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Cortona, Etruscan historical city

Any tourist on holiday in Tuscany should not miss the chance of exploring the area around Arezzo. From Hotel Badia di Campoleone you can organise an interesting tour of Tuscany, including the nearby, splendid Etruscan town of Cortona, famous throughout the world for its art, history and antiques, a city with a wealth of possibilities for lovers of culture, history, art and nature.

Virgil wrote that Cortona was founded by the legendary Dardanus, whose helmet Corys, lost in battle, gave Cortona its name. History, however, relates that Cortona was founded by the Umbrians more than 3000 years ago and became an important Etruscan centre called Curtum in the eighth century BC. It passed successively under the dominion of the Romans and the Goths before becoming a free commune in the twelfth century, later ceded to the Republic of Florence.

Cortona, a true jewel of Etruscan and medieval art enclosed by Etruscan and Roman walls, is characterised by narrow streets and breathtaking views, and has impressive medieval buildings, such as Palazzo del Comune and Palazzo Casali, home to the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the town of Cortona (MAEC), with its treasures from the Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian, medieval and modern periods. A tour of the churches is an absolute must: the Cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Margherita and, not far outside the walls of the town, the beautiful Le Celle convent, where St. Francis lived. In the valley below, the Archaeological Park contains numerous Etruscan tombs of rare beauty and great archaeological importance.

Cortona is a lively town from the cultural point of view: it holds the annual Tuscan Sun Festival, a programme of internationally acclaimed classical music concerts; the "Archidado" medieval crossbow tournament; the annual Cortona Antiquaria, a national antique furniture exhibition and fair, and dozens of festivals celebrating local dishes and fine local wines.

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