Local Information – Vacation Planner

We are ideally located for visiting Tuscany and Umbria. Renting a car or driver is recommended.  We hope you find this list and the links provided useful to plan and enjoy your stay with us.

DRIVING TIMES; TRANSPORT INFO; PLACES TO VISIT; LOCAL RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS; SHOPPING; OTHER ACTIVITIES; OTHER INFO; EVENTS & FESTIVALS

DRIVING TIMES

·         Cortona: 10 minutes
·         Lake Trasimeno: 15 minutes
·         Rapolano Spa baths: 30 minutes
·         Montepulciano, Arezzo, Perugia: 30 minutes
·         The Chianti region: 45 minutes
·         Siena, Assisi, Montalcino: 45 minutes
·         Florence, Orvieto: 1 hour
·         San Gimignano: 1.5 hours
·         Pisa, Lucca: 2 hours
·         Rome: 2.5 hours

TRANSPORT INFO

·         Train station: Terontola-Cortona: 15 minutes
·         Motorway: A1 Valdichiana exit: 20 minutes
·         Airports: Perugia 45 minutes
·         Airports: Florence 1.5 hours
·         Airports: Rome, Pisa, Bologna, < 3 hours
·         Ferries: Civitavecchia < 2.5 hours

PLACES TO VISIT

(closest first)

  • Cortona (10 mins) Etruscan walled medieval hill town perched majestically on the slopes of Monte Egidio
  • Lake Trasimeno (15mins) Fourth largest lake in Italy. Great day out. Pretty towns all around with cafes, beaches, boating tours to the islands; the best beach is probably at Tuoro lakeside
  • Castiglione Del Lago  (15mins) Picturesque hill town overlooking the lake
  • Passignano Sul Trasimeno (25mins) Lakeside town for passeggiata and good restaurants.
  • Arezzo (30mins) Provincial capital; best accessed by train; charming medieval centre; many antique shops; fine frescoes of Piero della Francesca; home of Giorgio Vasari.
  • Montepulciano (30mins) One of the best-preserved hill towns of Italy. Wine & Cooking of this town are world famous.  Much to see.  Great visit. Taste the Vino Nobile wine
  • Pienza (45mins) Overlooks the Val D’Orcia; birthplace of Pope Pius II Piccolomini who tried to create a utopian town. Many fine buildings; English Patient was filmed here; good boutiques and cheese shops.    Montalcino (1hr) Medieval settlement, enchanting landscape. famous for Brunello wine.
  • Rapolano or Bagno Vignoni Ancient thermal towns with public thermal pools where you can enjoy the naturally warm magnesium and calcareous water.
  • Monte Oliveto Maggiore (45mins)  BenedictineAbbey of the 14th Century; frescoes by Il Sodoma & Signorelli on the walls of the large cloister. spectacular eroding Crete Senese landscape.
  • Siena (45mins) Exquisite Gothic walled city, perfectly preserved since it was never damaged in the WWII. Small, manageable and pedestrian; Duomo cathedral – in library frescoes by Pinturicchio. Campo Square is the place to have coffee and people watch and imagine the Palio race taking place.  Parking in Siena: the best place for 95% occasions is the Fortezza or Stadio – there is nearly always a space. Also other designated parking places e.g. Parking S.Caterina is good, but it is not easy to find street parking.  Beware of illegal parking.
  • Florence (1hr by car) for parking head to the Belvedere, Piazza Michelangelo spectacular view overlooking Firenze and the Arno. From there you can easily walk down the steps into the city, or get a taxi. Central Florence itself is hard to park in. We recommend to go by train from Cortona; you can leave the car at the station and come back to it in the evening; less stressful and tiring in our opinion.
  • Other delightful tuscan towns – San Gimignano, Volterra, Pisa, Lucca
  • Other delightful umbrian towns – Assisi, Gubbio, Spoleto, Orvieto

