Holiday apartments “il portale” are located within the amazing setting of the historic centre of Cortona, a well renowned Etruscan town in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, which is famous all over the world for its art beauties. Those wishing to spend their holidays in Tuscany cannot miss a visit to Cortona, within the province of Arezzo, one of the most important art towns in Tuscany, for a unique trip amid culture, history, arts and nature.
As the legend by poet Virgil goes, Cortona was founded by mythical Dardanus, who lost during a fight his helmet called "Corys", from which the name Cortona would probably derive. However, as history goes, Cortona was probably founded by the Umbrians more than 3000 years ago and became in the 8th century B.C. a powerful Etruscan town under the name of Curtum. Then the town was dominated by the Romans and the Goths, before becoming a free comune in the 12th century and before being finally made over to the Florentine Republic.
Cortona, a jewel of Etruscan and medieval arts and history, is enclosed by beautiful walls and is characterized by narrow streets with breathtaking views onto Valdichiana and the Tuscan hills, by imposing medieval and Renaissance buildings and many important churches from the historic, artistic and religious points of view. Among the many points of interest of Cortona we find the Town Hall, which towers above Piazza della Repubblica with its beautiful stairway dating back to the 16th century; Palazzo Casali, seat of the renowned Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the City of Cortona (MAEC), which is famous for its treasures of the Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian, Medieval and Modern times, among which you can admire the Etruscan bronze Chandelier of the 5th century B.C., the one of its kind; the Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum, which contains some works painted by important painters from Cortona such as Fra Angelico, Luca Signorelli, Pietro Berrettini and Pietro Lorenzetti; the Basilica of Santa Margherita and the Fortress of Girifalco dating back to the Medici's time, which tower above the town from the hilltop; and quite close to the historic center the beautiful Hermitage Le Celle where Saint Francis lived and the famous Churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio, designed by architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and of Santa Maria Nuova, designed by architect Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century. Finally, a few kilometers from Cortona, you can visit a unique Archaeological Park with important Etruscan tombs from the historic and archaeological points of view.