  • Walk through Cortona's Giardino Pubblico

    Possibly considered an "off the beaten path" topic, the public garden in Cortona is nothing more than a relaxing, heavily shaded park and tree lane which, if you're traveling anywhere near the summer months, will become an oasis of sorts.I did not follow the path to its conclusion so I can't speak as to where it ends up although I wish I had. It...

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Cortona Hotels

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Cortona Restaurants

  • Unbelievable Gelato, Chocolates and...

    Cocoa is the celebrated gelato/dessert place in Cortona. It's tucked off on a side street with a small sign. You could walk past it without even noticing it except for an ice cream cone statue outside of the door. The shop is small but packed with a large variety of home made gelatos, pastry, candies and chocolates. The owner is a friend of Liz's...

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  • Wine bar with a lovely street café

    We all enjoyed our late lunch at this Enoteca - or Wine bar - which had outdoor serving as well.The street restaurants were in a row in this charming street of Cortona, and we sat down and had a lovely break from all our walking. Excellent pizza, wine of the house was a good choice, and the kids enjoyed their crêpes with cream and strawberries.

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  • Incredible Food and Atmosphere

    This is the place to come for incredible atmosphere, food, wine and hospitality beyond your wildest dreams. The inn/restaurant was once an old mill. The owners of the restuarant Silvia and Riccardo are imagine people with a zest for life, food and wine. The dining room is basical a large room with several rooms within it. The stone walls and rustic...

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  • Incredible Tuscan Food

    Cory's is a favorite restaurant of Liz's family. They are good friends with the owner and have had several parties here. It's a nice family owned restuarant that also has a hotel. The owner's children act as busboy and junior waitress and are very well mannered. Liz had eaten here previously when she visited with her Mom and now It was my turn. We...

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  • Best gelato in Cortona!

    Some of the best gelato that I have tasted. Definitely worth getting a few scoops and strolling to the Piazza to enjoy it. I seem to flock to the fruity flavours and seem to order 'frutta di bosco' more often than not. But this gelateria had one of the more unique flavours that you rarely stumble across - aceto balsalmico (balsalmic vinegar!). It...

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  • A nice little restaurant...

    A quaint little restaurant that gives you the option of sitting inside or outside on its mini, yet expansive, courtyard. A reasonable yet not entirely inexpensive restaurant is satisfying, with a diverse menu - local, Tuscan options; Brasilian options (I believe harkens to the owner's background); and vegetarian options. It's one of the...

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Cortona Nightlife

  • christineintheworld's Profile Photo

    by christineintheworld Written Apr 18, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main entry point gives the impression that this is a small club with some seating and a standing bar... But if you walk down the stairs, the club opens up underneath several of the storefronts above. It's huge!

    The bartenders here are some of the best. We were treated to some fancy mixology from Danny Del Monaco, a skilled mixologist with several titles under his belt. Who knows if Danny is still there but I'm sure another budding superstar may be!

    It's a pub, club and live music venue that is worth a visit!

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Cortona Transportation

  • Bus up the hill.

    Camucia is at the bottom of the mountain, Cortona is 3km up. There is a bus, buy ticket at shops before boarding. There are hotels in Cortona , you still have to bus or taxi up and down to station. So i found it better to stay in Camucia, easier on leaving. Camucia is the nearest to Cortona of the two named Cortona

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  • Alitalia to Florence

    Definitely not my airline of choice but who's to look gift tickets in the mouth. Thankfully they were free tickets because it was one of the worst flights I have taken when it comes to timeliness, service and overall customer service.Flying home from Florence we had a layover in Rome which was to be an hour in duration. After arriving at the...

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  • Driving

    Driving was essential when exploring the outer area of Cortona and other towns in the region. We were fortunate to have the use of Liz's Aunt and Uncles car and driver. Drivers in Italy are just a speed happy as Americans so we were quite accustomed to the road habits of other drivers.

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Cortona Shopping

  • The one street stop.

    Via Nazionale is one of the main streets in Cortona and, in addition to restaurants and the tourism office, is where you will find a great variety of shops and boutiques for your purchasing pleasure. There are several leather good shops. There are many fantastic shoe stores both on Via Nazionale and bordering on the Piazza. There are a few...

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  • One to mark each trip!

    Antichità Beato Angelico is a fantastic little antique shop on Via Nazionale in Cortona, just across the street from the Caffe degli Artisti. Full of unique jewelry, antiques, fans, and crafts... there are many different treasures for you to explore and maybe port home to commemorate your trip. I bought the MOST fantastic 5" little ceramic...

