Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cortona

Cortona is the hill town made famous, well, somewhat famous, in Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun. We had both read the book--a very decent exercise in creative non-fiction--and seen the movie, which bore only the least passing similarity to the book. Anyhow, from Assisi we drove up to Cortona, passing from beautiful Umbria to beautiful Tuscany, hoping to take in some of the extolled Tuscan sun, atmosphere, ambience, etc. Alas, the parking situation at Cortona is dreadful. There were a dozen or more spaces alloted for campers, but nearly all were filled with tiny little local sedans. Even the bus parking lot was grid-locked. There really wasn't anything in Cortona on our must-see list, so we drove down the hill a bit, parked at a turn-out, and I hiked back up to see the one thing of interest, namely, the Etruscan gates. Probably not worth the hike.

Downtown Cortona from uptown














Tuscan countryside, and a finger of Lake Trasimeno















Gridlock; and the car parking was worse















The Etruscan Gates















My sentiment exactly; we drove on to Arezzo

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