We have had recommendations from a few people to visit Cortona and we are now within a stone throw from there, so even though predictions are for rain we risk it.
Cortona is perched high on a hill and we again have lucked out with Tanya’s instructions to find a car park at the base of an escalator, only half of it is working but the bit that works takes us up to the bottom of the city. Each of these towns charm us with their individual character and the little alleys. At this time of the year they have bursts of colour lining windowsills and stairwells.
We find a small but very well frequented cafe and have a little croissant and apple pastry, Tanya is yet to brave some form of Italian coffee on her taste buds. We find that this small town will bring back the shoe fascination we had in Milan.
There are a lot of very small shops but the things that are being sold are of really high quality, Italian made and designed. Tanya does not miss a single ceramic shop and all of them have their own style, she is gradually filling her suitcase with regional samples.
From the minute we enter town we have a black and white cat following us and for the whole day, he appears around corners as we gradually scale to the top of the hill. He does take a break though occasionally. Even our car has the evidence of several paw prints on the hood from another visitor.
I am forever on the lookout for a puppy fix and find it in one of the shops 🙂 and in someone’s front yard. This is not nearly the same as having a real cuddle from the girls!
Although the churches here are on a much less grand scale, they are often very beautiful in their simplicity and uniqueness. This was the first church dedicated to Francis Assisi and outside in the courtyard awaits us an unusual treat of an amazingly talented artist . He and his wife met many years ago and now for years sketch intricate drawings largely in black and white each telling a beautiful story. We are mesmerized by the detail , talent and the stories which make us quite emotional.
As we get to the edge of town we come to Tanya’s new home potential. We have been on the lookout ever since Ostuni and the Trulli, as Tanya feels their is a villa here somewhere to capture her heart.
This one is snuggled into the defense walls of the city but has a drop dead gorgeous view. We even take down the number to call as this apparently can be rented as a holiday home to try for size. Despite the steep stairs Tanya thinks she can manage it all.
We gradually make our way to the Basilica di Santa Marguerita just below the Fortezza of Cortona, more stunning views down to the valley surround us. We decide that it will be fun to have lunch in the little cafe right outside the wall of the Fortezza and we all pick a different Bruschetta served on the local ceramics.
We start lunch in full sun but it gradually clouds over and a light sprinkle starts. It’s time for our descent. On the way, there is one of the parfumeries which have been enticing me with their secret potions that look very magical and I’m sure promise everlasting youth.
There is of course yet another fancy shoe shop on the way.
We finish off with a gelato on the square and head to check out Villa Bramasole, made famous by Frances Mayles in the book “Under the Tuscan Sun”. She still lives there a few months of the year so we are asked to be discrete and quiet when visiting and taking photos.i
It is a very peaceful section of Cortona and the home is immaculate, surrounded by beautiful terracing.
Very content with the day we make our way home.
Even though it is overcast we still get to have views of the open fields for a long way!
They are so beautiful.
Tonight we will make our own Bruschetta with 4 types of mushrooms and a cream of tartufo we bought in San Gimignano. This turns out to be pretty good competition to previous Bruschetta meals.