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Length of Tour: 3 hours

Although it is rather small, Cortona is home to a number of great artists and works of art. The success of Frances Mayes’ novel Under the Tuscan Sun and subsequent film have certainly helped to make Cortona more well-known by spreading the word of how charming the town is.
With your local guide, you will wind your way through the narrow streets of the historic center of Cortona and discover the important artistic/historic wonders of the town including its museums, wall, and palazzos. It will be an emotional journey that takes you back through the centuries.

You will visit:

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Our Lady of the Assumption)
The Cathedral was built over the remains of a pagan temple and documented as a Romanesque church already in the 11th century. The interior is full of works of art, many from churches of Cortona that were destroyed or suppressed. Worthy of note are the 15th-century Madonna della Manna, a glazed terracotta, and the Adorazione dei pastori (Adoration of the Shepherds), painted by Pietro Berrettini, better known as Pietro da Cortona in 1663 ca.

Piazza della Repubblica
In Roman times, this square was where the Roman forum was located.

Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo
Around this square, there are the post office which was the former residence of Cardinal Passerini in the 16th century and the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) dating to the 12th century. Originally the latter was simply one huge room where council meetings in regard to political, cultural and religious matters would be held. In the 16th century, the palazzo was extended on the left, a bell tower was erected, and an imposing staircase accessing the building was constructed.

Palazzo Casali (16th century): This has always been the palazzo of culture and today hosts the marvelous MAEC Museum – Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona (Museum of the Etruscan Academy and City of Cortona) – in addition to the Etruscan Academy, and the Library.

Teatro Signorelli (19th century)
This neoclassical gem has a beautiful portico of seven arches.

The ancient Etruscan walls were built in the 5th century BC, reconstructed by the Romans, rebuilt and restored in the Middle Ages and in the modern era. The west side is perfectly preserved and characterized by the unique Etruscan gate that has two portals called Porta Bifora (2nd century BC).

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