The warmth, the outstretched arm of hospitality, the kindness that you could tell was intrinsic to a way of life...

During our first stay in Cortona, not really knowing much about it except what we had seen in the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, we explored every corner of the town on foot, visited nearby towns beyond the walls, and visited properties for sale with the Cortona International team.
During our early morning walks inside the walls, we took in the sights and heard the sounds of a community waking up each day.  We saw shopkeepers preparing to open stores, restaurants getting deliveries of fresh food, and children with backpacks headed to school. 
While Cortona arose at a fast pace each morning, the atmosphere was always orderly, peaceful and serene.  We instantly felt comfortable, walking up and down (mostly up) the cobblestone streets while nodding and smiling at passersby.  We could tell Cortona was not just a place where visitors came and went each day.  It was a place where people work hard while enjoying a more simple life.  Our love affair was underway and the desire to become part of the community was becoming irresistible.
Each evening when we returned to the newly opened hotel il Monastero di Cortona we were greeted by Carolina, Claudia, Susanna and the rest of the staff.  They were always genuinely excited to learn about our day and especially our search for a dream home.  This became our routine; coming “home” to the hotel and sharing our stories with our new friends.  They could see us falling in love with the town and were excited that we might someday become Cortonese.  In a very short time we saw our new friends at the hotel as extended family.
Room service breakfast at il Monastero
The Search
We visited a number of residential properties in the valley before returning to the town to see properties inside the walled enclave: we saw a number of wonderfully restored multi-family properties in Cortona’s surrounding countryside which included large open spaces, a farm style home, a community pool, and spectacular views of the valley. While we initially envisioned ourselves in one of these traditional homes just a few kilometers from the town, we missed the feeling we had when we were inside the city center. 
The Finding
Over the next two days we marched up and down streets, in and out of buildings, and up and down stairs seeing just about everything the town had available.  We saw fixer uppers, apartments with spectacular views, and a three story palace with a fresco-style painting of Moses on the wall.
At the end of the first day we visited Palazzo Vecchio in Via Passerini, a restored apartment in a 15th century building that was part of the old Cortona hospital. 
By the end of the second day we knew it was the right one for us.  The combination of old meeting new, modern amenities mixed with classic style, and outdoor space; this is the one we kept coming back to in our minds.  We loved the idea that we would be just steps from the main square and we could imagine ourselves relaxing on the patio with a bottle of wine, in front of the fireplace during the holidays, or learning to prepare traditional meals in the gourmet kitchen. 
Relaxing with a bottle of wine...
The People
While finding the right apartment was at the top of our list, getting to know the people of the town is really what makes Cortona a second home.  During one of our afternoon strolls we wandered into the Molesini Wine Shop and introduced ourselves to the gentleman behind the counter as future Cortonese.  He introduced himself as Marco, and chatted us up as we looked over the wine selection. Before we knew it, Marco was showing us around the piazza, introducing us to his brother Paolo and walking us though the local grocery store, run by his parents.  We loved the feeling of intimacy where everyone knows everyone and family is at the center of life.
In one short visit we made new friends at the Monastero di Cortona, began an on-going business relationship and friendship with Cortona International, got to know the people at the wine shop by name, made lasting connections with many shop owners, discovered our favorite restaurants, and most of all found our new Tuscan home.  When we think back about what it was that made us fall in love with Cortona, it was the people. 
The warmth, the outstretched arm of hospitality, the kindness that you could tell was intrinsic to their way of life.  We are grateful to have found Cortona and all the wonderful people who make up this community.  We hope as time passes and we spend more time in our new home, that we will become part of the fabric of this magical place.  It is everything we hoped to find in our adopted country of Italy – from the moment we arrived we knew that Cortona could be a place we could call home.
View from Cortona's Fortezza
S.Gorman - A.Holleran, 10/08/2020 11:37:01
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Our blog had been intended as a central hub for Cortona lovers world-wide, bringing you useful information, profiles of the many interesting people who live & visit the town, up-dates on local news, special stories & upcoming events

With the world still reeling from the pandemic, we have chosen to suspend some features & have decided instead, - at least for now - to bring you a limited version of our blog by introducing a series called MOMENTS.

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We also thought that in the absence of an imminent visit, you might enjoy a little Local news and a few Tips for (future) Trips
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