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"America has landed" Top 5 Page for this destination Cortona by iandsmith

Cortona Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 225 photos

A little bit of publicity

It's quite amazing what a little publicity can do. There was a painting sitting in a gallery then someone gave it a rap in the 1920's and the rush was on. The fact that there are many superior works and many with the same attributes as this one seem irrelevant. Mona Lisa had arrived from almost virtual obscurity.
I strongly suspect that's what will happen to Cortona. First the book, then the movie, then the tourists. As Tuscan-style hilltop towns go, it's average, though pleasant enough in its own way it's hardly outstanding in the manner, say, of Orvieto, Siena or Spoleto.
I first came to view the reputed Etruscan museum. By the time I'd gotten lost again I arrived 5 minutes before closing and never did see it. Thus I returned a year later, spent most of the day there this time, and still haven't seen the museum. The reason this time was that I'd seen the triumvirate of Sorana, Sovana and Pitigliano and felt I'd seen the best of Etrusca, particularly as I'd also seen the classic Etruscan museum at Volterra.
I felt I owed Cortona more time really, so I went back anyway.
I was truly fascinated at reading VTpages written by someone outside the country and then "mariocibelli"'s comments on "Under the Tuscan Sun".
Where one arrives and expects there to be monuments, plaques or some recognition of the work, the other points out different side issues. I found the two viewpoints very insightful.
Personally, I read the book to about the halfway point but stories of house renovations I don't find totally stimulating so I've left it for another day.
I reflect that people come to Verona to see Romeo and Juliet, igoring the Renaissance gardens, art galleries and archeological finds and now they will come to see Cortona because someone has written about what she did and they may ignore the other interesting things Cortona has to offer.
I came to Cortona to see the history, from Etruscan to medieval through Renaissance. The power struggles of the dominant families, city states and papacy are infinitely more interesting. It's a shame people don't take more time to find out about them in my humble opinion.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Clean, easy to get around, nice views from the restaurant
  • In a nutshell:A pleasant way to spend a day
  • Last visit to Cortona: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (9)

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2008 at 6:12 AM

    Count me among those that have Cortona on their radar, after seeing the movie.

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    Cortona is on my wish list so thanks for the insights. Sounds like it will be worth a visit.

  • Azhut's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2005 at 3:37 AM

    Very informative page about a village that many italians don't know!! XXXXXXXX

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2005 at 9:38 PM

    Ian, I loved traveling along as you critiqued Cortona. I especially enjoyed your detailed information on Madonna de Calcinaio. I totally agree about Castiglion Fiorentine. I also agree about taking time to reflect. Great job.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2005 at 12:47 PM

    Very good page! Interesting tip on Madonna del Calcinaio.

  • coceng's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2005 at 9:58 PM

    I missed this place in 2004...It looks like the place that I would have a great time in ! :) Regards.

  • Amitu's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2004 at 8:12 PM

    Great insights. Loved the overview shot.

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2004 at 4:56 AM

    Excellent page. Now, I will visit Cortona because of its history and not because of the book/movie.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2004 at 1:03 AM

    You are getting jaded. Disappointed in an Etruscan tomb! (Whatever that is!)


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