Outside of the city walls, close to the city, there are sites to note for their historic and artistic value, such as:
CHURCH OF SAN MICHELE ARCANGELO IN METELLIANO (7th century) The church of San Michele Arcangelo (Saint Michael the Archangel) in Metelliano is located at the entrance to the valley of the river Esse about 5 kilometers from Cortona. Built around the 7th century by the Longobards, after they conquered the area, it was dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. It is noted that the Longobards had a particular devotion to Michael the Archangel. Around the year 1000 the church was redone in pre-Romanic-Byzantine style by Maginardo, an architect from Arezzo who left intact the two beautiful side apses from the 7th century. The church is divided into three naves by large pilasters and delicate Byzantine little columns, which make the building airy and seem to anticipate the Gothic style. The three apses are decorated on the exterior with small blind arches. The facade is in Byzantine style and austere in its simplicity. The church with its harmonious architecture along with the great spiritual atmosphere is one of the most beautiful of the valleys of Arezzo. This church was proclaimed a national monument in 1907.
ABBEY OF FARNETA (7th century) The church of the Abbey of Farneta is located in the Valdichiana along the border of the provincial road from Cortona to Foiano, about 10 kilometers from Cortona. The Abbey of the Benedictine monks was built around the 8th and 9th centuries thanks to the great generosity of the Counts of Ronzano. It reached the height of its splendor between the 9th and the 14th centuries. The monks remained in possession of it until 1780 when it was suppressed by the Grand Duke Leopoldo. It was then passed to the secular clergy and their holdings were given to the Capitolo of the cathedral of Cortona. The structure of the apse and the crypt, which was recently rediscovered and restored, are very impressive. The crypt is sustained by columns and capitals from the Roman era with fine sculptures and decorations. One of these columns is made of red granite from Egypt.
CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE AL CALCINAIO (15th century) The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Calcinaio was constructed between the years of 1485 and 1513. It is the architectural work of Francesco di Giorgio Martini who designed it after having been contacted by his friend Luca Signorelli. The Renaissance style church built on a Latin cross plan with an elegant dome soars into the olive trees on the hillside above. It was the church of the guild of the shoe makers, who had their vats of lime to be used for tanning leather, protected by an image of the Madonna painted by Bernardo Covatti, which is now displayed on the main altar of the church. On the right side altar of the transept there is a Madonna and Saints by Bronzino (1535-1607), which was moved here from the ancient church of San Vincenzo. The glass window of the central rosette was made by Marcillat (1470-1529) and portrays the Madonna with Pope Leo x, with the Emperor Maximilian I and the Bishop of Cortona, Cardinal Francesco Soderini at her feet.
CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA NUOVA (16th century) The Church of Santa Maria Nuova was built towards the end of the 1500's, according with the designs modified by Cristofanello and originally done by Vasari, as some people affirm. This beautiful church with Greek cross plan has three identical facades. The dome, which was influenced by Baroque style, was completed in 1600. Inside the church there are four pilasters, which support the mass of the construction and give it a strong upward motion. The high altar is by Cortonese artist Radi. The altar on the right at the entrance holds a canvas painting by Alessandro Allori that depicts the birth of the Virgin Mary (16th century). The Rosette window on the facade is by Urbano Urbani (16th century) and represents The Adoration of the Magi. In the chorus there are elegant pews from the 1500's.