Cortona and the surrounding territory offer visitors a unique combination of environmental and natural resources from the Tuscan landscape and archaeological monuments spanning from Etruscan to Roman times. A number of remains from the ancient Etruscan town are still preserved within the its enceinte including the mighty defensive walls, the double-arched gate of Porta Bifora as well as a series of underground artefacts (the vaulted arch in the Palazzo Cerulli Diligenti, the barrel vault in the Via Guelfa, the Etruscan wall-portion in the Palazzo Casali); remains from Roman times are also preserved and include the remains of a Roman acqueduct consisting of cocciopesto piping right by the Porta Montanina gate as well as a the “Bagni di Bacco” cistern next to the church of S. Antonio. The country-side is dotted with so-called “Meloni”, Etruscan burial-mounds from archaic times; one of these is located in Camucia; further two tumuli are located in the village of Sodo. Particularly striking is the Tumulo II of Sodo with its imposing terrace-steps decorated with sculptural groups and orientalizing architectural elements. At the foot of the hill olive groves of rare beauty are the backdrop to the so-called Tanella di Pitagora, an Etruscan monument already known to travellers as early as in the 1500s, the Tanella Angori and the Mezzavia burial site. Higher up the hills in the area known as the Cortona mountains a close-knit network of stone-paved Roman roads was recently brought to light. The hillside overlooking lake Trasimeno is the site of the discovery of the remarkable remains of the villa of Ossaia from the late Republican-Imperial period. All sites are duly described within the MAEC, marked by appropriate road signs and detailed signs on site and may be easily reached by car or on trekking paths.
All monuments, some of which located few miles apart
from one another, are described in detail within the
Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona (MAEC)
that also serves as a documentation centre for the
Archaeological Park and a functional point for the
reception, guidance and direction of visitors.