Jewel of Arezzo
From a hilltop 500 metres above sea level, Cortona dominates the Val di Chiana, an area of medieval villages, breathtaking views, good food and ancient traditions. Chosen as the location for numerous Italian films including Roberto Benigni's La vita è bella, it’s a city full of treasures among the alleys of its small but charming historic centre. Its beauty erases the strain from the relentless up and down of roads and stairs.
The beating heart of Cortona is Piazza della Repubblica, overlooked by Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and Palazzo Comunale, with its Clock Tower and imposing staircase. If you prefer religious architecture, don't miss the Duomo, also known as the Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita with the mummified body of the saint, and the Church of San Benedetto, with its original elliptical plan. History buffs should visit the Sodo archaeological area, the Tanella of Pythagoras and the Etruscan Academy and City of Cortona Museum (MAEC).
A gem unknown to most is the former meat warehouse. Once used to store food, this basement has become a meeting place and cultural space. It’s decorated with murals and is part of the Cortona On The Move photography festival that enlivens the streets of the city every summer.