Cortona, Italy - Stein Travel
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The holiday destination of Cortona perches above the lofty hills of olive groves and vineyards overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the plain of Valdichiana. It is one of the oldest cities in Tuscany and its Etruscan roots have been indelibly imprinted onto its foundations. Cortona also stakes a claim as a 'City of Art', having spawned the great artists, Luca Signorelli and Pietra da Cortona.

Most of the Etruscan city is hidden in basements but part of the original 4th century BC walls can be seen at the base of Porta Colonia's outer side. Climbing the city's cut-stone staircases and meandering along its cobbled streets guides one back through the past from the Renaissance to the Middle Ages and beyond. The medieval houses along Via Janelli are the oldest in Italy; massive timber beams support their overhanging upper stories.

Other places of special interest for people on holiday in Cortona include the Palazzo Comunale, Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca (containing a number of major Etruscan artefacts) and the church of San Francesco, the first Franciscan church outside Assisi.

Information & Facts


The official language of Italy is Italian. English is understood in the larger cities but not in the more remote parts of the country.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Travellers cheques can be exchanged with ease in the large cities, not so in the smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios.

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