Cortona, besides its artistic beauty, is an extremely important destination because of its geographical position, being a cross point between Tuscany and Umbria. Staying in Cortona it is possible to visit, within one hour drive, important cultural and artistic destinations such as: Firenze, Siena, Perugia, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Trasimeno Lake, Arezzo, Assisi, Gubbio, Orvieto, Spoleto. Here are some examples:
LAGO TRASIMENO (10 Km)
With a surface of 128 km² it is the 4th largest Italian lake. Settlements have been found dating back to the prehistoric period. In the year 217 b.C. at the lake side, a famous battle was fought between the Roman legions of Gaio Flaminio and the victorious Carthaginians, under the command of the famous general Hannibal. The lake has also a wide variety in fish such as spikes, sun fish etc. There are also 3 islands on Lake Trasimeno that are worth visiting, Isola Polvese, Isola Maggiore and Isola Minore.
Arezzo has Etruscan origins and still retains an extremely interesting historical atmosphere, not only due to important monuments, churches and palaces but also to the people born there who became famous al lover the world such as: Caio Cilnio Mecenate, Petrarca, Vasari, Francesco Redi, Guido d'Arezzo and Piero della Francesca.
MONTEPULCIANO (47 Km)
Montepulciano, located on one of the highest Tuscan hills, is a fine example of renaissance architecture. It is known as the pearl of the XV century. The most important treasures dating to this period are: the Cathedral, the Loggia del Mercato and the Avignonese and Tarugi Palaces, as well as Bucelli Palace that hosts the findings of the Etruscan and Roman period. Montepulciano is also famous for its great wine, the vino Nobile and other typical products.
SIENA (45 Km)
Siena is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Tuscany, rich with monuments, museums, art and architecture that still tell us of its glorious past. The most important event in Siena is the Palio, a horse race held in the main and most beautiful square on July 2nd and August 16th. During the Palio the city is divided in contradas (areas) and the horses representing each contrada race to win the trophy.
FIRENZE (80 Km)
Florence is for sure one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, famous all over the world for its artistic beauty and treasures that give the city its distinctive look. Florence can be visited on a day trip or with a guided tour, however we suggest to allow an entire day only for the Uffizi Museum.
ASSISI (80 Km)
Assisi is the town of St. Frances, protector of Italy, born in Assisi in the year 1226, which makes it an extremely important tourist destination throughout the year. Worth visiting are the Cathedrals and St. Francis’s grave. Assisi is also a great example of medieval architecture.
MONTALCINO (68 Km)
Montalcino is located on a hill top that overlooks the valleys of Val D’orcia, Val d’Arbia and Valle dell’Ombrone. A typical medieval town, offers to the tourist the Comunale Palace, the Cathedral and the Churches of St. Agostino, St. Egidio e St. Frances. In the Archaeological Museum you can see interesting findings dating back from the prehistoric to the Etruscan period. Montalcino however is particularly famous for one of the most famous wines in the world, the Brunello di Montalcino. Made exclusively with Sangiovese grosso grapes from the surrounding area, it is one of the highest rated wines in the whole world.
PIENZA (44 Km)
The entire medieval town of Pienza can be considered a monument, well designed and organised with its breathtaking views. Particularly interesting are: the Duomo, Piccolomini Palace and the Diocesan Museum. Pienza is also famous for its sheep cheese that you can find in many interesting different varieties.
PERUGIA (65 Km)
The city of Perugia, capital of the region of Umbria, is divided into 5 areas, that take name from the old city gates: Sant’Angelo, Porta Sole, San Pietro, Eburnea e Santa Susanna. In the main square you can find the Cathedral of St. Lorenzo, finished in the year 1430 and the Maggiore Fountain, designed by Fra Bevignate. Right in front of the fountain you can find the Priori Palace, used today as city hall, and the National Gallery of Umbria, one of the most important art galleries of Italy.
GUBBIO (101 Km)
Although of Roman origin, Gubbio has that peculiar and distinctive medieval look typical of Umbrian towns. Gubbio is famous for the ceramics and the traditional medieval events such as the famous “Processione dei ceri” in May.
Points of interest are the gothic Duomo, of the XIII century, the Ducale Palace, the Consoli Palace and the Roman Theatre.