What to do and see in Cortona, Italy: The Best Places and Tips

July 31, 2017 Terina Blouin

Perhaps best known these days as the setting for the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun,” gorgeous hillside Cortona has a long history dating back even before its time as an important Etruscan center. Top attractions include the Duomo (Cathedral), the small Museo Diocesano across the piazza with its superb art collection, and the fascinating Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca with its assembly of Etruscan and Roman era items. Cortona is also bursting with splendid churches spanning many periods.
Restaurants in Cortona

1. Azienda Agricola Leuta

Via Pietraia 21, 52044 Pietraia, Cortona, Italy +39 349 661 3067
Excellent
94%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 122 reviews

Azienda Agricola Leuta

Reviewed By Mrmitosis - East Greenbush, New York, United States

My wife and I and our 28 year old daughter and her significant other showed up at the Leuta doorstep around 4PM on a Tuesday afternoon. the owner, Denis Zeni, was just wrapping up a previous tour and tasting--immediately after which he focused his attention on us. After a thorough tour of the small and boutique winery we sat down and tasted 6 of his limited supply wines (4 for 10 euros; 6 for 20--the last two were expensive wines). We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I like wine, and his (from Malbec to Merlot and Sangiovese to Cab Franc--and blends) were of a very high quality. I ended up joining his wine club and look forward to receiving 2 cases per year for the foreseeable future.

2. Eremo Le Celle

Localita Cappuccini 1, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 0575 603362
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Eremo Le Celle

Reviewed By Peter E

I'm not a religious person, but this is a place to visit. Impressive to see the small cell used by Franciscus.
It is also a nice walk from Cortona (4.5km) with some beautiful views of the valley. Don't take the Sp34 main road, but a little road leaving from Porta Montanina to Torreone and from there to Eremo Le Celle. You will have much less traffic to take care of.

3. Cetona's Belvedere

Cortona, Italy
Excellent
65%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 106 reviews

Cetona's Belvedere

Ancient burial ground filled with mysterious caverns and grottoes.

Reviewed By Wenovo - Morris County, New Jersey

Good spot to take in the views , take some beautiful pictures , sit down on the benches ...
That's what vacation is all about...we were staying in the center of town, so did not even realized that there were escalators available. Well, that is progress ....and totally unexpected in this ancient town.
There are views all around, here you are about midpoint.
There is more, if you have the stamina and the will...climb higher..it will take you breath away.
Absolutely worth it....

4. Museo Diocesano

Via Mura del Duomo 7, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 320 877 3610
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 298 reviews

Museo Diocesano

Located in the Chiesa del Buon Gesù (church,) this museum features the notable Cortona Altarpiece, which consists of the Annunciation (1428-32) and six small predella pictures.

Reviewed By Mike N - New York City, New York

The Diocesan Museum will not do you in. There is plenty but not too much! There is a fantastic period chapel in the lower part and the spectacular Fra Angelico Annunciation on the main floor amongst other treasures. A no-brainer.

5. Piazza della Repubblica

52044, Cortona, Italy
Excellent
57%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 581 reviews

Piazza della Repubblica

Reviewed By astaplet82 - Dallas, Texas

I know with the whole book/movie thing this is pa super touristy town, but we arrived for just a quick evening stopover (about 90 min walking through town after sunset), and it didn't feel touristy. The square was filled with people just hanging out chatting, and from all accounts they weren't tourists. Through many stops in small hill towns over the course of 5-6 days, Cortona was the only place we visited that felt like it wasn't 100% for tourist

6. Basilica di Santa Margherita

Piazzale Santa Margherita 1, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 0575 605064
Excellent
55%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 438 reviews

Basilica di Santa Margherita

Reviewed By LadyoftheLake1

Walked to the top of the hill for a visit. Very serene setting that encourages you to stop and meditate. Don't forget to look over at the lovely valley below after visiting inside.

7. Piazza Garibaldi

Cortona, Italy
Excellent
53%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 188 reviews

Piazza Garibaldi

One of the main squares in Cortona that features a scenic overlook.

Reviewed By TennisgalGreenBay_WI - Green Bay, WI

The Piazza itself has a pretty Fountain in the middle of it, and there are park benches to sit and have a coffee or gelato. The views are gorgeous as in all of Tuscany. But the park that is adjacent to Piazza Garibaldi is a good size and a nice walk with flowers of every kind. In the midst of the Park is a Sushi Restaurant that looked fantastic.

