Between the Valchianina and the Tiber Valley


What to see in Cortona in a day

Antico Borgo San Lorenzo offers apartments in the heart of Tuscany and is an ideal place for those wishing to discover the beauty of the region. On this page you will find our guide to a day in Cortona, the medieval town that is a must-see during your stay at Antico Borgo San Lorenzo. Discover also what to see and do in Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano e Siena.

From the Antico Borgo San Lorenzo it is possible to visit the town of Cortona, a medieval jewel of Romanesque origin in the province of Arezzo. The success of the novel ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Francis Meyes, which was made into a film in 2003 starring Diane Lane and Raoul Bova, helped to make Cortona known throughout the world. Frances, the novel’s protagonist, moves to Cortona to rebuild her life.

The centuries-old charm of the Tuscan town, however, goes far beyond Meyes’ novel: Cortona has ancient beauty and modern marvels, which coexist in the town’s picturesque medieval setting.  

The squares of Cortona

In our opinion, a visit to Cortona should definitely start from Piazza della Repubblica, overlooked by the 12th century Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the residence of Cardinal Passerini in the 16th century. In the square you can sit in one of the many characteristic little restaurants to get a feel for the beating heart of the city.

From Piazza della Repubblica we proceed to Piazza Signorelli, the city’s lounge, which houses Palazzo Casali, built during the 13th century but which took on its present appearance in 1440. In fact, it was during these years that Cortona was ceded from the King of Naples Ladislaus to the Florentine Republic, whose commissioners modified the structure according to the Florentine architectural concept of the 15th century with arches and square stones.

Palazzo Casali houses the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the City of Cortona: you cannot pass through here without stopping by and paying a visit. Among the most famous works housed in the museum is Gino Severini’s Maternity, one of the most important works by the Futurist painter. The painting depicts a mother breastfeeding her child and highlights Severini’s technical skills.

The Cathedral and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta

A hundred and fifty metres away from Piazza Signorelli is Piazza del Duomo, overlooked by the beautiful Church of Santa Maria Assunta, designed by Cristodanello and Laparelli. The Cathedral of Cortona houses important works of art: paintings by Berrettini are preserved here, and there are the tombs of the founders of the prestigious Accademia Etrusca, the brothers Filippo, Ridolfino and Niccolò.

On the other side of Piazza del Duomo is the Museo Diocesano di Cortona, where you can admire the triptych by Beato Angelico.

Cortona on the move: travelling photography

Cortona On The Move is an international festival dedicated to photography that, in just a few years, has become a very important event and particularly popular with photographers, enthusiasts and journalists alike.

If you happen to be in town during the Festival, you will be able to witness an indescribable spectacle where photographers from all over the world display their work in various exhibitions set up in the city. For more information visit the Cortona On The Move website.

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