Cortona is the epitome of a "Tuscan hill town" it has superb elevated views, historic buildings, battlements and churches. No wonder it was the setting for "Under the Tuscan Sun" and if visiting in summer you will understand what that means as you climb Cortona's steep streets!
|Piazza Signorelli||Piazza Repubblica||Piazza Repubblica||Chiesa di San Francesco|
In the lower area of Cortona is the 13th century Palazzo Casali in Piazza Signorelli which houses the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca and in the adjoining Piazza Repubblica is the impressive Pallazo Communale originally 13th century but subsequently renovated. The Chiesa di San Francesco (1245) is up a steep climb from here but is notable as it houses artefacts of Saint Francis of Assisi (including part of the holy crucifix) and below the choir is buried Frate (brother) Elia his friend and after his death a leader of the Franciscan order and architect of the Basilica di Francesco in Assisi. Frescoes covered in the 17th century are now visible.
|Piazzale Garibaldi||Chiesa di San Domenico||Chiesa di San Nicola||Chiesa di San Nicola|
At the other end of Via Nazionale is Piazzale Garibaldi with great elevated views across the Tuscan countryside emphasising Cortona's strategic importance. Nearby is the Chiesa di San Domenico (1391) one time studio of renaissance painterBeato Angelico (Fra Angelico) and one of his paintings adorns the mezzaluna above the door. A steep climb to near the top of Cortona is the charming 15th century Chiesa di San Nicola, you'll enjoy its peaceful setting to catch your breath!