Cortona and its surroundings
Just six kilometers from Cortona, La Corte dei Papi feels worlds apart, in the heart of the hills between Tuscany and Umbria. It’s a sublime setting for those who seek solitude and quiet, surrounded by grapevines and olive trees, near both tiny hamlets and art-filled cities.
Cortona itself is worth exploring, an ancient Etruscan city that has lovingly preserved its Middle Ages roots. Visitors wander the storied streets, gazing up at the centuries-old Etruscan walls. Sites of particular interest include the square, with its town council building; the Cathedral; the Diocesan Museum, with works by Beato Angelico and Luca Signorelli; the Santa Margherita Church; and the Franciscan Sanctuary delle Celle, just outside Cortona.
Venturing a bit farther afield takes one to Val di Chiano, Lake Trasimeno, Arezzo, Pienza (famous for its cheeses), Montepulciano and Montalcino (renowned for their wines), Nobile and Brunello. Siena and San Gimignano are just an hour by car from the estate. Florence is just an hour’s travel away, as well, by car or train, and it’s well worth the trip to spend a day walking and exploring the city’s artwork. Southeast, travelers find Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Gubbio, Spoleto and Todi, all wonderful old towns with small museums, churches, cloisters and international events, such as “Umbria Jazz” and the music festival “Dei du Mondi” in Spoleto.