Blogs from Cortona, Tuscany, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona April 10th 2017

Italy, Day 9, Wednesday, October 12, Chianchiano and Cortona Before leaving for Cortona, we visited the Etruscan Museum of Chianciano. The museum was built over an Etruscan archeological site, but I have heard over and over that if you put a shovel in the ground in Tuscany you would very likely come up with an Etruscan relic. Etruscans are called the ‘mystery people’ because the only thing left to inform us about how they lived are their remains in cemeteries. The Necropolis of Tolle, located near the Castelluccio di Pienza, is one such cemetery. The Etruscans date back to roughly 700 BC. Those Etruscans who lived on the coast traded with Egyptians and Greeks (the Greeks populated much of the southern part of Italy at that time) to get such treasures as ivory and gold. Their ... read more
Map of Etruscan settlements in Italy
View of the Cortona and the Val di Chiana below
Cortona, Italy

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona September 11th 2015

After a moderate descent leaving Torgiano, our ride today started with a steep uphill that took us through the town of VILLANOVA! The town is nothing to write home about, but I just did, except for a photo. We then descended to Lake Trasimeno, famous for Hannibal's victory over the Roman army in 217 BC. We rode along the coastline of the lake stopping in Pasagnano. At this point, I had been riding with Mark, one of the tour leaders. We had a very nice chat over lunch. He is American, but as a youth lived in both Africa and Italy because his father worked for the UN. He is married to an Italian doctor and lives on the coast of Tuscany. I left Mark, who needed to stay in Pasagnano and make sure everyone was ... read more
Cortona-the only way is up

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona September 4th 2014

Under the Tuscan Sun Cortona, Italy 8/24 - 9/4: Our journey to Cortona and another workaway experience had a wonderful start. Coming from Florence, we took a train and made a stop at Arezzo for a little day excursion before arriving into Cortona in the evening. Arezzo, where the Oscar winning movie “A Beautiful Life” was filmed, was the essence of Tuscan beauty. It is a walled city, with many stone fortifications still in tact, which fosters a feeling of antiquity while walking through the cobbled streets. The houses are made with the same ancient stone, many looking unchanged for hundreds of years. Flowers are ever present delicately hanging from beautiful terraces and balconies, while flags bearing the coat of arms of Arezzo are adorned proudly on every corner. We gladly wander the streets, following the ... read more
Arezzo, Italy
Arezzo, Italy
Arezzo, Italy

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona July 14th 2013

Tuscany! What can I say? It is devine, the villa gorgeous, set in the sweeping countryside of fields of beautiful sunflowers, corn, chickpea crops and many others. The geese, chickens, roosters, dogs and cats add to the country atmosphere looking out at the hills and mountains. The Medieval town of Cortona, the setting for the movie and book "Under the Tuscan Sun" is the highest town in Italy, sitting picturesquely on the side of the pretty mountain, surrounded by high walls. One thousand people live in the centuries' old buildings. There are numerous grand churches and pretty squares. The town is dominated by Chiesa di Santa Margherita where the Saint's remains are encased high on the altar, and the enormous Monastery built for St Francis. We dinned every night at a different restaurant, each with a ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona May 21st 2013

Moral of the story - remember to check the time reception opens if you want to get off early. Suzy was unhooked from her umbilical cord, Sion was sitting ready in the passenger seat, water was taken on board and the loo was empty. Only problem if you needed to get away before 9 you needed to pay the night before . Doh as Homer Simpson says, Standing outside the reception it was obvious we had 50 mins wait before the cash office opened and we could pay , pick up our ACSI card and passport and move on. The time was spent watching a lone jogger running a circuit around the road, we worked out how long it took her to do a circuit and then got bored. We watched walkers taking their hunds for ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona December 10th 2012

Not long now. Ciao a tutti. Qui si vede la mappa. Ci dice che sono 16781,94 km. In realità sono molto di più.....17,580! Il viaggio in macchina fino a Roma sono 200km (2 ore) Il primo volo da Roma a Dubai sono 4360 km (5,5 ore) A Dubai dobbiamo aspettare 4 ore e mezza Il secondo volo (con un scalo di un ora a Singapore) fino a Melbourne sono 12,500 km (16,30 ore) Poi... Dobbiamo prendere un treno da Melbourne fino a Warrnambool, che sono 270 km (3,5 ore) Lì ci sarà la Zia Claire con il nostro cuginetto Brodie che ci prende in macchina, e facciamo un altro 200km (3 ore) per arrivare a Mount Gambier. Local time al arrivo sarà le 20:00 di Martedi, ovvero....le 9:30 di martedi mattina a Cortona. Saremo cotti ? ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona October 6th 2012

We started the day early, but didn't get out the door of the hotel until the 10 am. We were going to wait for the hotel shuttle, but a taxi / limo was dropping off a family from Canada and was able to take Francesca and I to the Roma Termini. Then we could make the 11:13 train to Cortona. We got into the termini without any incident. The lines to the biglietti (ticket) windows were terribly long. We wanted to be sure to get our return ticket and information on the schedule. When I checked on line the day earlier, there seemed to be trains running into the late night. It didn’t seem that this wait would be in our best interest. We opted to purchase tickets at the automatic Biglietti (ticket machine) with a ... read more
train ride 02
Cortona 01
Cortona 02

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona May 16th 2012

Geo: 43.2741, 11.9878Another hilltop town today however Cortona is the town where large chunks of Under the Tuscan Sun were filmed. I was sort of hoping my trip would have worked out like that story, but no. We had a nice day wandering around, enjoyed another great lunch and found the roads a breeze as G is nos becoming more "italianesque" with her driving style.Arrived home to find a snake sunning itself on the front path at the house. Only about two feet long but the girls didn't hang around outside for long! It was too fast to get a photo.... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona March 25th 2012

We woke up at a ridiculous 3:30 in the AM. Due to good planning we were on our way to catching the 4 AM airport shuttle in time for our 6 AM flight; until Dan realized he had forgotten his passport. We were only on Victoria street; (and thankfully only halfway up at that) so had time to rush back to the hostel and grab it. We were still able to make the 4:15 bus. We zipped through check-in and security at the airport and only had to wait about half an hour for boarding. Ashley quickly passed out as soon as we took off, while Dan read most of the flight (except for a 15 minute nap while he tried to listen to a podcast). Landing in Italy was a little bumpy, but there was ... read more
Teeny Italian alley
The girls
Santa Margherita

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona March 23rd 2010

23 March - Tuesday Will dragged in about 5 am from the party with his friends, and we continued to sleep until about 9:30 am. After a cappuchino and cornetto we walked along the Via Corso to finish off souvenir shopping. My son and I had an appointment with the president of JCU at noon so took a taxi there about 11:30 am. Upon arrival we learned that we had to reschedule to 2 pm, so ate lunch nearby. The meeting went well and we returned to the hotel to pick up Tamara who was near to tears wondering why we were so late...she didn't have a phone so that we could call her about the delay. We then took a taxi to the airport to pick up a rental car. We left Fiumicino about 3:45 ... read more
Interior of our agritourismo

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