Itineraries Cortona


Arezzo (30 Km.)
Chief town of a large east-centre Tuscany province, fans out round a slope of a sweet hill relief (mt 296 on the summit). To visit: the Medicea Fort, testimony of the military architecture of the XVI century. The Cathedral, an impressive gothic building, started at the end of the XIII century: its façade, unfinished, is dated at the beginning of the XX century. The fourteenth century-gothic-roman portale, on the right-hand side, residual of a pre-existent building (maybe roman), in the lunette a fourteenth century-groups in earthenware (Virgin with Child), between St Donato and Gregorio X). The stained-glass windows are attributed to Marcillat. St Maria Parish, romanic church (XII-XIII century) next to Piazza Grande with Brizzolani Palace and Vasari Loggia, Cimabue Cross placed in St Domenico church. Piero della Francesca in St Francesco Church. And many other historical Palaces, such as the Pretorio Palace, Albergotti Palace and Petrarca House.  
Lucignano (33Km)
It is a little suburb of south Tuscany and, thanks to its little elliptic shape, symbolizes an extraordinary example of the medieval town-planning. On the upper town you can visit the City hall, St Francesco Church, the Collegiata. During the XIV century, under Siena domination, the fortification works, the external walls and the three doors (1371) have been completed: St Giusto door, St Giovanni door and the so called Murata door. The Fort with the two towers was also built. When the Medici family started ruling Lucignano (1554) we can find many town-planning interventions: such as the fort construction beginning, attributed to Bernardo Puccini, the Oak Virgin Sanctuary, attributed to Vasari and put outside the historical centre (1568), the Capuchin Monastery (1580), the Misericordia (1582) and Collegiate Churches (1594).
Perugia (49Km)
This town, with an Etruscan origin, becomes Roman in 295 a.C. In 936 the Cathedral of St Lorenzo was built inside the walls. Between the XIII and XIV century many works are built: Fontana Maggiore (1275-70) and Priori Palace: here you can the visit the Umbrian National Gallery, that gives hospitality to one of the richest and more complete artistic heritage of the all region. Rocca Paolina must not be forgotten: the poet Giosuè Carducci has praised it in one of his poems: it is an old fort wished by Pope Paolo II and built by Antonio from Sangallo the Young. The Rocca has been the symbol of the papal authority till the middle of the XIX century, year in which it was pulled down following the annextion to the Italian Reign. It is possible to admire, of that old building, a part of the support walls and the bastion which incorporates Marzia Door. Other important attractions are St Bernardino prayer house and the Etruscan Wall.
Assisi (68Km)
This town is well-known all over the world thanks to St Francesco. It went to the Etruscan influence, as you can see by the few finds: the Roman gave it a definite identity. Today we can admire many relies, derived from the Assisium Museum, such as the wonderful temple of Minerva, some ruins of pagan temples, the Foro, the amphitheatre, epigraphes, cisterns, statues. wall parts and St Maria Maggiore church, that preserves inside roman remains. Assisi gave Italy and the whole world great characters: first of all St Francesco and St Chiara; illuminated minds such as the Latin poet Sesto Properzio, the painters Tiberio from Assisi, Dono Doni. To visit: St Francesco and St Chiara Basilica, the town-hall Square, the People Captain Palace, the Priors palace as well as the Franciscan Hermitage of the Prisons.
Montepulciano (29 Km.)
This town, thanks to its historical centre, is an important artistic testimony of the Medieval and Renaissance period. If you go through the town ways you can visit Cocconi Palace, Cervini Palace and Cagnoni Palace, Pulcinella Tower and the Theatre built in Angelo Poliziano's honour, a XVI century poet born in this town. Going through the Orcia valley you'll reach San Quirico, a Medieval suburb surrounded by fifteenth-century walls, where the Collegiata Romanic Church and St Francesco Church rise. Further on you will find Montalcino town (67 Km), important for its historical testimony of the romanic period with the Loggia, the fourteenth century-Fort and the city hall.
Montalcino (67 Km.)
