Cortona was an Etruscan town that today offers many important remains.
Cortona was an Etruscan town that today offers many important remains: the outer walls, the bronze lamp from the 5th. century BC, the majestic tombs of noble families with the latest discovery, the Melone II of Sodo, dating back to the 7th. century BC.
The Etruscan town welcomes its visitors not only on behalf of the "Lucumoni" (the ancient Etruscan lords), but also on behalf of its popular patron saint, Saint Margaret of Cortona along with San Francis of Assisi who founded the hermitic monastery of "Le Celle"Cortona.
It was one of the most evolved medieval city-states, still profuse with pure renaissance forms; The Calcinaio church, Francesco di Georgio Martini's masterpiece.
The present perimeter is about 3 Km. And it coincides, for almost 2/3, with that one of the ancient Etruscan town-walls, on which the present walls are built.
The Etruscan remains can be distinguished from the overhanging walls which were built during the Middle Ages, because they are made of huge quadrangular rocks. On the hilltop of the cortonese's hill is the Medicean fortress required by the Medici family and built by Francesco Laparelli in 1549.
Cortona, hometown to so many famous painters from Luca Signorelli to Pietro Berrettini da Cortona to Gino Severini. And then the last little secret aboutCortona: some ancient historians suggested that Ulysses was buried here! It is only a legend, but what an extraordinary one!
Visit Cortona :
Town Hall, already in existence from 1236, altered and enlarged in the course of the centuries, surmounted by a crennelated tower furnished with a clock ; it overlooks the Piazza della Repubblica in front of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, also dating from 1200.
Palazzo Casali, erected by the Casali family in the XIII century (Lords of Cortona) and then becoming Seat of the Fiorentini Lords and Captains, houses in its interior the Museum of the Accademia Etrusca (1727), the Municipal Library and Historical Archives.
Palazzo Luparelli, among the most noteworthy buildings of Cortona, it has a formidable facade in three styles.
Medicea Fortress, erected in 1556 on the ruins of an Etruscan wall and of a successive small fort in an exceptionally panoramic position desired by Cosimo I.
The Cathedral, constructed at the end of the 1400s encompassing the pre-existing parish church, internally it has three naves and preserves vdarious works of art. Opposite, in the venue of the ex church of Gesù is the Diocesan Museum in which are collected pieces by important artists and a Roman Sarcophagus of the II century, found near the Cathedral. Also worth a visit is the collection of goldsmith’s craft and vestments and church plate.
Basilica di S. Margherita, of present day form (1856) with Roman Gothic imitations, it was constructed to substitute a previous church of the XIII-XIV centuries. Other than the precious works of art preserved in its interior, on the altar there is a silver urn containing the body of Santa Margherita.
S. Francesco, III century church of Gothic establishment, has been altered several times.
S. Domenico, constructed in 1438, basilical interior with single nave.