Situated in the eastern part of Tuscany, near the border with Umbria, picture-postcard Cortona is one of the oldest Tuscan hill towns, founded by the Etruscans, and more recently made famous by Frances Mayes’ book Under the Tuscan Sun. Its steep medieval streets are a delight to explore, and there are wonderful views over the the Valdichiana and the Tuscan hills from the ancient town walls, with parts dating back to Etruscan, Roman and Medieval times. The town has much to offer in the way of historic and artistic interest, including its Diocesan Musueum with works by Fra Anglico Luca Signorelli and Pietro Lorenzetti. Towering above the town is the Basilica of Santa Marherita and the Fortress of the Medici family, as well as the Heritage Le Celle where Saint Francis, patron saint of Italy lived.
The area around Cortona is known for the cultivation of top quality wines and olive oils and with many excellent restaurants, a stay here is indisputably a gourmet’s paradise. During the summer, the town holds an annual T-Bone Steak Festival and a Porcini Mushroom Festival. Other enticements include an event on 10th August, known as“Goblets Under the Stars” where you can taste excellent wines from the best local wineries. Cortona also hosts a large furniture market in August and September.
Our three villas are on a large wine and olive oil producing estate, about 6 kilometres drive from Cortona, or guests can choose to enjoy a scenic 2 kilometre walk to the centre of the town.
Villa di Liliana is situated near the main villa of the property, occupied by the charming owner. The other two villas (Villa di Orlando and Villa di Nello) are in completely different areas of the estate, making the three properties very private, yet also suitable for larger groups, or three families wanting to travel together. Each villa also has its own private garden and swimming pool, and all enjoy spectacular views over the countryside.
For summer 2014, the owner is offering two packages, giving guests the opportunity to sample Tuscan food and wine his own house. One package comprises a welcome dinner on arrival, with a delicious 3-course menu, using fresh local products, including extra-virgin olive oil produced on the estate, as well as an unlimited supply of Brunello di Montalcino wine. Those who want to repeat the experience during their stay, can also arrange to have another dinner at the main house, cooked by a professional chef, including a choice of starters, main courses and dessert and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva wine.
Cortona can be reached by flight to Perugia, Rome or Florence, and by train from Florence, Rome and Arezzo.