• Cortona

The Town of Cortona is in the province of Arezzo, on the slopes of a mountain between Valdichiana and the Tiber valley; it used to be an important Etruscan town. All that remains of the Etruscan period are important ruins of the town walls possibly dating back to the fifth century before Christ and which extend for around 2 km. The old town centre as we know it today was formed in the thirteenth century: in 1241 the Town Hall had already been built;  in 1245 the church of San Francis was built and in 1250 the Palazzo del Popolo. In 1456 works commenced to repair the new Cathedral where the old Santa Maria church one stood, whilst in 1480 the Siena architect, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, embarked on the construction outside the town of the Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary at Calcinaio. The town has a wealth of museums and works of art from the Museum of the Etruscan Academy to the Diocesan Museum including treasures such as the Annunciation of Fra Angelico, Madonna in Glory by Bartolomeo della Gatta and the Deposition by Luca Signorelli. Do not miss the archaeological park, the Medici Fortress of Girifalco and the Abbey of Farneta.