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by Laura Gremoli

The Cortona Tourist Guide project was conceived by Laura Gremoli, tourist guide for Tuscany and surroundings as well as tour leader, graduated in art history and with a decade of experience in the field of tourism and cultural heritage management.

Cortona Tourist Guide offers guided tours of the most fascinating and historically rich places in Tuscany and Umbria, accompanying individuals, couples, families and groups in Cortona and other major cities and picturesque villages in the surrounding areas such as Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Lucignano, Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza and Castiglione del Lago.

You will benefit so much more by visiting these beautiful places accompanied by a licensed tourist guide who will ensure that you don’t miss out on seeing the most interesting monuments and the hidden and secret places.

Guided Tours

Cortona Tourist Guides organizes guided tours to the famous art cities of Tuscany, like Arezzo, Siena, Cortona and to the most beautiful places in Valdichiana such as the towns of Montepulciano, Chiusi, Lucignano, Castiglion Fiorentino, Foiano, Monte San Savino and the Gargonza Castle.

Cortona Tourist Guide arranges guided tours in Val d'Orcia, in the towns of Pienza (famous for its pecorino cheese) and Montalcino (renowned for its Brunello wine).

We will accompany you also in visiting the ancient villages of Umbria, such as Castiglione del Lago, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Città della Pieve - the birthplace of the great artist Perugino - and the islands of Lake Trasimeno (Isola Maggiore, famous for their handmade lace making, Isola Minore and Isola Polvese).

Please see below some example trips:

Guided tour of Cortona

Strolling through its quaint medieval streets, we will admire beautiful old churches such as the Sanctuary of St. Margaret, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, the medieval church of St. Francis, the second church built by the Franciscan order after Assisi, the Cathedral of Cortona dedicated to St. Mary and the elegant Renaissance palaces of the old town. A visit to Le Celle is not to be missed. The sanctuary gives you the feeling of peace and tranquility as soon as you enter. Here you will have the opportunity of seeing St.Frances’s cell where he slept during the 1200’s. The guided tour of Cortona will continue in the two museums, the MAEC (Museum of the Etruscan city of Cortona), which houses the famous Etruscan chandelier and the Tabula Cortonensis, and in the Diocesan Museum, with the wonderful painting of the Annunciation by Frà Angelico and the vibrant works by Luca Signorelli. In the centre of Cortona, there are several artisans who are still making their products using antique methods. For example, a visit to a laboratory is always an interesting way of seeing how these wonderful objects are made.

In the countryside, just outside the cyclopean Etruscan walls surrounding the old town, it is possible to visit the two impressive Etruscan burial mounds of the Archaeological Park of Cortona called Melone I and Melone II (due to their spherical shape) and the amazing Roman Villa of Ossaia. On request, you could also visit the ancient Romanesque Abbey of Farneta, with its Paleontological Museum (MO.PA) and the Paleontological trekking path of Farneta.

For lovers of hiking and biking, there are numerous guided tours where you can experience the stunning natural scenery of Tuscany and Umbria, along the Path of the Reclaimed Land of the Chiana Valley and through the Path of the Etruscans Principes of Sodo. Moreover, you can walk along the trekking trails in the mountains of Cortona following the ancient Roman roads, enjoying wonderful natural scenery and admiring the landscape, full of history, art and nature, almost untouched. The trekking routes can be combined with tastings of excellent D.O.C wines, such as the famous Syrah of Cortona, the Nobile of Montepulciano, the Brunello of  Montalcino and  a tasting of extra virgin olive oil made in either Tuscany or Umbria, as well as the many typical products of our territory, first of all Pienza’s Pecorino cheese.

Meeting place: the classic Cortona tour starts from Piazza della Repubblica, in front of the City Hall staircase.
Duration of the tour: 3 hours (half day) or 6 hours (full day).

Guided tour of Castiglione del Lago

The ancient town of Castiglione del Lago is entirely surrounded by its’ medieval walls and is situated on a promontory that overlooks the Lake Trasimeno.
During the guided tour of Castiglione del Lago you will admire the majestic medieval fortress, with its’ old Mastio that rises 30 meters high and the Palazzo della Corgna which is completely frescoed and dates back to the sixteenth century, We will stop to visit the baroque Church of St. Dominic and the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, dating from the nineteenth century, where you will see the valuable paintings of the previous Romanesque church. There is an extremely pleasant walk along the scenic path around the walls of the village, Poggio Olivato.

Meeting place: the tour of Castiglione del Lago starts from Porta Senese, an old gate on the city walls.
Duration of the tour: 3 hours (half day).

Guided tour of Arezzo

Arezzo, already famous in Etruscan times, is the birthplace of the famous painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, who designed the elegant Logge, located in the charming Piazza Grande where the famous Saracen’s Joust (Giostra del Saracino) is held annually.

For those who love antiques and vintage jewelry, glass and china etc, the Antiques Market in Arezzo on the first Sunday of each month and Saturday previous, is not to be missed. The market brings a special atmosphere to the town and a quick stop at Caffé dei Costanti is a must! For those who enjoy shopping, Arezzo is full of fabulous clothes, shoes and jewelry shops.

On the cultural side, we will also visit the ancient church of St. Dominic which houses one of the absolute masterworks of the Middle Ages, the celebrated wooden painted crucifix by Cimabue. The church of St. Francis boasts the unforgettable frescoes of the Story of the True Cross, painted by one of the greatest masters of the Italian Renaissance, Piero della Francesca. Then we will visit the baptismal church of Santa Maria, one of the oldest churches in the city, and the impressive Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Peter and Donatus, built in Gothic style, with its splendid stained glass windows by the master glassworker Guillame the Marcillat and the famous Chapel dedicated to the Madonna del Conforto.

Meeting place: the classic Arezzo tour starts in front of the medieval church of St. Dominic.
Duration of the tour: 3 hours (half day) or 6 hours (full day).

On request we can also organize personalized guided tours where you can discover the wonders of the Casentino and the Tiber Valley, places rich in spirituality and mysticism such as the Hermitage, the Monastery of Camaldoli and the Sanctuary of La Verna, the medieval Castle of Poppi, the city of Sansepolcro, birthplace of Piero della Francesca, Anghiari, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and the town of Monterchi, which preserves the marvelous Madonna del Parto by Piero della Francesca.

Special tours for families, schools and students

For many years, Laura, in collaboration with her team, has organized guided tours for schools, educational activities and workshops for children, school children of all levels and accompanies them to discover museums, churches and monuments in the cities where she lives and works, conveying to them her great passion for art and history and using games and other fun activities so they will learn whilst having fun.

Italian Language Courses for Foreigners

A great way to integrate with the locals is to be able to communicate with them so why not take Italian lessons during your stay in Italy, with personalized courses for individuals or groups? With many years of experience in teaching Italian to foreigners, Laura organizes personalized courses of Italian , taking you step by step in whichever program you choose.

For further information regarding the guided tours in Tuscany and Umbria, Cortona and its surroundings, personalized itineraries, Italian Language courses and prices, please send an e-mail to: info@cortonatouristguide.com, or call either number + 39 349 4949604 (mob.) + 39 0575 604589 (landline).

Cost may vary according to the number of persons, duration of the visit and the type of tour chosen. We propose special offers for those who book tours lasting several days.

The website of Cortona Tourist Guide is under construction.
Please come back and visit us in a few months when our beautiful new site will be on-line.