Everlasting Beauty

Cortona is situated on a hill where you can enjoy a unique and amazing view of the Val di Chiana.

To this day, despite the ever-increasing flow of tourists, Cortona – a city whose origins go back to the Etruscan period – manages to transmit a pleasing sense of peace and tranquility with its particular charm. The old town has preserved its medieval appeal, which, along with its ancient cultural heritage, has made it one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers from around the world, thanks as well to the publicity that it received from the best-selling memoir 'Under the Tuscan Sun', by Frances Mayes, along with the film, based on the book, which was shot in part in the piazzas of Cortona.

 

Hidden away in Cortona there are a number of architectural gems of unique beauty, rich in history.

A tour among the various churches, palazzi, shops, and city walls allows the visitor to discover a fascinating city with a unique atmosphere.

Piazza Repubblica

This is the main square in Cortona and the ideal point of departure from which to set out to explore the historic center of town.
It contains several important local monuments, including the Palazzo Comunale, with its wide stone staircase, across from the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, which dates back to 1300.

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie di Calcinaio

Construction of the Church was begun by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1484. Inside the building, the various chapels still house precious paintings inspired by the iconography of the Virgin Mary. The third altar along the left side contains a tableau by the Florentine Jacone (1530), depicting the Madonna enthroned with the Baby Jesus and St. John the Apostle.
A beautiful stained-glass window designed by Guillaume de Marcillat (1516) decorates the façade. .

Museums

The Diocesan Museum houses a collection of treasures drawn from the Tuscan churches in the region, from the 13th century down to the 19th century.
Some of the most important works in the collection include the Annunciation (of Cortona) by Fra Angelico and the Deposition by Luca Signorelli.

The MAEC (Museum of Etruscan Art) holds a collection of Etruscan archeological finds, along with artistic works of a more recent date. The origins of the museum and its collection go back to 1727 when it was founded by the Etruscan Academy.
The Archeological Park is of particular importance with finds from both the Etruscan and Roman periods, and offers tours both within Cortona, as well as beyond the city walls.
In nearby Farneta, within the municipality of Cortona, there is the Mo.Pa Museum of Farneta, which contains a large collection of paleontological finds gathered by Father Sante Felici in the countryside around Cortona.
Finally, there is the Museum of Peasant Culture in Fratticciola, with a collection of tools, cooking utensils, and other objects connected to the old-fashioned traditions of the local rural culture of the past.

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Le Celle - Franciscan Hermitage, 13th century

'Whether or not one is a believer, this place stirs the soul and elevates the spirit. Here an incredible sense of peace reigns, and the immense yet simple faith of the monks emanates from every single leaf and stone. For me, this is absolutely one of the most beautiful Franciscan locations anywhere.'

The foregoing note, left behind by an anonymous visitor, should suffice to encourage others to visit the hermitage in their own right.

Le Celle Franciscan Hermitage, 13th century

'Whether or not one is a believer, this place stirs the soul and elevates the spirit. Here an incredible sense of peace reigns, and the immense yet simple faith of the monks emanates from every single leaf and stone. For me, this is absolutely one of the most beautiful Franciscan locations anywhere.'

The foregoing note, left behind by an anonymous visitor, should suffice to encourage others to visit the hermitage in their own right.