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  • Cortona Hotels

    53 Hotels in Cortona

Cortona Local Customs

  • Tasty Ribollita

    Ribollita was a local soup I was able to have several times during my stay in Cortona. It's a soup that is made from leftover vegetable or minestrone soup with leftover bread thrown in. I always say leftovers taste best with the deepening of flavors and this soup is incredibly flavorful. I fully enjoyed this soup and was glad to eat such a local...

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  • The Bloom of Summer

    I was fortunate to visit Tuscany with summer coming to an end. The flowers were still in full bloom and the colors were unreal. Everything was lush and alive from the olive trees, the flowers and the rolling hills of grass.

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  • Religious Devotion

    Italy is a Catholic country. Many houses/villas have their own religious statues, alters, chapels or sanctuaries on their property for religious devotion. Liz's family has their own chapel on their property which is very beautiful and charming. The inside is simply decorated with religious artwork and the centerpiece is a painting of the Madonna...

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Cortona What to Pack

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    by cjg1 Updated Apr 12, 2010

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    Miscellaneous: A good Guide book is essential to planning a good trip. I am particularly fond of DK books and the Top 10 Tuscany Guide proved to be a good investment.

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Cortona Off The Beaten Path

  • Horses, olives and vines.

    I recently discovered a small riding yard about a 5 minute drive from Cortona. They really do have horses to suite every type of rider. I myself have not ridden much in my life, but my girlfriend is a very accomplished rider. We bothed enjoyed our 2 hours hack in the undulating hills immensely. The very friendly instructor took us on a winding path...

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  • Wander the Olive Groves

    Wandering the Olive Groves was an experince. The groves on the property were quite large and the trees were full of olives (not yet ready for picking to my dissapointment). I am a big believer is seeing where things you enjoy to eat grow to fully appreciate them.We love the olive oil from the Villa and having seen the olives with my own eyes gave...

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  • Monastery Eremo de le Celle

    When I asked the tourist office for suggestions on walks in the area, they mentioned a monastery but no details. It wasn't a huge endorsement, but we got bored quickly and decided to go (but got lost the first time). Being stubborn, we returned to the western road outside of town to find this place. We had thought it was a 5km walk round-trip. Not...

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Cortona Favorites

  • Planning your Cortona adventure...

    Take some time and read the multitude of information on the Cortona website - http://www.cortonaweb.net/eng/.It has a wealth of information on everything from accommodations to cultural nuances to 360 degree views of the main spots in the city. It is a must visit for anyone planning a trip to the little town of Cortona.

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  • Piazza della Repubblica

    Sooner or later, if you spend some time in the town, you're going to end up here.It's a hub of activity with students from the nearby bible college drifting in and out and with municipal buildings nearby it seems there's always something happening. Its proximity to the also-busy Piazza Signorelli where the Palazzo Communale is located also helps...

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  • Back alleys

    There are plenty of those narrow cobblestoned back alleys to keep you intrigued, darting off main road to who knows where. Every so often I too would dart off to explore, sometimes a pleasurable experience, other times an embarrassing dead end.

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Explore Deeper into Cortona
Walking
Transportation
Public Drinking and Washing Fountains
Local Customs
Movies Under the Stars
Local Customs
Land of Olives
Local Customs
One train, one bus.
Transportation
Have the rabbit!
Restaurants
Street Performers
Local Customs
Worth taking a seat!
Restaurants
Driving to and parking in Cortona
Transportation
Driving in Tuscany
Transportation
Lago Trasimeno
Things to Do
Regionale train from Roma to Camucia-Cortona
Transportation
Charming and friendly
Restaurants
Hazy days in Tuscany
Favorites
Fantastic Trattoria
Restaurants
Beautiful maps
Favorites
Gatto!
Favorites
Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca
Things to Do
Bus
Transportation
Evening stroll
Off The Beaten Path
Wine with a view
Restaurants
Il Palio
Things to Do
Cattedrale
Things to Do
A wander about town...
Things to Do
View across Tuscany
Things to Do
Madonna del Calcinaio and the land mines
Favorites
Overview
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Castiglion Fiorentine
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Elbow to elbow
Restaurants
Post mortemps
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Which one?
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Cattedrale
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Tuscan spring
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The granary
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Another one
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The inside story
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Cattedrale
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Shopping
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The ins and outs of Cortona
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Tanella di Pitagora
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Map of Cortona

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