We are tired of 300KM days so we just plan to explore Cortona today and do some wash. We sleep in despite the fact that the man in one of the other houses is up mowing the grass at 6:00AM! We have breakfast and putter around the house. About noon, we head down the mountain.... love the road!....
and park on the road by the Porta Colonia gate into the walls of Cortona.
Cortona is a good-sized village. There are all kinds of little shops on the two main streets, Via Dardano and Via Nationale with several butcher shops, a green grocery, bread shops, wine shops, small clothing shops and many cafes and restaurants.There are tourists wandering around, but mainly the locals are out and about. One old woman is giving the grocer “old billy” about his produce and he is trying to please her by finding his best tomatoes!Dick takes many pictures of the quaint alleyways,some with fabulous views out over the countryside. Carolyn spends some time in a couple of very nice dress shops of local designers. Italian women are some of the best dressed in the world and it is a pure pleasure to look at the clothing. We visit a couple of art galleries and buy three small watercolors by a local artist. The shopping streets lead us to the Piazza della Republica, the main plaza with the town council building and the clock tower.Again, all the streets are either uphill or downhill and paved in cobblestones so we do not last long walking. We do walk up to Piazza Garibaldi and enjoy the nice view.After about two hours, we head back to the car. Now off our feet we explore Santa Neuvo, a fifteenth-century church built in the Greek style.We then drive to the top of the wall and check out Santa Margherita, a convent and sanctuary of Saint Margaret of Cortona, where her 800-year-old body lies intact in a glass case behind the altar and the Medici Fortress of Girifalco. They are both closed for the mid day break so we head on back to the house.
The people who came to their “villa” Friday night have gone so we have the village all to ourselves again. We spend the rest of the afternoon and early evening out in the yard reading, enjoying the views and cooking a steak for dinner.