When you travel to Cortona, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Cortona, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Cortona to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Cortona things to do can include exploring Cortona attractions and visiting the places of interest.
Piazza Della Republica is the city’s main square and houses the town hall and clock tour. There are a lot of shops, restaurants and cafes around as well and is the perfect spot to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings and watch life go by.
The Palazzo Communale or City Hall is one of the most important monuments in Cortona. Originally, it had a single room and was later restructured to accommodate a bell tower and a massive stairway to the palace. In the Council room there is a beautiful fireplace which you can admire.
Built sometime in the 16th century, this fort was used for defense. Today, it is a towering structure and has exhibitions displaying how life was way back when.
This ancient burial site provides a unique and beautiful yet supernatural setting and consists of a number of mysterious grottoes, caves and caverns.
The walls of Cortona are resplendent with rich art that is a testament to the history of the city and also tell a story of their own. A walk down the heart of the city will reveal the amazing architecture that went behind the construction of these walls. The Estrucian Walls are also a vantage point for viewing the astounding valley below.
Also known as Cortona’s Cathedral, Duomo is probably the most popular cathedral in the city. It is a Renaissance cathedral built alongside an Estrucan temple. It houses a number of rare paintings and offers a beautiful view of the city outside. Simply an experience you cannot miss!
Santa Margherita is a beautiful church located up in the Cortona hills. It was built to commemorate San Basilio, a famous saint, whose body is also kept there. It also houses a lot of beautiful works of art and a marble mausoleum in remembrance of the school of Siena. There is also a chapel which honours Cortona soldiers.
There are lots of other churches and chapels in Cortona which are definitely worth visiting. These churches include the Church of Santa Mariadelle Grazie al Calcinaio, the Church of San Niccolò, the Church of San Francesco, the Church of San Domenico, the Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Metelliano and the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. All these churches are architectural wonders in addition to being places that would interest religious people. The locations of these churches are picturesque and offer breathtaking views of the valley. Each of them have their own unique characteristics and are ultimate spots of calmness and serenity.
The MAEC museum is the most important museum in Cortona and is a must-visit for all tourists visiting the city. The collections and exhibits here are divided into three distinct sections, namely, the Medieval and Modern section, the Egyptian section and the archaeological section. Highlights apart from these sections include a number of Roman and Etruscan treasures and works of art by various Renaissance artists hailing from Cortona like Gino Severini and Luca Signorelli.
It is a true haven for all art lovers. Make sure to include a visit to the Diocesan museum to your itinerary. It displays works of art from as early as the 2nd century to masters of contemporary art. Famous Renaissance artist, Luca Signorelli’s works are displayed here. For security reasons, most of these artworks have been removed from the various churches and chapels in the city and preserved here. Some of the most famous pieces include the Painted Cross by Pietro Lorenzetti, the Annunciation by Fra Angelico and the Virgin and Child by the School of Siena. Art lovers from all over the world visit this museum as well as the masters of art.
This famous festival is a huge crowd puller and is held in the months of July and August. This is a classical music and arts festival bringing to you the best from the world of music, literature, cinema, cuisine, theatre and dance. Earlier editions of the festival have been headlined by famous personalities such as Sting and Anthony Hopkins among many others. Cortona is a fitting location to host this festival as it provides the best atmosphere, stunning locales and rich history. You must book your tickets in advance while visiting Cortona during this festival as it can lead to overbooking.
You must take a horseback ride while at Cortona. There are professional guides available who will take you through the entire process at certified equestrian training centres. This is one of the best ways to explore the Cortona countryside and also to breathe in the purest air.
For fitness enthusiasts and the sporty tourists, there are a number of activities available. You can go trekking, mountain biking, hiking etc. There are specialized trainers for these activities who can organize these activities according to your fitness level, number of people participating, etc.
Golf is a popular sport in Cortona. There are a number of picturesque golf courses overlooking hills, valleys and lakes which provide for an energetic yet relaxing experience. There are a number of amenities that are offered by these courses and equipment is available on hire as well.
Taking after the famous vineyards of Italy, Cortona provides the perfect experience for all connoisseurs of wine and the good life. You can visit some of the best vineyards in the city and get a taste of the entire process from grape picking to wine making to bottling and of course, finally the actual tasting. Tours and workshops are organized by these vineyards as well.
A famous activity among tourists, you can sign up for the many cooking classes available in Cortona. Restaurants as well as local chefs organize these classes for small groups. In these classes, you will be able to learn how to make pasta from scratch as well as other Tuscan delicacies. You can take home these techniques and recipes which can later be recreated in your homes. The best part of the classes, however, is tasting the food that you have cooked.
Cortona provides a large number of accommodation options suitable for all kinds of budgets. There are high end luxury resorts and boutique hotels, some of which are heritage properties which combine the splendour of old world architecture with every modern amenity that the present day tourist may be looking for. There are also a number of bed and breakfast facilities, hostels, lodges and other budget options. You may also rent a villa and take in the ultimate Tuscan experience. You will not be disappointed in terms of hospitality no matter what kind of accommodation you choose.
Cortona is a paradise for the gastronomically inclined. The staple fare is, of course, Italian. The food is simple yet wholesome. You can sample hand rolled pasta served with your choice of protein and vegetables or a pizza cooked in a wood oven. Whether you want to try local Tuscan cuisine or other kinds of world cuisine, all your needs will be met adequately here. Tuscans also take their wine very seriously. Do go for a wine tasting, wash your food down with it or carry a couple of bottles back for friends and family.
Cortona houses a large number of bars and pubs. You can sit at these pubs with a drink for hours and enjoy the world passing you by. There are special happy hour offers and wine tastings organized at most of these bars and pubs.
Cortona provides a large number of shopping options. Most of these options lie in the city’s centre which is lined with a number of shops and boutiques. You can buy wine and food, garments, jewellery, art pieces and many more kinds of goods. There are lots of unique souvenirs which are exclusive to Tuscany and Cortona which you can take back for your friends and families as mementos.