8. Tenimenti d'Alessandro

Nucleo Manzano 15, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 0575 618667
Excellent
81%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 71 reviews

Tenimenti d'Alessandro

Welcome to Borgo Syrah in Manzano, the heart of one of the most important agricultural businesses in the Val di Chiana for over 300 years. The winery at Borgo Syrah is the prestigious Tenimenti d’Alessandro, which has garnered tremendous praise for the production of fine wines from syrah and viognier grapes.The owner, Giuseppe Calabresi, welcomes wine experts and other connoisseurs to visit his properties and enjoy his wines.

Reviewed By Stephanie S

Impressive location worth every minute you spend there either touring the vineyard, the factory - where the magic happens, the hotel, cooking from their vegetable garden, everything is impeccable. The Villa is situated about 15 minutes from Cortona, in the Valley of Chiana, surrounded by Mountains, pine trees and yes, vineyards, previously owned by a Tuscan noble family. There is an underground passage between the hotel and the Enoteca. Luigi D'Alessandro was the original Syrah producer in Cortona on an impressive property with about 10 types of red/white wine, sweet wine and grappa. I honestly cannot recommend this place more if you want something that is immersed in the Tuscan wine country, a luxury hotel, with your own wine collection and wonderful restaurant and service, oh, and there is a pool and spa and international works of art on the property that make it that much more unique. Filippo gave us a tour of the property and was absolutely fantastic walking us through the DOC Syrah making process and made the experience all the more memorable.

9. MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca

Piazza Luca Signorelli 9 | Palazzo Casali, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 0575 637235
Excellent
51%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 406 reviews

MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca

The MAEC houses an extraordinary collection bringing together all the material discovered in and around Cortona since the 1700s.The museum collection can be visited in two sections: one dedicated to the Etruscan Academy, and the other centered on the most recent findings from the Cortona necropolis. The collection of the Accademai Etrusca boasts exceptional pieces from various historical periods, like the celebrated Etruscan Chandelier, ancient Egyptian burial goods and works by futurist master Gino Severini. The section dedicated to the City of Cortona offers a journey that begins in the paleoenvironment of the Chiana Valley and arrives in the Cortona of Roman times, passing through the ancient period (580-480 B.C.E.) with the princely Etruscan tombs of the Sodo and Camucia and significant findings such as the Tabula Cortonensis, the third longest Etruscan text in the world.The layout of the museum was specifically designed to communicate with visitors in an innovative way, using both reconstructions and multimedia equipment. All texts are fully rendered in both English and Braill.

Reviewed By Michael M C - Winnipeg, Canada

Very interesting. Museum is well laid out guiding you through each numbered room starting at the bottom.
Huge amount of Etruscan artifacts which are very impressive given that many date back to the 6th century BC.
Ran out of time before being able to see the Egyptian section.
Recommend.

10. Azienda Agricola Baldetti Alfonso

Localita' Pietraia 71 Pietraia, Cortona, Italia, 52044, Cortona, Italy +39 0575 67077
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 56 reviews

Azienda Agricola Baldetti Alfonso

The name Baldetti is strongly related to Tuscany and in particular to Cortona area and the love for the land, passed on generation, has always been a base point for the family.Since 1960, the viticulture was an important activity for the family, in fact Mario Baldetti, father of the current leader, renovated vineyards.Baldetti Mario ‘s farm was the first one to believe in the productive potential of “Cortona” area, started to bottle in its wine since 1974 with “Bianco Vergine della Valdichiana”. In the whole district of Arezzo it was one of the first company that bottled in , in fact the number of bottling enroll was : AR 6Since 2000, with the DOC birth year, the company renovated vineyards, with methods innovative.In 2010 started the building of a new cellar and it will be ultimate in 2012.…to be continued….

Reviewed By Dana E

The day we arrived to the winery we were unaware that it was a national holiday. We caught Jean Luca the son of the owner literally in his car with his buddies on the way out of the gate to go to lunch for the holiday. We told him we were a group of 10 people and really wanted to do a wine tasting. He said they were closed because of the holiday but he immediately jumped out of his truck and said to park and he would gladly do a tasting for us. He was so nice and patient he also cute grapes off the vine for my 2 year old son to eat. He even called a restaurant for us to make lunch Reservations. The winery is beautiful and the wines were all excellent. Everyone in our group was so impressed and flattered by his kindness. And it doesn't hurt that Jean Luca is super handsome ;)

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