Places Worth Visiting in Cortona
- Etruscan and Egyptian artefacts at the museum (Museo Etrusco) in Palazzo Casali (see below)
- Luca Signorelli, Fra Angelico and Lorenzetti art treasures at the Museo Diocesano (opposite the Cortona cathedral in Piazza del Duomo)
- Church of San Niccolò at the top of the town, housing Luca Signorelli’s marvellous “annunciation” of the Holy Virgin
- “Le Celle“, a charming and unspoilt Franciscan monastery (behind Cortona) founded by Saint Frances himself in 1211
- Via Crucis, a steep, but beautiful footpath featuring Gino Severini’s 12 stations of the Holy Cross in futuristic mosaics, culminating at “Santa Margherita”
- “Santa Margherita” the convent and sanctuary of Saint Margaret of Cortona (where her 800-year old body lies intact in a glass case behind the altar)
- “Il Parterre” a kilometer-long promenade (for pedestrians only) with spectacular views of the Chiana valley below
- “Girifalco” a Medici Fortress, above the Sanctuary of Saint Margaret of Cortona (open from 10 am to 6pm)
- Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio (on the hillside below Cortona) designed by Giorgio di Martino
- the Etruscan necropolis and temple foundations recently unearthed at Sodo (in the valley immediately below Cortona)
MAEC – The Etruscan Museum of Cortona
MAEC – The Etruscan Museum of Cortona, located in Palazzo Casali, Piazza Signorelli.
The Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona is an absolute must-see. This museum gathers into a single entity the historic Etruscan Academy Museum and the Museum of the Etruscan and Roman City of Cortona. The museum is housed in Palazzo Casali (one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful civic buildings) where an exhibiting space of over 6500 square feet accommodates some of the most extraordinary jewellery, sculpture and artefacts produced by the Etruscan civilisation.
The upper floors of the museum house the older collections of the Etruscan Academy that trace back the history of Etruscology and the art of collecting to their very roots in the 18th and 19th century and feature masterpieces including the exceptional Etruscan Lamp, a stunning collection of small bronzes, the Egyptian section and an 18th century library.
On the lower floors a rich exhibition of Etruscan and Roman finds housed in the newer exhibiting spaces guide the visitor through the history of the Etruscan and Roman settlements of the territory: the bronze masterpieces from Trestina and Fabrecce, the funerary equipment from the archaic burial mounds in the Cortona plains, the celebrated Tabula Cortonensis and the materials from the Roman villa in Ossaia.
The newly refurbished and redesigned MAEC museum of Cortona also acts as reception and information point for tourists wishing to visit the city’s budding Archaeological Park and its 11 archaeological sites scattered around the Cortona countryside, including the 2nd “Tumulus” (burial mound) of Sodo, an imposing, multi-chambered tomb reserved for Etruscan noblemen (6th century B.C.) which features a monumental stone stairway decorated with large sculptural groups.
1 April – 31 October
Open everyday from 10 am to 7 pm
1 November – 31 March
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5pm
Closed on 25 December.