June 19, 2024
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Trekking routes in the mountains

The evocative trekking routes in the mountains around Cortona offer tourists a chance to admire the territory amid history, art and uncontaminated nature. Beautiful panoramic crests with breathtaking views of Lake Trasimene, of Valdichiana up to Mount Amiata define the highest mounts: Alta di Sant’Egidio (1056 m), M. Castel Giudeo (1037 m) and M. Ginezzo (926 m).



The three Apennine ridges are mainly characterized by clay, limestone and sandstone layers. Amidst meadows, coniferous woods and chestnut woods you can spot the flight of hawks and buzzards and bump into mammals like roe deer and hares. In addition to that you can stop along the way to admire the remains of ancient Roman roads, of Etruscan walls, beautiful churches and hermitages.

  • Percorso Cortona – Croce di Sant'Egidio Distance: Km 5,8 | Traveling time: 2 hours | Difficulty: Medium

    Distance: Km 5,8
    Traveling time: 2 hour
    Max. height: 911 m. AMSL
    Min. height: 651 m. AMSL
    Difficulty: Medium

    Route description
    This route follows the CAI 561 path, starting from the area of the Church of Santa Margherita and going down along the dirt road on the right of the entrance to the square, up to Torreone. Once arrived at the crossroads with the main street, take the path that borders the Church of S. Carlo in front of you, as indicated by the signs. After passing the houses you will see a stony majesty and you will cross a pine forest. Continue going up along the ancient Roman basolato road up to a panoramic point from which you can see Cortona and the Valdichiana. The route goes on across a chestnut wood where you will see a crossroads on the left, which leads to the hermitage Le Celle (CAI 563). If you keep right, you will arrive at an equipped picnic area close to Mount Sant’Egidio’s Cross, where you can join the CAI 50 path.

    Archaeological information
    In the area around the Fortress you can see the most beautiful walls of the city (4th century B.C.), made by the Etruscans with big sandstone blocks. They stretch for nearly 3 km, preserving the oldest signs on the foundations and the signs of medieval and modern restorations on the upper part. The path leading to Mount Sant’Egidio’s Cross has different points of Roman basolato road (from “basolo”, the flagstone used for the paving), which is an important archaeological element.

    Artistic and historical information
    The Fortress of Girifalco, which rises on the top of Cortona, was built for defense around the half of the 16th century by the will of Cosimo I de’ Medici. The Church of Santa Margherita (13th century), where the embalmed body of the saint is preserved, rises below the fortress. The church was built over a Church dedicated to San Basilio, which had been erected on a pagan temple. The few pieces of old frescoes made for the church by Lorenzetti are today displayed in the Diocesan Museum of Cortona. Furthermore, on Mount Sant’Egidio we find an old Benedictine hermitage, dedicated to the hermit patron saint of the wayfarers.

    Text taken from “Antichi Orizzonti – Percorsi trekking della montagna cortonese”. For further information on how to buy the guide, e-mail us at contact@cortonaweb.net.

  • Percorso Cortona – Metelliano Distance: Km 3,5 | Traveling time: 1 hour and 20 minutes | Difficulty: Low

    Distance: Km 3,5
    Traveling time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
    Max. height: 507 m. AMSL
    Min. height: 286 m. AMSL
    Difficulty: Low

    Route description
    The route starts from Piazzale Garibaldi and passes through the gardens of Parterre to the playground area. On the left you find a path, marked by a few steps, which goes up for nearly 50 m and then borders terrace walls and olive tree fields, which are delimited by dry-stone walls. From here you can widen your gaze over the Valdichiana and Lake Trasimene. Continue following the basolato road R2 down to a crossroads with the asphalted road where Villa Bramasole, easily recognizable for its red-orange painting, towers above. You can go onto the asphalted road up to Torreone and then join the R1 road towards Teccognano to cover the old Comunale road. Along the way you will pass in front of the small Church of San Francesco. Once arrived at the first crossroads, continue on the left and go down on the dirt road ending up with a fence. The path enters an uncontaminated wood, so the basolato road is here nearly intact. If you go up on the right you will come back to Palazzone, whereas if you cross the bridge on the left you will reach a crossroads: on the right you can arrive in Metelliano, while on the left you can reach the Church of Sant’Angelo.

    Archaeological information
    In piazza Garibaldi there was one of the entrance gateways to the city, Porta Peccioverarda, where a bronze dating back to the1st-2nd century A.D. representing the hand of a traco-phrygian God has been found. The beautiful basolato road leads from Cortona to Teccognano, Sant’Angelo and Metelliano. The area of Teccognano could be connected with the Etruscan deity Tece Sans. Metelliano, on the contrary, is linked to the property of the important Roman family Metellia. The Church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel occupies a holy area dedicated to the worship of Bacco Succhio (from sucus, drink). In this area a Roman villa and some Etruscan and Roman tombs have been recently discovered.

    Artistic and historical information
    The artist Fra Angelico left some of his works like the Annunciation and one polyptych, today displayed in the Diocesan Museum, to the Church of San Domenico (14th century). Above the church, in late Gothic style, you can admire the stations of the Way of the Cross created by Gino Severini. Behind the church you can see a bronze Monument to the Dead of World War I by Delfo Paoletti. In Sant’Angelo you can then admire one of the most beautiful churches of the territory around Cortona, with its refined lines of the apses and the rhythmic division of the naves. Finally, in Metelliano you can visit the beautiful Villa Tommasi and its magnificent gardens (16th century).

    Text taken from “Antichi Orizzonti – Percorsi trekking della montagna cortonese”. For further information on how to buy the guide, e-mail us at contact@cortonaweb.net.

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