Cortona Cathedral, Diocesan Museum and MAEC

2 Jun

The Cathedral

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the city, built on the foundation of an ancient parish church. It is believed that the original church was built on the foundation of an ancient pagan temple dating back to the 4th century. The interior of the church was remodeled in the 18th century. With only outside lighting, it’s difficult to show much of the interior.

Cathedral altar

The Diocesan Museum

Originally built as the Church and Oratory of Gesù, between 1498-1905, the nine room Museum holds some of the most valuable religious art from Churches in and around Cortona. Included in this collection are amazing masterpieces by the local artist, Luca Signorelli, who was born in Cortona around 1455 and died in 1523.

Signorelli: Communion of the Apostles

Signorelli: Lamentation over the dead Christ

Signorelli is considered to be among the most important painters of the Italian Renaissance. The intensity of the color and the detail in his designs are breathtaking.

Also found in the museum is this masterpiece by Fra Angelico, the Annunciation:

Fra Angelico: Annunciation

One ticket buys entrance to the Diocesan Museum as well as the Museum of the Etruscan Academy (MAEC), and it’s good for two days, so we spread our visit. And good that we did as we had no idea how much we’d find in the MAEC. Arranged in chronological order, from room to room, is the history of ancient Cortona up to the Romans, and also more current works. Looking at pieces that are over 2500 years old is mind boggling.  So much and so well preserved! Here’s a sampling.


Yes, that is gold jewelry, and nothing on the Ponte Vecchio can compare!

We are off to Rome tomorrow for three nights. I probably won’t be writing, but I will be reading so feel free to leave me comments. Mike leaves us next week…he’ll be busy in Rome and even spending a day in Pompeii with our friends Larry and Sandy, who are joining us in Rome. They are scheduled to have dinner in Naples and promise to bring us back a pizza…the best in the world!

So, Mike, farewell to you from Cortona!



5 Responses to “Cortona Cathedral, Diocesan Museum and MAEC”

  1. Susan King June 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM #

    Judy, Sandy sent me the blog so I can follow you guys. Looks beautiful! Someday I hope to get back there. Have fun and take good care of Sandy. Susan King


    • blogginginitaly June 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM #

      I think we are taking good care of Sandy…she always has a smile on her face and a glass of vino in her hand, like the rest of us!


  2. Sandra June 5, 2012 at 6:12 AM #

    Ciao Judy, it’s Sandra from Italian class. Would you find out if that prosciutto at the market is homemade, i.e., local or regional grown and cured the old-fashioned way by a farmer nearby? Did you taste it?


    • blogginginitaly June 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM #

      From those I’ve asked, yes, it is local and cured the old-fashioned way, and it is delicious!


  3. Paula June 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM #

    Hi, Judy,
    Hope you had a great time in Roma! Get back to the blog!!


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