Cortona & Arezzo
This is a full day tour to discover the charme of the two beautiful Tuscan towns of Cortona and Arezzo, both of Etruscan origins and situated at the short distance of 22 miles (35 km) from one to another.
Cortona is a small hill town famous for its international athmosphere since the 18C when it was a distinguished cultural center of archeological studies thanks to its “Etruscan Academy” and “Etruscan Museum” both founded in the year 1728 with prestigious memberships in Europe like that of Voltaire and Montesquieu.
More recently Cortona has been pushed back on the international stage thanks to the novel Under the Tuscan Sun written by the Californian writer Frances Mayes who is also a permanent resident of Cortona during the summer and thank to the movie based on the novel.
Arezzo is a city with a beautiful historic centre immortalized by Roberto Benigni in the world famous movie Life is Beautiful that won the Academy Award in 1999. It’s also known for the production of gold jewellery exported throught the world and as the birthplace of Guido Monaco, the Benedictine monk who invented the music scale and the notes in the XI C and of the famous artist, architect and art historian Giorgio Vasari. A true Renaissance Art Masterpiece can be seen in Arezzo: the chapel painted with the frescoes illustrating the Legend of the True Cross in the Church San Francesco. Its medieval old city centre is very well preserved and Piazza Grande is every month the scene of the “Antique Fair” and twice a year of a tournament called “The Saracen Joust” in which the four districts of the city compete.
Within the same day you can discover accompanied by a local tour guide the wonderful squares and churches of Arezzo and Cortona, the museums and art galleries, having lunch in one of the many trattorias, visiting artisans workshops and antiques stores and tasting Tuscan wines in the wine shops.
The tour will take you in Cortona with Piazza Garibaldi and its wonderful view all over Valdichiana, San Domenico, via Nazionale, Piazza della Repubblica with the Town Hall, San Francesco, Piazza Signorelli with Palazzo Casali and the Duomo. In Arezzo you will visit Piazza San Francesco with the church San Francesco where Piero della Francesca painted the frescoes, the medieval church La Pieve, Piazza Grande with the Loggia designed by Vasari, the Duomo and San Domenico that houses the famous Cross painted by Cimabue.