Herman & Judy Paris2Rome travel blog

Hello Cortona

Good excersize-Cortona style

Town hall Cortona

Church just outside of the wall-Cortona

B&B Rugapiana-Cortona

Our lovely room in Cortona

The view goes on forever-Cortona

Friday 28th September 2007 Weather: - Raining

(J) Our beautiful little Clio was towed away today-----and us with it-----to Florence. We were packed and ready to drive to Cortona at 10am this morning but as half expected the car would not start. After another 2 phone calls to France and a couple of hours passing, a tow truck with a gentle Italian driver came to pick us up. The idea was to take us and our luggage to a Renault dealer in Florence where the Clio would be left, a taxi called for us, then we would be transported to a rental car place, furnished with another car and we would be on our way. All went well until after driving around Florence for a while we realised that the driver was lost. Herman brought out Tom-Tom but it did not recognize the dealership address either (We suspect a misspelling of the street name). The tow truck driver gave Herman another street name and Tom-Tom took us there. It was the address of the car hire company. Finally at 3 pm we were on the road again, this time in a little 'Fiat Punto' it does not have all the bells and whistles that the Clio does but it does have one advantage (we hope) and that is that it starts when asked to.

We finally arrived in Cortona and our B&B at 5pm. We had found a parking place (outside the town walls, no parking allowed in the town) it was a little bit further away than we hoped for but we did not want to chance driving to the next car park as we had enough experience in San Gimignano and other places---free car parks, or any car parks are not to be sneezed at. The approach to Cortona is magical, the town lays 5oo metres up a mountain, it is a town with Etruscan beginnings, the city walls were built in that time and from those walls it affords the most majestic views of the country side between Lake Trasimeno and the Apennines. The drag up the hill from the car park with our bags was immense, up a steep hill all the way, but we are conditioned now; our earlier experiences have made us into mountain goats or should I say donkeys? The good thing is that our 3 hotels are all on the same level and all about 5 min walk away from each other.

Settling in did not take long as unpacking is obviously not needed, our room is charming, very romantic with its' four poster bed and everything in it is 'just right' there is even a coffee machine supplied. The Piazza Signorelli and the Piazza Repubblica are less than 5 min walk away and we have already sat on the 'town square' steps (Piazza Repubblica) and pretended that Andre' Rieu was in full flight with his orchestra. The Piazza Repubblica is also the main drag of the 'passigata' as we saw that the locals were all out and about tonight. So after all the drama of the last few days a relaxing drink was in order and that was had in a little bar that belongs to the Theatre Signorelli. There we sat overlooking that square and the clock tower that we have watched so many times on our TV at home (Andre' Rieu in Cortona, DVD). There is a crazy Italian opera in the theatre tomorrow night; hopefully we will be able to get some tickets.

Our early view of Cortona is that it is an enchanting town, as said before; it is build on top of a hill that is framed with even bigger tree covered hills that serve as a theatre tic back drop for the drive up to it. The little narrow streets are lined with eateries, art galleries, leather bag and souvenir shops, all sorts but it is all done very tastefully. There will be plenty of exercise done in the next two days exploring the place. We have enjoyed a very nice meal in the Piazza Signorelli tonight so a good nights' sleep is next on the agenda. Goodnight to all.

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