Cortona is a small charming town in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, in the province of Arezzo in southern Tuscany. The city sits on the top of a hill about 600 meters (about 1968 feet) above sea level. This dominant position over the valley offers a spectacular view from all over the town of the surrounding valley and even Lake Trasimeno.
Cortona’s most defining feature is the 3,000-year old Etruscan walls that surround it, but it is also known for its medieval architecture, natural surroundings, and stately structures. A luxury house in Cortona is an attractive investment if you want to own property that lets you enjoy the area’s antique markets, rich history, art, beautiful natural surroundings, and outdoor activities right from your doorstep.
Cortona and Tuscany are the subject of several highly readable books by Frances Mayes who wrote about renovating her house, “Casa Bramasole”, in the area where she still lives for part of the year. These books give a highly authentic impression of life in this part of Italy. One of her books, “Under the Tuscan Sun” was made into a popular movie and inspired the name of the Tuscan Sun Festival held in Cortona every year usually during August and featuring classical music concerts, art exhibitions etc.
The city is small but offers many interesting places to visit, among these is the Diocesan Museum (where you can admire a beautiful panel painting of the Annunciation by Beato Angelico) and the MAEC (The Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona), where it is possible to see many artifacts found in the Eruscan archeological sites in the area.
Various small shops on the main streets of Cortona offer local handmade items and gastronomical products. Great red wines are made in the area and all of the wine bars offer a wide selection.
There are many restaurants in the city, most offering traditional local and Tuscan cuisine.
- A popular and very traditional one is the Osteria del Teatro (http://www.osteria-del-teatro.it/), working since 1994, the restaurant offers a typical Tuscan cuisine with a great selection of local wine to go with it.
- Another reserved option will be the La Bucaccia, located in one of the most charming streets in the medieval town of Cortona (http://www.labucaccia.it/) with special dishes derived from products grown in the region.
- The city has many incredible options. One of the best ones is called Il Falconiere (http://www.ilfalconiere.it/), an amazing hotel and SPA with a Michelin star restaurant named the same as the hotel, Il Falconiere.
- The Villa Marsili (http://www.villamarsili.net/) is a 4 star hotel situated in an optimum position, close to the centre of Cortona.
- The city has its own Golf club, named Cortona Golf & SPA (http://www.cortonagolfresort.com/) and offers its guests a Championship golf 9 hole course designed by Gary Player Design, a design studio from one of the most famous golfers of all time.
- Only 30 minutes away you will also find the Golf Club Valdichiana http://www.golfclubvaldichiana.it/ in a rural setting with typical Tuscan beauty. Offers a 9-hole course.
- Cortona has an active calendar of performing arts events, and hosts a famous annual antiques exhibition, the Cortonantiquaria,
- as well as a monthly antiques and bric-a-brac market.
- There is also a not-to-be-missed folkloric crossbow competition, the Giostra dell’Archidado on the last last day of Cortona Medieval Week in late May or early June.
- In summer, Cortona organizes the Tuscan Sun Festival, an annual event dedicated to the arts which sees the participation of several international stars and artists.