Placed on a hill, 564 meters above the sea-level, this town keeps a medieval suburb charm. Among many architectural works you can visit the fourteenth-century fort, perfectly kept: in the past it represented an important strategic point: in 1555 the exsiles from Siena, after surrending to Florence, took refuge in the fort and founded Siena Republic in Montalcino. The boundary walls are still keeping the antique doors and part of the keeps. The city-hall, wonderful building dated XIII century. The open galleries of Piazza del Popolo have arcades dated XIV and XV century. The Cathedral, with its neoclassic style, has been built on an antique Parish of the XI century. Madonna del Soccorso Sanctuary, built in the XVII century on the ruins of a fifteenth-century church.
St Augustin fourteenth century-churches, with the freses of the school of Siena, and of St Francesco, with the fresco of Vincenzo. St Maria della Croce hospital, founded in the XIII century with its wonderful painted studio, today head office of the municipal administration. St Antimo Abbey, far only 9 Km from Montalcino, rose, according to the legend, on a votiv chapel built by Carlo Magno. It's a wonderful onyx and alabaster Romanesque example, which keeps capitals decorated with flowers.
Siena (70 Km.)
Siena is of one the most famous cities destination of the tourists from all over the world. It ha Etruscan origins and reached its greatest importance durind the Middle Ages. Inside Palazzo Pubblico there is the magnificent Concistoro Room, decorated by Domenico Beccafumi, with episodes of the twenty civic virtues: this enterprise lasted from 1529 to 1535. In front of it you can find Palazzo del Magnifico, residence of Pandolfo Petrucci, lord of Siena; at that time it was a splendid patrician residence, furnished by the most important artists of Siena. The kept pictures can be admired in the two evocative scenes painted by Girolamo Genga ( Riscatto dei prigionieri, Enea fugge da Troia) and preserved in Siena's national Art Gallery. Far away Piccolomini Palace, which gives hospitality to Siena's record office, together with the Biccherne Museum, which shows the audience the wonderful painted little tablets collection, in origin covers of the registers of Siena financial magistrature. The most beautiful attraction is , however, Piazza del Campo, whose shape and position make it unique all over the world. It changes completely when it is invaded by persons and horses during the Palio.
To visit: the Fonte Gaia, the Torre del Mangia, which rules the square and is the second tallest medieval tower in Italy, with 102 steps. The Cathedral, characterized by black and white marble, is a gothic style building. It prevails over Siena, inside it keeps Michelangelo and Donatello works. Inside the Spedale of St Maria della Scala, in front of the Cathedral, you can admire the interventions of Vecchietta for the Big Sacresty. He painted the whole room with histories of the Old and New Testamentary. Not far away the Art Gallery: it is something like an encyclopedia of the figurative culture of Siena.
Pienza(44 Km.)
Pienza historical centre is a unique pearl in the international architectural panorama. Noteworthy is Corsignano Romanic Parish, dated XI-XII century, St Francesco Church, dated XIII century, the Diocese Museum, Piccolomini Palace Museum and St Anna in Camprena Monastery. The best way to visit this lottle town is, with no doubt, the walk through its walls. The town-planning structure is something you can not miss. In the neighbourhood there is aslso Monticchio Castle (38 Km). .
Castiglione del Lago (17 Km.)
It rises on a calcareous promontory, which was once the fourth Trasimeno isle (m. 304). Corgna Palace is an important monumental construction, enlarged between the XVI and XVII century by Galeazzo Alessi. It is a pre-existent project of palazzetto Baglioni, with a probable supervision of Vignola. The Palace encloses one of the greatest pictorical collection of the late manierism from Umbria and Toscana. Palazzo Ducale is connected to the medieval Fort through a walk which winds along the walls and which was covered during 1617 by marquis Della Corgna family. Rocca del Leone is a medieval fort whith a five points shape which reminds the Lion constellation. Its position on a calcareous spur has revealed itself as a strategic point during many wars for the territory rule. To visit: St Maria Maddalena and St Domenico Church.

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