Cortona is nestled on a hill at an altitude of nearly 500 mt AMSL. It is one of the most appreciated towns by tourists from all over the world. Originally a powerful Etruscan lucumonia (a religious town), its hilly location allows enjoying a spectacular view of the Valdichiana Valley.
After the Etruscan times, Cortona was conquered by the Romans and Goths before becoming a free commune in the 12th century when it enjoyed a period of notable splendor.
In the heart of Cortona the central square, Piazza della Repubblica, and Palazzo Pretorio, the current seat of the MAEC Etruscan Museum, preserving the famous Bronze Lamp dating back to the 5th century B.C., certainly deserve a visit. The Diocesan Museum is also not to be missed, as it contains the "Annunciation" by Fra Angelico and works by other major Tuscan artists, including Luca Signorelli, who was born in Cortona.
Other beautiful churches to see are the Gothic Church of San Francesco and the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita, which preserves the body of the saint who died in 1362. From the Medici Fortress one can enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape and the North-East area of Cortona. Right outside the town walls you can visit Hermitage Le Celle, which was founded by Saint Francis in 1211.
Among the folklore events not to miss we find the Archidado, a cross-bow shooting contest taking place on the second weekend of June; Cortonantiquaria, an important antique fair (between the end of August and early September); Cortona On The Move, an international photography festival (between July and September).