The town of Cortona lies on a hill and is surrounded by ancient Etruscan walls. It is most famous for its narrow, steep streets, and its many churches and museums. Cortona offers tourists the possibility to go back in time, living in the same atmosphere as many centuries ago. Everything in this town is a reminder of the Etruscan, medieval and renai ssance times.
Cortona is a town of art and culture, famous all around the world, homeland of various artists such as Luca Signorelli, Gino Severini, and Pietro Berrettini. Many international cultural and historical meetings, as well as local folk festivals, are held year round in Cortona. These include the Copper Fair; the Archidado Festival; the Snail, the Porcini Mushroom, and the Beef festivals; the National Antique Furniture Fair; The Tuscan Sun Festival (otherwise known as the Festival of the Sun, a prestigious musical event that is celebrated in Napa Valley, California in July, Cortona in August, and Singapore in October); as well as various meetings and congresses of all kinds, and an incredible theatre season to be enjoyed. Lastly, to honor the world famous wine label “Cortona DOC,” there is also a very special gathering of the most important wine makers in the area.
This charming medieval town fascinated throughout the centuries some of the most illustrious personalities in history; to mention but a few:
"... the mother of Troy and the grandmother of Rome" (Virgil - Aeneid III and IV)
Gabriele D'Annunzio celebrated Cortona among Italy’s silent cities.
Dante was known to appreciate the so-called “copertino cortonese”, a blanket made of finely woven wool (I sonnet - Tenzone between Dante and Forese Donati) (I sonnet - Tenzone between Dante and Forese Donati)
"... From Cortona there is a magnificent view; one’s gaze loses itself in the distance..." (François Mitterand, 1987)
"... no field or clod of earth is kept better than here, and everything is clean ..." ( Wolfang Goethe on the surrounding countryside)
"... a marvellous city where everything speaks of God – the nature, the mountains, the woods..." (John Paul II, 1993)
"... the mingling roofs of the houses and the town’s arrogant towers seem closer to Heaven than to the nearby railway station..."(Henry James, 1873)
"My village sitting upon a hill, streched out like an old man sleeping..." ("Che sarà" lyrics by Franco Migliacci, Cortona-born Italian songwriter)
"... I have found a wonderful Tuscan wine from Cortona..." (Giosuè Carducci, 1886)
"... No map planner would describe it thus, but it is fascinating" (Frances Mayes - "Under the Tuscan Sun", 1997)