Saturday, November 5, 2011

Under the Tuscan - Rain in Cortona, Italy

I have to say that I was prepared to not like Cortona. I read that it was overrun and "ruined" by tourists due to the "Under the Tuscan Sun" book and movie. I also had trouble getting my train tickets. I used the machine to get my ticket to Cortona but you could only get a one way ticket. Here is what the machines look like. This one only took cash.

Then you HAVE to stamp your ticket before you get on the train, unless you have a ticket with a seat assignment. Here is the stamp machine you look for:

Coming back from Orvieto, I forgot to get my ticket stamped and I prayed that the train person wouldn't come around to check - he didn't.

Anyway, I got to Cortona and decided to get my return ticket right away, but they only had ticket machines and I couldn't get either of them to work. The train station was very small and no one worked there. So, I decided to just take the bus to Cortona, which is at the top of a hill, but there was no place around to purchase bus tickets. I finally found a tabacchia and it was far enough away from the train station that I thought I might as well walk to Cortona - uphill, in the drizzling rain. It was about 2 1/2 miles. I gave up after about 1 1/2 miles and headed back to the train station since it was now downhill - and I had never seen a bus stop on the whole walk. And Seymour decided he wanted to be carried in his sling - so I wasn't very happy.

Finally we got back to the station and a bus came and dropped us off in the center of the old town. After walking for less than 15 minutes, I was falling in love with Cortona. It had all cobblestone streets, my favorite old roofs, old building and shops and restaurants. What I liked besides the town itself, was that there were towns in the valley, houses scattered on the hills and views that went on forever. I can see why the author chose this town to write about. I understand that she still has a home here. So, here are some of my pictures of Cortona:

The views were 180 degrees - of rolling hills, villages and a lake.

These are a couple views of the city - one from when I was walking and one from the train station. Many of the building are yellow:

While I was in town, I decided to get my big meal for lunch. I lucked out on a place called A Nannini Cafe that had 2 choices of fixed price lunches. One was lasagna, chicken and potatoes, 1/4 L of wine and a bottle of water; the other was spaghetti with tomato sauce, pork and veggies, the wine and the water. Either was 15 euro, which I think was a good price. I chose the spaghetti because I wanted to try the veggies and I had lasagna yesterday.

The spaghetti was the best I have had in Italy so far - enough spice to be delish! The wine was great! I laughed when I saw my pork and veggies dish because it was pork and potatoes with a few mushrooms on top. Hmmm, how different was that from the other dish? But, it was also very good. Seymour even got to enjoy some of the pork.

When we got back to Arezzo, I decided to get some geleto and in my room I had a large chocolate bar. I am paying for eating all of that food now!

Tomorrow I'll do a little post on finding Seymour's new crate. Also, there is a monthly antique market here, the first Sunday of each month - and we happen to be here for it. It actually started today but I decided to wait to explore it tomorrow. There are booths scattered all over town. This is a much bigger place that I realized. More about Arezzo tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I think you're all set to try out for the Amazingf Race! All this learning as you go can only help your game play when you finally get on the show! -SHannon

  2. Hey, that's an idea! Unfortunately, much of my "learning" required walking in the wrong direction for long periods of time, which would get me eliminated pretty quickly :)