Guided tour of Cortona and its surroundings

Tour of Cortona

The timeless charm of Cortona

One of the most important ancient towns of Etruria

“You may have traveled far and wide, but you have certainly never seen anything more venerable than Cortona. Before Troy was founded, before Hector and Achilles fought beneath the city walls, Cortona already existed. The legendary Dardanus used to live on that high and barren hill, whose towered crest is in spiritual symbiosis with the clouds, before leaving Italy and founding the Trojan line...”

this is what British scholar and diplomat George Dennis wrote in 1845. Therefore Cortona, an ancient and charming town lying on a smooth hill at about 600 m. AMSL, became one of the most popular destinations of the Grand Tour from the 18th century on.

And it still offers today a wide range of visiting opportunities to tourists. Thanks to its fascinating tangled web of narrow streets and medieval and Renaissance buildings, it keeps unexpected masterpieces made by world-famous artists such as Luca Signorelli, Pietro da Cortona and Fra Angelico. Its museums like the MAEC and the Diocesan Museum, are internationally renowned and recognized. What is more, Cortona hosts several important events such as the National Antiques Exhibition and the International Photography Festival "Cortona On The Move", which are followed by many folklore events like the Archidado Joust and food festivals like the Chianina Steak Festival and the Porcini Mushroom Festival.

Moreover, while walking along its old streets and squares, you will find the magic and charm of the places described by American writer Frances Mayes in her novel Under the Tuscan Sun – Sotto il sole della Toscana - which was made into a hit movie bearing the same title that was shot in Cortona.

Cortona is also famous for its top quality Cortona DOC labeled wines, among which the Cortona DOC Syrah is certainly the most renowned: this wine is perfectly paired with traditional dishes such as the Chianina T-bone steak grilled on charcoal, fresh pasta with mushrooms or meat sauce, game, cold cuts made from Valdichiana pork meat and savory cheese. But in Cortona it is also possible to taste an excellent extra-virgin olive oil, which is an essential ingredient of the majority of the traditional food such as bread soup, tomato and bread soup (pappa col pomodoro), bean soup and panzanella.

While reading the itineraries to visit Cortona that Cortona Tourist Guide offers, you will see that there are many different ways to explore this beautiful Tuscan town in order to meet any of your needs and expectations.