Quick Travel Guide: Cortona

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The hilltop town of Cortona is a place that has stolen our hearts forever and we hope you’ll see why. Located in Southern Tuscany, it’s the perfect little bolthole from the larger towns and cities – and as we found, the perfect place to admire the stunning views and enjoy a glass of wine or two!

How to Get There

We travelled to Cortona after spending a couple of days in Florence (somewhere else we highly recommend) and it took just 1 hour 20 minutes on a direct train. The trains in Italy are pretty reliable and we had a really comfortable journey in second class. One thing to keep in mind is the train station is located at the bottom of the hill so you need transport to get you up to the top. We got super lucky in that someone was going up to the top in a pre-arranged taxi so we were able to go up with them, and they dropped us right outside our hotel!

The other option is to hire a car and drive to Cortona. The journey time from Florence is a little longer than the train at 1 hour 40 minutes but you’ll be able to explore the local area easier if you have a car.

How to Get Around

Cortona is a very small town so you can explore here on foot. To reach further afield areas, take a car or taxi, or a combination of taxi and train.

What to Do

The views were enough for us to return again and again. Waking up each morning and flinging open the curtains to breathe in the fresh Tuscan air and enjoy a coffee on the balcony was a highlight. Then, getting lost amongst the cobbled streets and finding a spot to nibble on some aperitifs and sip on a cocktail or three.

For an Authentic Tuscan experience, we highly recommend visiting the family-run winery at Casali in Val di Chio for an amazing wine-tasting experience. The owners kindly came to pick us up from Cortona (for a taxi price) as it would be pretty difficult to drive here considering the amount of wine we consumed!

Where to Eat

You can’t go wrong wherever you choose to eat in Cortona but for a great little lunch spot in the heart of the town, we can personally recommend Bar 500.

For a cute outdoor dinner date, head to Caccatorie for some traditional Tuscan cuisine which of course includes our favourites; spaghetti carbonara and lasagne!

Where to Stay

We stayed at the 4* Hotel San Luca, located next to a popular viewpoint within a picturesque square. Rooms were decorated traditionally and could do with a little updating, but we paid for the views and were not disappointed.

Room prices start at £50 per night and are slightly higher for a balcony room with ‘that view’ but we were impressed with the affordability given the location and we ended up staying for 3 nights.

Top Tip: Stop in at Enoteca Molesini wine shop to pick out a bottle of wine to enjoy on your balcony (and ask the hotel for a wine bucket!)

Final Thoughts

Just go! If you’re already heading to Florence, make sure to tag Cortona onto the itinerary – even if you can only manage a day trip. We guarantee it will steal your hearts as it has done ours.

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