Older than rome, older even than troy, cortona’s true origin is lost to history.
As we learn more about Cortona Italy, from the old legends and stories told by our local friends, over a glass of wine after sunset, we are struck by the ancientness of this beautiful hilltown.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) in creating a topographical sketch of the area used the spelling Chortona. Roughly two thousand years before Leonardo, the Greeks had called this town Croton. From Rome, centuries later, Virgil (70 – 19 B.C.) called it Corytus, declaring that it was founded by the mythical Dardanus. Legend and fact mingle in speculation that Cortona may have been Europe’s “first city”.
Known to have been a city of the ancient Etruscan civilization, then of the Roman Empire, it is one of the best preserved historical centers in Italy and has become a center of art and a haven of the intelligentsia.
After exploring and researching many regions of Italy, Cortona always remains our favorite place, providing an unlimited source of inspiration and diverse subjects for many types of photography. Nestled in the palm of the mountain, the hilltown of Cortona flows and spreads harmonically down, surrounded by ancient walls and topped by the Medieval Fortress, renovated by the Medici.
Situated on a buttress of Mount Sant-Egidio, encircled by ancient ramparts and dominated by a massive citadel, the city looks down across rolling hills and the plain of Valdichiana, and Lake Trasimeno. The landscape is that of Tuscany, a fusion of architectural art and nature creating a visually exciting harmonious whole.
In Cortona Medieval and Renaissance architecture overlook climbing stone streets and narrow passageways that open suddenly upon wide panoramas from the mountains height or into the activity of the town center.
The city’s soul is ancient, its ghosts echo the past. Fra Angelico, the Medici, Saint Francis, Luca Signorelli, Giorgio Vasari, Saint Margaret and Gino Severini all left their mark. Proud in its history, Cortona has become a city rich in contemporary thought and culture. A veneration of the creative spirit continues.