This was our second visit to Cortona- the first time we stayed in a wonderful hotel, but staying in Domus Ghibellinae was a much better and more flexible experience. We had fun buying fresh fruit, Italian pastries,excellent cheeses (especially pecorino) and coldcuts (salumi) every day in the piazza so that a leisurely breakfast the next day could be enjoyed at whatever time we chose. A few times the leftovers from the enormous restaurant dinners conveniently became our lunch the next day, heated up in the beautiful tiled kitchen overlooking the Tuscan hills-otherwise we enjoyed pici, crostini, delicious boar sauces, ribollita, pizza etc at the many excellent local restaurants. Every single meal was extraordinary, the service prompt and friendly, the prices reasonable, English spoken everywhere. Cortona has many artisans and galleries-also don't miss the paintings inside the many churches-and definitely save time for the Etruscan museum.
We used the apartment as a home base to take day trips to the surrounding areas - the antique shops in Arezzo, the tiny perfect town of Monticchiello, Anghiari to buy fabric at Busatti's..only a few of the amazing towns within a hour's drive of Cortona. The apartment itself was only a few streets away from the main piazza of Cortona so that it was easy, if not obligatory, to visit a different gelato shop and/or coffee shop every afternoon. The (free) parking lot was also only a few streets away, making it very easy to transport luggage to and from the apartment.
The apartment itself was an experience-colourful tiled walls,heavy wood floors and beams,thick stone walls with shuttered windows opening out to sunny views,comfortable beds with high quality linens...I especially appreciated Pamela's attention to detail - when I reached for something, it was there as if I were at home: when I did a load of laundry, the detergent was there; in the kitchen she'd left tea, coffee, sugar, her own farm's olive oil, a homemade crostada (like a pie but better)..
Be aware that the apartment is up a few flights of steps and there is no elevator-but if you're going to Italian hill towns you need to be prepared for lots of walking uphill anyway!
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