Visiting Cortona

Published Date Author: , August 10th, 2014

Cortona, Italy - Dolly GoolsbyBuona Sera, Tutti,

Good afternoon. It is Saturday in Montepulciano, so we have some free time. This town is really getting geared up for the big festa at the end of the month. There is a lot of activity going on today, but I will need to tell you about that in a separate blog post.

Yesterday we got to go to another hill town, Cortona. It is not very far from here, only about a 30 minute drive. The school had arranged for a mini-van with a driver/guide. He was very informative, giving us information about the places we visited. Of course, he spoke solo Italiano, but I was able to understand most of what he said.

Our first stop was at a monastery that had been established by St. Francis of Assisi (Assisi is not far from Cortona). Apparently, St. Francis built this place to not only have a place where monks were trained, but it also was a refuge for the poor. Primarily, it was a place to go for solitude and serenity. It is still a monastery, and we were able to go into a couple small chapels.

There are gardens that the monks tend. They produce some natural medications, they make wine and liqueurs, among other things. The monks that are here now are of the Cappuchin order. They wear the brown robes as did St. Francis.

We then visited the church of St. Marguerita, who is the patron saint of Cortona. From that church, we took a foot path down to the city of Cortona, about a 15 minutes walk.

It was steep in spots, and rocky, but the view was very pretty.

It seemed to me that the streets of Cortona were even more steep than the streets of. Montepulciano, but the main street, Via Nazionale, is actually pretty level. It also seemed that the altitude of Cortona is higher than Montepulciano, but it is not; it is actually lower, at 1700 feet above sea level, compared to Montepulciano which is about 2,000, but the view below the town makes it seem higher. Cortona is the last town in Tuscany, just before the border of Umbria. It was also one of the largest Etruscan settlements, and the original stone walls of the city, that were built by Etrusacans are still standing.

Finally, we returned back to Montepulciano, happy to have had the opportunity to visit this lovely hill town.

Now I have used my quota of pictures for one blog post, so I will have to write another about the Festa and fun in Montepulciano. It will follow soon.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Eastern Tuscany Gay Travel Resources

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