Thursday, August 4, 2016

Italian Vacation: Cortona

After settling in on Saturday afternoon and having our first amazing meal in Italy, I crashed that night, but was pleased that that was the extent of my jet lag. Go, melatonin! 

Sunday we opted for something low-key (we thought) and drove into nearby Cortona to ramble around. The mood was definitely low-key, but the hills of Cortona were not. Getting around felt like a boot camp workout—even to those of us who exercise. Thankfully, it was a mild day weather-wise and a perfect introduction to this marvelous Tuscan town. My biggest regret was not going back for another day- there was still so much to see.

Just two examples of what we were up against. No wonder Italians can eat so much pasta and stay skinny- it's all the walking.

View of the surrounding neighborhoods and into the valley. 

The local cemetery, which is largely aboveground with elaborate tombs and family mausoleums. An aside- we parked outside the cemetery and this photo is taken from Cortona's city wall. No exaggeration on the amount of climbing we did that day! 

The Duomo (or Cathedral) was created in the 15th and 16th century and is built on top of a Roman temple. It's exterior is quite plain, but once inside the main and side altars with their statuary, paintings and frescos are quite ornate.

The main altar

Side altars

Aside from the Duomo, we spent most of the day wandering, discovering delicious gelato, a park filled with families enjoying their Sunday, and view after view from the town's walls. I'll leave you with this one.

Next stop: Siena

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