LOCAL RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS

·         Montanare and Pergo – Andry’s & Il Passaggio – cappuccino, espresso, gelato, beer, int.newspapers.
·         Camucia and Cortona- Vannelli, Il Tuscher, Banchelli …
·         Locanda del Molino; Loc Montanare; Tel 0575 614192/614054, Walking distance
·         L’Oasi Pizzeria: Pergo, Tel 0575 614424, Walking distance, Eat in or take-out pizza.
·         La Corte dei Papi; Pergo, Tel 0575 614109, walking distance – just beyond the pizzeria
·         Tuscher; Via Nazionale, Cortona; Tel 0575 62053 great place for an aperitif & light lunches
·         Locanda del Loggiato; Piazza di Pescheria, Cortona; Tel 0575 630575
·         Trattoria La Grotta; Piazza Bardelli 3 (P. della Republica), Cortona; Tel:0575 630271
·         Da Tonino; 1 Piazza Garibaldi, Cortona; Tel:0575 630500/630333
·         La Bucaccia; Via Ghibellina, Cortona 17, Tel 0575 606039
·         Osteria del Teatro; via Maffei 5, Cortona; Tel 0575630556
·         La Tufa; 67 Loc Ossaia, Tel 0575 677717 (caters to gluten free needs)
·         Il Falconiere; Loc S.Martino, Tel 0575 612679, Michelin star restaurant & winery
·         Fufluns; Via Ghibellina 3, Cortona; Tel 0575 604140
·         Lo Scoiattolo; Loc Gosparini, Tuoro s. Trasimeno ; Tel: 075 844119, Views of Lake.

SHOPPING

·         Hours: – Morning 9.00-13.00 and afternoon 16.00-20.00;  Monday-Saturday
·         Outlet:- Valdichiana:- Open 10.00-20.00; Monday-Sunday
·         Local food market: – Despar in Pergo (Mon – Sat 8.00-13.00 and 16.00-20.00; Sun 9.00-13.00)
·         Supermarket: – Coop in Camucia (Mon – Sat 8.30-19.30; Sun 9.00-13.00)
·         Cortona Farmers’ Market:  8.30am-1.00pm                Saturdays
·         Camucia Farmers’ Market:  8.30am-1.00pm               Thursdays
·         Siena Market (no food):  8.30am-1.00pm                   Wednesdays

OTHER ACTIVITIES

·         Museums: – Etruscan and Diocesan (world renowned) in Cortona
·         Wineries: – Avignonesi, D’Alessandro, Brolio, Arceno, Redi, La Fortezza, Barbi, Fonterutoli
·         Thermal Spa baths: – Rapolano, Bagno Vignoni or Chianciano Terme
·         Golf: Valdichiana 20 minutes
·         Beach: Castiglione della Pescaia 2 hours
·         Ski: Abetone 3 hours
·         Other Activities: – cooks, chefs, horse riding, tennis, mountain biking – ask for info.

OTHER INFO

·         Parking: – white lined spaces are free, blue lines pay at machine, yellow lines are for residents only
·         Banks: – 8.30-12.30am & 2.30-3.30pm Mon to Fri. Most have cash machines
·         Credit Cards: – Most shops take them, even the Despar in Pergo.
·         Petrol & Garages: – Camucia has Esso, Agip, Tamoil, Shell
·         Pharmacy: – At the mini round about in Camucia  and on via Nazionale in Cortona
·         Post Office: – At the end of the lane in Montanare open 8.30-12.30 Mon-Sat

EVENTS & FESTIVALS,h4>
Month             Location          Event
May               Cortona           Giostra del Archidado
May               Assisi            Calendimaggio
May               Gubbio            Corsa dei Ceri
June              Bevagna          Mercato delle Gaite
June              Orvieto           Corpus Domini
June/July         Spoleto           Fest. due Mondi
July              Perugia           Umbria Jazz
July              Siena             Palio di Siena
August            Cortona           Music festival
August            Siena             Palio di Siena
All summer      Cast. D. Lago  Antique market
All summer      Arezzo            Antique market
All summer      Perugia           Antique market
September       Cortona           Antiques fair
September       Foligno           Giostra Quintana

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