Posts Tagged With: Under the Tuscan Sun

Cortona Pictorial

We drove from Assisi to Cortona. Cortona was made famous by Frances Mayes and her book and movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Cortona is in the Province of Arezzo, region of Tuscany.There are 23,000 people there. It is a mountain town like so many small towns in Italy. Another town of small streets and many stairs.

The house that was in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun is there as well as the real house of Frances Mayes.

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Our wonderful small hotel outside Cortona

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Yes there are stairs

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Looking into the Main piazza

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The main piazza and church

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The church steps where the Christmas scene took place in the movie

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As we were having a glass of wine at an outdoor bar, we heard music

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Suddenly a medieval band appeared

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The King and Queen

Cortona is fun and alive. The small streets can get crowded as there are many tourists. Stop near the main piazza at a bar and have a drink or lunch and sit outside. You will feel the life of Cortona as it passes by. You may be as lucky as we were and see a medieval band march by.

Come for the romance, the food, the wine and the people. This is Tuscan wine country. It is not only Chianti but Montepulciano and Brunello. Stop at an enoteca (wine tasting) and try some Tuscan wines.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chianti, Cortona, Driving in Italy, Enoteca, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Romance, Small Towns, Tuscany | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Under the Tuscan Sun in Cortona

Cortona is a beautiful city on a hill. Frances Mayes made it very popular with her book (later a movie) Under the Tuscan Sun. Like all the small hill towns we will talk about, it has narrow streets, stairs and small piazzas. We stayed outside Cortona in a beautiful hotel on a huge piece of property called Borgo San Pietro Hotel. GPS doesn’t work getting here. We ended up at a Etruscan ruin. On the way back towards Cortona we saw a sign for the hotel. It led us onto a dirt road (barely passable by one car) and to the gate onto the hotel property. As we arrived in a large parking area, a hotel person met us and took our suitcases to our room.

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Cortona is another place where you park on the edge of town and walk in. Parking is easy here. The church in the movie had a fountain near it and a Christmas Tree. The actual piazza has no fountain and is smaller than it seemed in the movie but the steps to the church in the movie were real (see picture at end).

We found an outdoor cafe/bar to have a snack and some Prosecco. As we sat there, we heard band music coming from behind us. soon a very large marching band was there dressed in medieval customs with flag throwers.

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Walking around Cortona is fun. The narrow streets take you back to another time. This is a place to be on your own and not in a tour. You can wonder where you like. You can shop, stop for a drink or have a meal where and when you like.

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Church from movie

Enjoy Cortona!

Tomorrow we are off to Montepulciano and its famous wines.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Cortona, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, GPS, Italy, Mountain Towns, Parking Garage, Small Towns, Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy is a beautiful and romantic place. No visit here would be complete without a stop in Firenze (Florence). Florence was the capital of the renaissance movement. It has great architecture and museums. The Statue of David by Michelangelo is magnificent. It is located in the museum at the Accademia Gallery. In this museum there are other statues that were mistakes in the creation of David. They are also very beautiful. The Statue of David was replicated many times. There is a copy in the main Piazza near the Ponte Vecchio (old Bridge). The Uffizi and the many Churches and museums are worth a stop. Buy a good guide-book and tour this wonderful city.

I enjoy other places in Tuscany as well:

  1. San Gimignano – This medieval walled mountain town is my favorite place. It was a great secret but over the last 10-15 years the tour buses have found it. You must park outside the city walls and walk in. There are two main entrances to the city (one in the north and one in the south). Don’t be afraid to wonder off the two main streets. The small side streets are romantic and provide a feel of the original life here.
  2. Siena – A beautiful old city that is easy to get to off the Autostrada. The Palio is a special event in Siena. It is the racing of the horses around Piazza del Campo. The duomo is magnificent as well. Be romantic and walk the small streets of Siena.
  3. Cortona – This small beautiful city was made famous by Frances Mayes book, “Under the Tuscan Sun” and the movie that followed. Cortona is a small city with wonderful hills and views all around. Get out and walk! You can see the house used in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” but it is difficult to find. Ask the tourist office in Cortona.
  4. Perugia – OK Perugia is near and dear to my heart and my sweet tooth. This is Italy’s chocolate city! It is where Perugina chocolates (Bacci) are made. You can tour the plant and taste chocolates. The Perugina factory is a short drive outside of Perugia. The city is divided into two sections. One up on a hill and other down at the base of the hill. There are escalators to transport you up and down. The main square is old and worth a visit.
  5. Assisi – This city is the home and burial grounds for Saint Frances. His church is really two cathedrals one on top of the other. It is massive and worth a visit. The town is old and has many interesting sites. Park and take a walking tour (like the one in the link above). Wikitravel has walking guides and things to see.
  6. Montepulciano – This is where Italy’s best and most expensive wine (Brunello) comes from. Many consider this city to be one of Tuscany’s most attractive cities. It is built up on a mountain with views of the area around it.

This general area of Tuscany is also home to Italy’s best Chianti wines. Look for bottles and wineries displaying the black cock. It is a symbol of the best made wines.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Chocolate, Europe, Italy, Mountain Towns, Parking Garage, Small Towns, Tuscany, Umbria, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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