Cortona, Tuscany - Stein Travel
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Cortona is a richly historic city that enjoys a scenic position above Lake Trasimeno and the plain of Valdichiana, dotted with olive groves and vineyards. It is one of Tuscany's oldest cities, and home to some of its best-preserved Etruscan buildings. Cortona also has a strong artistic pedigree, reflected in its status as a 'City of Art', and was home to Luca Signorelli and Pietra da Cortona.

A good place to begin a tour of the city is at its oldest part, the base of Porta Colonia, where the original walls from the 4th century BC are still visible. Other highlights of the city include a ramble along the cobbled streets and clambering up cut-stone staircases to gaze over a city-scape little changed since the Renaissance and in many cases, the Middle Ages. Via Janelli, in particular, has some of the oldest houses in Italy, many with their original timber supporting the overhanging upper stories.

Other key sights in Cortona include the church of San Francesco (notable as the first Franciscan church outside Assisi), Palazzo Comunale, and Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca (which houses a number of major Etruscan artefacts).

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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