Cortona visits - Travels in Tuscany

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Cortona
Its antique origins are enfolded by a legend that sees Cortona as the third city of Italy built after the Deluge. In reality, the city dates back to the Etruscan times, which still today preserves the remains of the walls that used to surround the town to defend it by the attacks of the enemies. Dating back to the Roman ages, instead, are some entrance gates to the city, the orthogonal urban structure with the construction of the card and the decuman gate and the erection of the defensive structure. Through the centuries the walls were rebuilt several times as well as the gates. At present it is possible to admire the interesting fusion of different periods and styles in the various corners of the city. The Fortress of Cosimo I, which dates back to the second half of the 16th century, dominates the entire town from the north-west corner of the wall up to its highest point. Cortona has inherited from the Renaissance period  great works of art, such as the Duomo, many works by Luca Signorelli and the church of la Madonna del Calcinaio.
There’s no doubt that the atmosphere you breathe in Cortona is that of a medieval town: the narrow streets paved with stones, the city palace and many other city buildings confer to the town its very enthralling appearance.
Once having admired the splendid view of the entire Val di Chiana, you can  enjoy  Cortona by retracing its history, its traditions, and its savours. After a visit to the main churches of the town and to the main museums, among which the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the Diocesan Museum, rich with art works of great value, you will have the possibility to enjoy wandering from one shop to another in quest for valuable craftworks and original recipes; Cortona is, in fact, the master of pottery, of metalwork made of valuable metals such as gold and silver and textile production. The typical workshops look over the sides of the steep streets of Cortona creating an original and at the same time familiar atmosphere. Furthermore, Cortona is the seat of antique cooking traditions. Tasty recipes accompanied by a good wine can be savoured in the vast majority of the countless restaurants, wine-houses and trattorie (informal and typical local restaurant), that fill up the town. Once having had a good meal, there’s nothing better than a healthy walk: the Via Crucis created in the 20th century by Severini, wisely unites the residential area with the towering Sanctuary of Saint Margaret and with the imposing structure of the Fortress del Girifalco. During the route you can admire the Etruscan tombs which date back to the 2nd-4th century B.C. and the splendid view offered by the Val di Chiana, with its characteristic cypresses, the vineyards and the olive groves outlining its convisits.


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