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Cortona and Arezzo Tour

Car Service with private English speaking drivers in Tuscany for a tour of Cortona and Arezzo

Cortona is a marvellous town, and a real gem of Tuscany. With a long history behind it, evidence to which are the impressive Etruscan walls, which enclose its characteristic medieval quarters, it is perched on a hill which dominates the Valdichiana, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the beautiful surrounding Tuscan countryside and Lake Trasimeno. Recently made even more famous by Frances Mayes with her book and film “Under The Tuscan Sun” , Cortona is definitely one of the best places where art, history, the environment and tradition blend perfectly, where you can taste traditional and authentic Tuscan cooking, and where you can still find tranquillity and a good lifestyle. Arriving at Arezzo, you will find an elegant city where the characteristics of the historical centre are definitely the medieval quarters, with buildings, squares and streets remaining almost unchanged for centuries, and where you can find the Saint Francis Basilica, with frescoes by the 15th Century painter Piero Della Francesca. The historical centre is full of artisans, Goldsmiths and Antique shops; it is also fun to walk the streets where the masterpiece and winner of three Oscars was filmed, Life is Beautifulby Roberto Benigni.


Duration: approximately 7 hours

Included: comfortable air conditioned vehicle, private driver (English speaking) at your disposal for duration of tour, taxes, fuel, parking, motorway tolls, meal of the driver, and of “our best”!

Not included: lunch, entrance fees to monuments or museums, wine tasting, and anything not specified as “Included”.

It is possible for the tour to leave from locations in Tuscany and Umbria, within the areas in which we operate (click here to view map) and, based on logistics, the specific programme can be modified.


Cortona: The foundation of the city is characterized by many legends and is lost in the mists of time, but it is agreed that it was founded by the Umbrians, and then conquered by the Etruscans. During Etruscan times (IX-IVth Centuries BC) the city was one of the 12 lucumonies (city states) belonging to the league and then passed under the domain of Rome in 310 BC. During the Roman period the city went through a thriving and prosperous phase, even if it had to powerlessly assist in the massacre which occurred during the Battle of Lake Trasimeno, between the Carthaginian Hannibal and the Roman army. After a period of decline in the high middle age, the city reflourished during the municipal and renaissance period (XII-XVI Century). It was exactly during this time that Cortona was a free municipality with its own currency, and then became a “signoria” ruled by the Casali family, often found either fighting or allied with many of the nearby cities, such as Siena, Arezzo, Perugia and Florence. It is exactly in 1411 that Cortona came under the control of Florence, following its fate until 1861, the year in which it became part of the unification of Italy.   

Etruscan Walls, MAEC (Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca), palazzo del Municipio, Via Nazionale (Corso).

From archaeological findings it seems that the first settlements date back to the Palaeolithic period, but the first real townhouses came with the Etruscans in the IXth Century BC. It prospered and thrived during this period, and was one of the twelve cities of the state of the league, soon having to deal with the emerging power of Rome, to which it succumbed in the 3rd Century BC. After a dark period in the high middle age, it was after the year one thousand that, becoming a free municipality, it developed and became one of the most hostile cities of Florence and Siena. Famous is the battle of Campaldino in 1289, in which the poet Dante Alghieri participated, and saw the victory of the allied army of Florence and Siena. It was exactly under the dominion of Florence, that at the end of the XIVth Century, the city ends, and the story follows until the annexation of Italy in 1861. The city today is one of the most important places in the world for the working of gold, and is well known also for its antiques fair, which takes place on the first Sunday of each month.

Piazza Grande, Cathedral, Frescos of Piero della Francesca, Saint Francis Basilica.