Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Italy part 2 - Cortona & surrounding area

July 26 - 31

On Tuesday Shaun had organised a 5.5 hour speed train from Rome to Camucia which is 10 minutes from Cortona. As the train ride progressed we started to notice stunning countrysides with loads of farmlands (hay, corn, sun flower) interspersed with vineyards, olive groves, cyprus trees and stone buildings. I’m in love.

We arrived into Camucia, which is a quiet town. The train station is small with a lovely little café. When we walked outside we didn’t see the taxi stand so Shaun and Jordan headed out to see what they could find. 2.5 KM’s later they found a rental car and came back to pick Paige and I up. We drove the 10 minutes to Cortona which is located up on the hill (where the book and movie Under the Tuscan Sun were written and filmed). What a scenic location with exquisite views into the valley. We found a parking spot and walked up to be greeted by striking stone buildings, cobble stone/brick streets. It is a walled city and only locals are allowed to drive inside. Inside there are traffic limito signs and cameras throughout the city and unsuspecting people get dinged fines, so beware. 

As we walked into the village we walked through a quiet tree lined park with a fountain and a play park. As we continued along we meandered past cafés, shops and alleyways. We arrived into the centre where there are steps up to a museum. Our hotel (Hotel Italia) is located down a narrow street not far from the town centre and used to be a palace. We had to book two rooms as they did not have any rooms that could accommodate 4 people. It worked out well. The girls room had excellent wifi but a non functional TV. Our room had the old world charm and we really enjoyed the quiet.

Breakfast was included every morning and included a spectacular view of the surrounding valley. The valley reminded us of the valley in Chilliwack, BC. 

centre clock tower
our hotel
map of Cortona

view into the valley at breakfast

on the stairs of the clock tower

narrow streets 

beautiful views

neat doors 
lovely park with a fountain

learning to play this instrument

centre of the village

our street
our hotel reception

We took a road trip to see a couple of the other villages. On our drive we definitely got to enjoy the tuscan countryside as we drove through the national park. I fell in love with the sun flower fields, hay fields, vineyards and olive groves. I could see myself growing old while tending to an olive grove or a sunflower field.

Our first stop was to find a cash machine that allowed us to pull money as the one in Cortona wouldn't allow us to pull money. It was lunch time so we decided to grab a meal at a local restaurant. Our next stop was a village I can not remember the name. It was stunning with narrow streets and a plethora of wine shops.

sun flowers my favourite

Paige's awesome meal
scenic fields


At our final stop we walked through a lovely tuscan village with stunning views. We stopped for gelato before continuing through the streets.

yes, I could live here

tea anyone..... the dwarfs are friendly

the local hospital

a back garden
On our drive back to Cortona we stopped and too some pictures of the lovely vineyards along the way. We also spotted other villages situated high on top of the hills overlooking the fields.

We drove through some rain but were graced with a rainbow. Jordan was telling us exactly where the pot of gold would be.

If you have a chance to visit Tuscany, Cortona is a lovely village to visit.

Follow our video adventures on our YouTube channel: Video adventures of s/v Element