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“Toscanaegusto Cooking Class”

Cortona Guida Turistica Autorizzata-Silvia Vecchini - Tour Privato
Ranked #10 of 18 Tours in Cortona
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Owner description: Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo. Originally an Umbrian city, it was conquered and enlarged by the Etruscans, who called it Curtun. During the 600's BC, it joined the Etruscan League. Cortona eventually became a Roman colony under the name Corito. The origin-legends and ancient names of Cortona are described by George Dennis.[2] In the final stages of the Gothic War (535-554), Cortona was sacked and destroyed. Cortona became a Ghibellinian city state in the 13th century, with its own currency. From 1325 to 1409 the Ranieri-Casali family successfully ruled the town. After being conquered by Ladislaus of Naples in 1409, Cortona was sold to the Medici in 1411. In 1737, the senior branch of the Medici line went extinct and Cortona came under the authority of the House of Lorraine. Following the Italian Wars of Independence, Tuscany - Cortona included - The foundation of Cortona remains mixed in legends dating to classical times. These were later reworked especially in the late Renaissance period under Cosimo I de' Medici. The 17th-century Guide of Giacomo Lauro, reworked from writings of Annio da Viterbo, states that 108 years after the Great Flood, Noah entered the Valdichiana via the Tiber and Paglia rivers. He preferred this place better than anywhere else in Italy, because it was so fertile, and dwelt there for thirty years. One of Noah's descendants was Crano, his son who came to the hilltop and, liking the high position, the fine countryside and the calm air, built the city of Cortona on it in 273 years after the Great Flood. The prevailing character of Cortona's architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside (altitude 600 metres), embracing a view of the whole of the Valdichiana. From the Piazza Garibaldi (still referred to by the local population by its older name, Piazza Carbonaia) is a fine prospect of Lake Trasimeno, scene of Hannibal's ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC (Battle of Lake Trasimene). Parts of the Etruscan city wall can still be seen today as the basis of the present wall. The main street, via Nazionale, is the only street in the town with no gradient, and is still usually referred to by locals by its older name of Ruga Piana. Inside the Palazzo Casali is the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca, displaying items from Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations, as well as art and artefacts from the Medieval and Renaissance eras. The distinguished Etruscan Academy Museum had its foundation in 1727 with the collections and library of Onofrio Baldelli. Among its most famous ancient artefacts is the bronze lampadario or Etruscan hanging lamp, found at Fratta near Cortona in 1840 and then acquired by the Academy for the large sum of 1600 Florentine scudi. Its iconography includes (under the 16 burners) alternating figures of Silenus playing panpipes or double flutes, and of sirens or harpies. Within zones representing waves, dolphins and fiercer sea-creatures is a gorgon-like face with protruding tongue. Between each burner is a modelled horned head of Achelous. It is supposed that the lampadario derived from some important north Etruscan religious shrine of around the second half of the fourth century BC. A later (2nd century BC) inscription shows it was rededicated for votive purposes (tinscvil) by the Musni family at that time.[3] The Museum contains several other important Etruscan bronzes. The Fra Angelico Annunciation. Etruscan chamber-tombs nearby include the Tanella di Pitagora[4] (halfway up the hill from Camucia): the fine masonry of the tomb stands exposed, but was formerly covered by an earth mound. two at the foot of the hillside at Il Sodo, and a complex in Camucia itself. Il Sodo I, the 'Grotta Sergardi' commonly known as 'Il Melone', contains a passage, opening into parallel passages leading to square inner chambers, within a mound about 640 ft in circumference. Although the chambers are paved with slabs of masonry the walls are constructed of pieces of rock roughly-formed into bricks.[5] This tomb can be visited. Il Sodo II contained a large stone-stepped altar platform with carved sphinxes devouring warriors.[6] The town's chief artistic treasures are two panels by Fra Angelico in the Diocesan Museum, an Annunciation and a Madonna and Child with Saints. A third surviving work by the same artist is the fresco above the entrance to the church of San Domenico, likewise painted during his stay at Cortona in 1436. The Diocesan Museum houses also a group of work by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, known as Lo Spagnuolo, called Ecstasy of Saint Margaret. The Academy Museum includes the very well known painting Maternita of 1916 by the Cortonese artist Gino Severini. There are also examples of the works of Pietro da Cortona. The villa Bramasole built in 1504 was used as the location for the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun.
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Stefania and Anna operate an excellent cooking class out of her home in Cortona. It is a short drive from Siena. We made 6 different pizzas from scratch (Anna's specialty), a pasta dish, and a Ricotta Chocolate Torte. Everything turned out perfectly. Stefania has excellent English skills and the class was informative and lots of fun. Plenty of wine and laughter. I highly recommend!

1  Thank Beaufort818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 30 September 2013

Turned up in a hire car and easily found a free car park. Really beautiful town. Take time to walk to the church at the top. Fantastic views.

1  Thank Clive J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

After 18 years of living together and having a sixteen years old daughter, my now husband and I decided to get married. We just loved Italy and decided that if we were going to do it, it would be in Cortona, Italy, We had visited this superb little town in Tuscany in 2008.

We are from Canada, and even if we knew Tuscany and Cortona, we could have not done it without a wedding planner. I cannot recommend enough Mrs. Patrizia Pola, of the One and Only, Cortona Wedding. She's a professional that knows her stuff; she is Italian and lives in Cortona. Therefore she knows everyone, and certainly knows Tuscany. She was organised, calm when needed and quite enthusiastic and forceful when needed, and funny. I had a very good idea of what I wanted, as to the venue, the flowers and the music, but of course help is needed when you organise a wedding in another country!

She came with us and organised all the needed appointments, the priest, the Town Hall for the legal papers, the florist etc. I wanted a singer at the wedding that could sing opera and good musicians. Patrizia provided everything and more, with a warm Italian charm, the whole at a reasonable price. She did not count her hours and we felt in good hands right away, as we were able to communicate with her by email and Skype. She is also fluent in English and was able to find us a priest that could perform the ceremony in French.

You knew she cared, and did her work with a smile! What more could we asked for. We had a fantastic wedding! She found the photographer, the florist, the hairdresser, and the favors for our guests. She was also able to find a Vespa to rent for one of our guest, there were no more to rent in Cortona. Again, Cortona is great; Patrizia knows everyone and everything, and what a formidable time we had with our guests because of her, we will never forget this wonderful event.

4  Thank dage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

One of our primary reasons for visiting Tuscany was to experience the beautiful hill village of Cortona. As we wound our way up the narrow road to the town, a magnificent vista spread out below us. Terra cotta roof tops, church domes and steeples presented themselves. Parking was a joy, walking up the steps to the piazza was like unwrapping a gift. Cobbled streets met us, fountains , gift shops, trattorias, and piazzas. History unfolding itself at every turn. We were staying in a lovely place, 20 minutes away called La Cattedra and we returned to Cortona many times to enjoy the hospitality and beauty.
Lynda B.

1  Thank Lynda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 August 2013

If you're staying at Lake Trasimeno, this is one of the to-do's! A very nice ancient village, a few kilometers away from mass-tourism, this is one of the Pearls of Umbria. Nice places to walk, eat and rest. And isn't that what summerbreaks are all about...?

1  Thank Kpermen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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