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CortonaItaly

Climb up the winding narrow streets of this hilltop town and admire gorgeous vistas of verdant Tuscan valleys from elevated vantage points.

A stone wall encloses the red-roofed medieval buildings that make up the hilltop settlement of Cortona, a cultural hub in the Val di Chiana region. Explore centuries-old churches and enjoy superb views of the scenic Val di Chiana countryside.

Ask locals about some of the stories associated with the town. Legend has it that Cortona was built by a descendent of the biblical figure Noah many years after the Great Flood. The location was chosen because of its high elevation and picturesque views.

Among the most famous landmarks in town is the Cathedral of Cortona, a Renaissance structure that was built over an earlier Romanesque church. Enter to see the beautifully carved 17th-century altars and the religious paintings in the choir.

Just south of the town center is the Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio church, which was constructed during the late 15th and early 16th century. Admire the Latin cross plan layout, the Renaissance design of the central dome and the pretty surrounding olive trees. The church of Santa Maria Nuova, which was built in the 16th and 17th centuries, features a Baroque-style dome.

Head to the central Piazza della Repubblica, a town square lined with historic buildings. Relax at one of the cafés here and survey the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale and the elegant clock tower.

Learn about the local culture at the Museo Diocesano Del Capitolo art museum and the Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca, which contains relics from Etruscan and Roman times.

Drive south from Arezzo for 19 miles (31 kilometers) to reach Cortona, which is in the southeastern part of Tuscany. Fly to either Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi – Umbria International Airport or Florence Airport. Trains run directly from Rome, Florence and Arezzo. Expect hot weather from May to September and cold winters.

With delightful country views and medieval relics, Cortona is among the most appealing of Tuscany’s many charming hill towns.

Where to stay in Cortona

Cortona

Cortona Old Town

5/5Exceptional!(8 area reviews)

Cortona Old Town is noteworthy for its historical sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Piazza della Repubblica and Museum of the Etruscan Academy.

Cortona Old Town

Top hotels in Cortona

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Villa di Piazzano - Small Luxury Hotel of the World
Villa di Piazzano - Small Luxury Hotel of the World
Localita Piazzano, C.P. 6, Cortona, AR
The price is £242 per night

Situated in the historical district, this inn is 7.9 mi (12.7 km) from Lake Trasimeno.

4.9/5Exceptional! (121 reviews)

"The property was stunning. I would definitely stay here again. The staff was helpful, knowledgeable, and kind. Highly recommended!"…"

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2019

Villa di Piazzano - Small Luxury Hotel of the World
Hotel Villa Marsili, BW Signature Collection
Hotel Villa Marsili, BW Signature Collection
4 out of 5
Viale Cesare Battisti 13, Cortona, AR
The price is £119 per night

Located in Cortona Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Domenico Church and Piazza della Repubblica. Eremo Le Celle and Lake Trasimeno are ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (207 reviews)

"Perfect location and a true Tuscany experience! Staff was professional and helpful. The small Villa was quaint, and pristine. The breakfast was by far, the best we had in Europe."…"

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2020

Hotel Villa Marsili, BW Signature Collection
Villa Loggio Winery and Boutique Hotel
Villa Loggio Winery and Boutique Hotel
Loc. Il Loggio 24, Cignano, Cortona, AR
The price is £168 per night

Situated in a rural location, this agritourism property is within 12 mi (20 km) of Valdichiana Outlet Village, Lake Trasimeno and Cathedral of Cortona. Terme ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (88 reviews)

"We were all one as we come off season. It was a superb staying. Love the arena, the landscape, nature and above all- the dogs!"…"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2019

Villa Loggio Winery and Boutique Hotel

Popular places to visit in Cortona

Piazza della Repubblica
Image for Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica

5/5(1 review)

Find out about the history of Cortona when you take a trip to Piazza della Repubblica. Make time to visit the cathedral and monuments while you're in the area.

Palazzo Comunale
Image for Palazzo Comunale

Palazzo Comunale

Palazzo Comunale is just one of the places to see in Cortona, so why not enjoy the other things to explore during your travels? Experience the area's museums and musical theatre.

Lake Trasimeno
Image for Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno

4.5/5(5 reviews)

Get swept up in the beauty, culture and history that abound on the shores of this tranquil lake in the heart of Umbria’s beautiful countryside. 

Baths of San Filippo
Image for Baths of San Filippo

Baths of San Filippo

4/5(1 review)

Explore the great outdoors at Baths of San Filippo, a popular spot to commune with nature in Bagni San Filippo. Visit the area's spas or simply enjoy its wineries.

Piazza IV Novembre
Image for Piazza IV Novembre

Piazza IV Novembre

4.5/5(13 reviews)

Located in the heart of Perugia, this small square is surrounded by some of the town’s most impressive landmarks.

Pienza Cathedral
Image for Pienza Cathedral

Pienza Cathedral

4.5/5(19 reviews)

Admire the arresting Renaissance façade and the interior Gothic décor of this 15th-century cathedral commissioned by Pope Pius II.

Top things to do in Cortona

Cortona: Cooking Class at a Farmhouse
Image for Cortona: Cooking Class at a Farmhouse

Cortona: Cooking Class at a Farmhouse

£163
Per adult
Cooking class in Cortona
Image for Cooking class in Cortona

Cooking class in Cortona

£162
Per adult
Cortona private walking tour Under the Tuscan Sun
Image for Cortona private walking tour Under the Tuscan Sun

Cortona private walking tour Under the Tuscan Sun

£195
Per adult
Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour from Siena
Image for Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour from Siena

Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour from Siena

£50
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour
Image for Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour

Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour

£63
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
An Italian Traditional Meal
Image for An Italian Traditional Meal

An Italian Traditional Meal

£123
Per adult

Cities near Cortona

Citta di Castello which includes heritage architecture, a square or plaza and street scenes

Citta di Castello

Church of Santa Maria della Pieve showing heritage architecture

Arezzo

Montepulciano showing street scenes

Montepulciano

Photo "Umbertide" by trolvag (CC BY-SA) / Cropped from original

Umbertide