Storia di Cortona
Our is located in Cortona, an ancient hilltop town offering stunning views of the Val di Chiana, the Lake Trasimeno and Monte Amiata. As Virgilio’s legend has it Cortona founded by legendary Dardanus in the place where the mythical lost his helmet (Corys) from which the place went on be named Corito and later on Cortona.
Originally a powerful Etruscan walled city, Cortona was conquered by Romans and later on by Goths before it became a free commune in the 12th century; Cortona was in this period at the height of its splendour.
The centre of Cortona features steep and narrow stone-paved alleyways and several medieval and Renaissance palaces such as those overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica and the Palazzo Pretorio, the current seat of the Nuovo Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca e della città di Cortona (New Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the City of Cortona - MAEC); this new state of the art museum houses significant finds such as the famous Etruscan Lamp, dating back to the 5th century B.C., the so-called Musa Polymnia and the Tabula Cortonensis.
The Museo Diocesano, located right in front of the Cathedral, houses the Annunciation by Beato angelico and other significant by important Tuscan artists such as Luca Signorelli, native of Cortona.
Besides the Cathedral other churches worth a visit are the church of San Francesco, a recently restored gothic church, the sancturay of Santa Margherita, housing the uncorrupted body of the Saint that died in 1362, Santa Maria Nuova, San Nicolò and San Marco, featuring on its façade an impressive mosaic by Gino Severini portraying the namesake Saint with a lion. The upper part of the town features the Medicean fortress from which the whole surrounding area may be observed whilst in the north-eastern part of the hill, right outside the city walls, you will be able to visit Le Celle, a wonderful convent founded in 1211 by San Francesco.