This is the region that involves four of the total 20 regions of Italy: Lazio, Marche, Tuscany, and Umbria. However, in wine regions, this area could be differently divided: Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Elba, Umbria, and Molise, the truly blessed region that extends from the western Tyrrhenian Coast to the Adriatic Coast on the east. After presenting Northwestern Italy through Aosta and showcasing the uniqueness of Northeast Italy through Trieste, I will now try to do the same with Central Italy, with the Tuscany region and more particularly Cortona.
Tuscany is the motherland of the Italian Renaissance. A must-visit geographical point for art and architecture lovers. Add amazing wine and Italianness on top of this and lets meet in the center of civilization.
Next, I would like to introduce you to its highness, the Tuscan wine. There are two labels of regulations in Italy: DOC or DOCG, which prove quality and promise original product. Because of the uniqueness and specificness of this wine, a new category called Super Tuscans appeared in the 70s. These wines break the official regulations like true rebels.
This is a said to be a unique Italian dessert wine. Traditionally in Tuscany, wines are often made with white grapes varieties, such as Trebbiano and Malvasia; however, Sangiovese may be used to produce a rosé style known as "Occhio di Pernice" (Eye of the partridge). The name translates in english as "holy wine". Passito on the other hand, known as the "straw wine", or raisin wine, is made with grapes that have been dried to store their juice. This wine can vary in sweetness levels, from extremely sweet to bone dry. It is typically served at the end of a meal and matches amazingly with Cantucci, the kings of the Italian biscotti.
Cortona is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana, after Arezzo. Have you heard of Jovanotti? If not, let me introduce you to a new musical world!
Cortona is an ancient Etruscan town. It is located north of the Tuscan Lake in Tuscany, south-east of Arezzo in the province of Arezzo. In ancient times, Cortona was in the Etruscan Union of the Twelve Cities. In 310 BC, the city was conquered by the Romans, and in the 5th century by the Goths.
The church in Cortona is one of the best examples of Renaissance architectural spaces. Madonna del Calcinaio is a church in Cortona built between 1484-1515 by the great Renaissance architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini.
The location of the temple was chosen after a miraculous appearance of an image of the Madonna and the Child; one Easter day, on a wall of a tank, this appearance was supposedly spotted. Because of this anecdote, they built the church at the same place. The church was built in accordance with this image. Worshiped as sacred, it is still visible today at the high altar.
Another significant church to be visited is the church of Santa Maria Nuova, located just outside the walls of Cortona, and the author is Giorgio Vasari. It is a dome church with a centralized Greek cross layout, built in 1554.
Very intensive spot in Italy. Do visit Cortona!
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