Where We Be
Cortona, Italy
The uber-quaint Umbrian hill town of Monterchi is located on a back road between Cortona and Citta di Castello
Cortona sits on the border between Tuscany and Umbria and commands a superb view
of the surrounding countryside. The lake in the distance is Lago Trasimeno in Umbria.
This is the superb patio at Casa Kita, our lodgings for three wonderful days
Really, what's not to like!
The surrounding countryside is a delight, replete with churches, patchwork farmland, and green cypress trees
The moon rises behind a stone building with partially crumbled tower near the top of Cortona
Spring blooms in this quiet Cortona neighborhood
This jumble of stone buildings and tiled roofs is "so Cortona"
Here's to la dolce vita!
The white fortress-like Palazzo dei Consoli rises up starkly from the red brick of Gubbio's Piazza Grande
After the funky chairlift ride, you get panoramic views of Gubbio and the surrounding Umbrian countryside
Gubbio is incredibly steep in places!
Lucignano is indeed picturesque with its flower boxes, wooden doors, worn stone-and-brick facades, churches and towers, tight alleyways, etc.
This strange tower with its surrounding trees is located on a hill just across from Lucignano
We spent an hour exploring Lucignano on our way to Cortona
Citta di Castello
Castiglion Fiorentino
We caught sight of this dramatic hilltop city as we descended a steep road to Cortona -- it's maybe 10 miles away from Cortona
On our way back from Gubbio we stopped in Citta di Castello for a quick look around -- this is the clock tower in the main square
We stopped for coffee at Caffe Cavour -- this exquisite looking drink, with frothy foam and a chocolate starburst pattern, cost less than a Starbucks!
This curving street had most of Lucignano's shops and restaurants
We took this funky "stand-up chairlift" to a basilica at the top of a steep hill
This picturesque Roman amphitheater sits near the edge of town
Lovely Renaissance courtyard inside the Palazzo Ducale
The Palazzo dei Consoli towers over the colorful tiled roofs of Gubbio
Enjoying a Supertuscan on the patio on a warm spring day
Our "Toscabali Room" at Casa Kita contained an eclectic mix of art from Tuscany and Bali
Clock tower on Cortona's main piazza
Fresh spinach ravioli in a porcini mushroom sauce with garlic
Bell tower with two-toned bells
We spent most of our time in Cortona living "La
dolce vita" – drinking Supertuscans and eating
fresh pecorino cheese on the patio, going out
to superb dinners, taking naps in the sun, and
soaking up the spectacular views of the Tuscan
countryside. That's what Cortona's all about!

We did take one day trip to the austerely
beautiful hill town of Gubbio. You'll see photos
from there as well as a few other hill towns we
passed through, including Lucignano, Citta di
Castello, Monterchi, and Castiglion Fiorentino.

During our last day in Cortona, we headed up,
up, up to the top of town to Santa Margherita
Church. I headed inside its cool confines and
sat in the back pew to catch my breath. Echoing
softly through the church came the sounds of a
single monk chanting a Gregorian chant. The
echoes of his voice in the enormous vaulted
chambers made it magical. As if to complete the
image, a very old nun paced slowly up the aisle
towards me, head bowed, reading a prayer
book as she made her rounds of the church.