Villa di Piazzano, an oasis of grace

At the end of the Val D’Esse, nestled under the hill separating Tuoro and Lake Trasimeno from the countryside below Cortona sits the tiny hamlet of Piazzano.  Just inside the border of Umbria, it is surrounded by farmland, olive terraces and woodland.  This ancient area may have gotten its name during the famous battle between the Carthaginian general Hannibal and Roman consul Gaius Flaminius in 217 B.C.E. when it is thought the Roman contingent set up a military camp there with a “piazza d’armi” or a parade ground.

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The Centro Volo Serristori

Driving across the flat plain which stretches between Castiglion Fiorentino and Marciano with its fields and sparsely scattered farmhouses, we come across a vast, open stretch of land, eleven hectares in all, home to the Centro Volo Serristori. Here all manner of light aircraft can be seen coming and going, particularly on the weekends – ultralights and small touring planes such as Pipers and Cessna.

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The Medici Fortress of the Girifalco

There has probably been a fortress on the hilltop overlooking Cortona since the 5th or 6th century BC, when the original Etruscan walls followed a course which roughly corresponds to the existing perimeter walls of today. However the first historical records describing a ‘strong and beautiful fortress’ date back to 1258 AD. Having been plundered and sacked several times during the wars with Arezzo it was sold to the Florentine Republic in 1411, together with the entire city of Cortona, although reconstruction work only began in 1527.

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Barbabì

The house and lands of Fontelunga have been in Lucia Catani’s family for more than two centuries, with a part of the house itself dating to 1491. From the moment the Catani family purchased the property at the end of the seventeenth century, “every member of my family was born and grew up here”, says Lucia.

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DelBrenna

The Piazza collection grew naturally out an emotion:  Sebastian and Megan remained astonished by the hollow silence that fell over the piazzas and streets of their town during the worst of the pandemic, so when life began to trickle back into the open air this spring, they realized just how important the social contact of these gathering places is, and the essential vitality it lends to the community. This new collection is based on that idea – the lively conviviality, light-heartedness and sense of belonging that the piazza filled with neighbors and visitors enjoys.

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Sentinel on the summer: Torrita di Siena

Torrita, once called “Turrita”, is first mentioned in a document dated 1037 where it is listed as the property of the Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Antimo near Montalcino.  As a fortified town with a surrounding wall and four towers, it later served as a military outpost for the defense of Siena’s border with neighboring Montepulciano.  Later still, the town held Florentine ambitions at bay until it finally fell to the imperial forces of Charles the First in 1554 and the entire area passed into the Florentine Grand duchy.

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Cortona, a star in the hills

Since this February, the Etruscan city has featured a new high-speed connection with the large cities of Northern Italy.  The “Frecciarossa” train allows one to move between Milan and our train station in three hours and this will make visiting the city’s splendors even easier and more comfortable. The health situation is still in a difficult moment, but the city administration, together with cultural and tourism operators, has prepared a program of events to be held with complete safety in mind.  There are also a series of packages that foresee the possibility to “find refuge” together with family members in one of the fine accommodation facilities in the area.  Cortona is a small center, with a big heart and with a vast and varied territory – from mountains to gentle hills, down to the valley where some of the most interesting gastronomic wonders of Tuscany are produced.  Already, starting this Spring, in accordance with actual health conditions, exhibitions will be prepared, and the first events of the season brought into being.  The idea of choosing Cortona for your “safe harbor” away from life in the big cities is beginning to gain ground as a lifestyle choice post-Covid 19.  Already a significant number of professional people have decided to spend a part of their time here, as they continue remote working.

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Recent Editorials

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The Valley of Piero and Raphael

The Valle Museo [Valley of the Musems] comes closer. What is meant by this expression? Is it said that it was coined a few good decades ago by the Castello gallery owner Luigi Amedei and then became an effective (if abused) synthesis for interregional tourism and cultural policies between Città di Castello and Sansepolcro.
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Borgo di Celle, enchantment in the green

The restaurant is open every day and always offers an à la carte menu. The chef provides classic Umbrian cuisine using only the best fresh seasonal products, carefully selected and of the highest quality. Each dish is beautifully prepared and designed to bring out local aromas and flavours – brilliantly accompanied by an impressive wine list, drawn up by professional sommeliers.