Enjoy the view from Casale Fonteluccia
- a typical Tuscan view of the rolling hills dotted with olive trees and stone built houses.
Ask the owner to prepare the barbecue for you.
He has a special knack for doing it and comes highly recommended by previous clients.
You can walk into Cortona from Fonteluccia
if you don't mind a walk up hill (down on the way back though!). It is along a small country road so be aware of the odd car but you do end up at one of the old gateways into Cortona.
Another beautiful walk to take is to follow the old Roman road called Strada Basolata
which starts from the Chiesa del Torreone (at the top of Cortona) and climbs up towards il Monte S.Egigio, following the ridge of the mountain/hill. Fantastic views!
The weekly open-air market is part of Italian life.
Stalls laden with produce, scents and smells filling the air, and a crowd of Italians - finish the morning's shopping with a coffee in a bar. Go to Camucia on Tuesday morning, and Cortona on Saturday morning.
A different type of market in nearby Arezzo
can be experienced on the first Sunday of every month. It is a famous antique fair with dealers coming from all over Italy to attend. See if you can find a bargain!
If you are staying at Casale Fonteluccia during August, you will be able to experience the Tuscan Sun Festival
which takes place in Cortona the middle two weeks. Concerts, art exhibitions, literature readings go on in the various churches and theatres.
If you have read the books 'Under the Tuscan Sun' and 'Bella Tuscany',
take them with you and see the places mentioned in the books come alive for you - much of the content of the novels is set around Cortona.
On 15th August,
the people of Cortona celebrate the Sagra della Bistecca - in the parks of Cortona, people cook the famous steak 'vitello chianino cotta sulla brace'.
A 'must do' on anyone's list is to experience the 'passeggiata'.
No, it is not an Italian dance. In any town or large village, especially on a weekend or holiday, the inhabitants of the town will congregate in the main square in the early evening, to have a stroll around, talk to their friends, have an aperitif or ice cream, before dispersing for dinner. It is the perfect time to people watch!
Head down to the lake.
Lago Trasimeno is at the centre of Italy and the Umbrian version of the sea! Go to Castiglione del Lago for a wander around, a fish lunch and then a paddle in the lake. If you are there between 24 and 30 July, you will see the Palio of the Boats - a big boat race on the lake.
Drive into the hills behind Cortona.
From Fonteluccia, head back to Cortona and turn left, following the road uphill and towards Citta di Castello. After about 10km follow signs to Monte Ginezzo. A far-reaching view awaits you at the top, from the Valdichina to the Valle del Tevere.
Take a Cruise
on Lake Trasimeno. There are half day and full day excursions stopping off at the islands and with the opportunity for a swim, with perhaps lunch on board. Or for some unforgettable sunset views, join an evening cruise. (Boats generally go from Castiglione del Lago, Passignano or Tuoro.)
Enjoy the Giostra del Saracino which takes place in the Piazza Grande in Arezzo in June
and September. People from the town dress up in medieval costumes and parade through the town. It ends with a jousting competition.
Shop at the market for some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, salami, and bread
and then come home to have a leisurely al fresco lunch, followed by a siesta.
For a special occasion,
book a table at the Relais Il Falconiere. On the same side of Cortona, you will see signs for it. A beautiful setting, a beautiful restaurant and of course, great food.
Take the train to Rome or Florence.
Leave your car at the station in Camucia (the town below Cortona). Trains are fast (about an hour to Florence) and frequent. Great views over the Tuscan countryside and you avoid the nightmare of city driving (and parking!).
Simply do nothing but relax by the pool and soak up the view.
La Valle nature reserve
Visit La Valle nature reserve on the banks of Lake Trasimeno www.oasinaturalisticlavalle.it The visitor centre offers guided tours (walking and by boat) allowing you to discover this wonderful reserve. Spot the herons, reed warblers, egrets and little bitterns amongst a huge variety of birds. A relaxing day out.
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