Cortona is a small and friendly town in Tuscan province of Arezzo. It is a real jewel of Etruscan origin and it became famous world-wide after the publication of the book “Under the Tuscan Sun”. It overlooks Lake Trasimeno from the north-west. Its antique city walls still stand. The centre of the town lies around Piazza della Repubblica, where one can see also the Palazzo Comunale.
The places to be visited are many. Among them there are:
• The Museo Diocesano (in which there is the beautiful painting of the Annunciazione by Beato Angelico) and the MAEC (Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona), where there are many Etruscan findings of the surroundigns.
• The Convent “Le Celle” which is one of the first Francscan convents wanted and founded by Saint Francis of Assisi.
• The Santuario di Santa Margherita, patroness of the city.
• The Fortezza del Girifalco built for military purposes, which has undergone many important restorations in the course of the centuries and is now open only in part.
The Francescan Hermitage Le Celle is not far outside the city wall of Cortona. It is the first convent built by Saint Francis in 1211. A small community of friars lived in it, including San Francesco. The small cell where he lived is still visible today. Local craft products, a delicious Tuscan cuisine and very good local wines add to the international charm of Cortona which is about 40 km away from Castello Monticelli.