Cortona is a hilltop town near Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy. The film "Under The Tuscan Sun" was shot here and in the magical hills around. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill about 600 metres above sea level and has commanding views across the Val di Chiana. The Etruscan Academy Museum displays a vast collection of bronze, ceramic and funerary items reflecting the town’s Etruscan past. Just outside of Cortona's walls you'll find the Franciscan hermitage Le Celle, the first monastery built by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1211, where a small community of friars still lives today. Cortona is a great base from which to explore the neighbouring Tuscan and Umbrian hills and towns.
Wine & Dine
Palazzo Passerini has a beautiful, bespoke, fully-equipped kitchen, a dream for foodies, wannabe chefs and chefs. Enjoy the opportunity to cook authentic Tuscan food using fresh, locally bought ingredients. We have installed a stainless steel range by SMEG with a 7 ring gas burner hob with two electric ovens to satisfy even the most demanding and talented chef! Pots & pans are made from the best grade stainless steel in Italy, with a full range of small domestic appliances by SMEG. Crockery is from a family run artisanal ceramics factory near Verona, VBC Casa, but don’t worry they are robust and dishwasher safe as well as being elegant enough for dinner parties. The hand-made stone dining table dining table in the salon seats 6 comfortably.
If you don’t feel like cooking, Palazzo Passerini is within walking distance of all of the bars and restaurants in Cortona. Have breakfast Italian style at one of the bars, Bar Signorelli is the closest in Piazza Signorelli. Italian style is generally a cornetto (croissant) with an espresso or a cappuccino. There are many good restaurants and bars in Cortona. Once you have booked Palazzo Passerini we’re more than happy to make restaurant recommendations and reservations for you. Our local bar and restaurant recommendations in Cortona:
Cortona is surrounded by vineyards, fields of sunflowers and olive groves; truffle hunting, foraging and olive harvesting can be arranged at Palazzo Passerini with our concierge service. Anything is possible at Palazzo Passerini, your stay with us is all about memorable experiences to last a lifetime.
Why not enjoy a hot air ballooning trip above the Tuscan hills and valleys? Or food-lovers will relish a morning at the market choosing fresh, local ingredients. There are plenty of lovely local walks and hikes to enjoy and amazing views to soak up at sunrise and sunset.
We can organise the following activities during your stay:
Olive oil tour
Learn about truffles and truffle hunting
Hot air ballooning
Italian cooking lessons
Pasta making (2 hours with lunch included, €200 min 4 people)
EXPLORE THE REGION
Siena is about an hour by car from Cortona and is a vibrant and exciting city to visit and has a very special atmosphere. By the way, don't look for the fountain or several other places seen in the film, Under the Tuscan Sun..they were built for the movie! Il Palio
San Sepolcro is an easy 1-hour car ride from Palazzo Passerini. Here you’ll find one of Piero della Francesca’s most famous works - the Resurrection. Piero della Francesca harnessed mathematical theory and geometry, combining them with Renaissance Humanism, to create some of the most alluring religious paintings of the early Renaissance. His use of linear perspective and foreshortening brought biblical scenes, myths and legends to life, and his formation of classical figures and compositions lend his paintings gravitas even if their subjects are often mysterious.
Perugia is the capital of the Umbria region. It’s known for its defensive walls around the historic centre. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Palazzo Passerini. The medieval Priori Palace exhibits regional art from the 13th-century onwards. Looking onto Piazza IV Novembre, the Gothic cathedral houses Renaissance paintings and frescoes. In the square's centre Fontana Maggiore is a marble fountain with carvings of biblical scenes and zodiac signs.
45 minutes from Cortona, Arezza is a great place to visit for it’s shops, restaurants and antiques market which takes place on the first Sunday of the month.
Pisa, Florence and Rome are all a day trip from Cortona.
Santa Maria Nuova Church
The church of Santa Maria Nuova is a Roman Catholic church located just outside the walls of the town of Cortona. The church was built to house a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin that previously had been in a private chapel. Construction began in 1550, based on designs by Cristofanello and the church was consecrated in 1610. After Cristofanello died Giorgio Vasari was brought in and the design changed from the original to a more Renaissance style. The lovely location was specifically chosen as there had been miraculous apparitions of the Madonna on this exact spot, along the road which leads to the famous Benedictine monastery called Eremo Le Celle, and so it was that a proper shrine was built in her honour.