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Christmas Greetings from Cortona

12 Dec

What is Christmas like in Cortona? Christmas in Cortona makes me feel as if I am still there. Such fun seeing so many friends who live and work in Cortona and make it such a special place. Thanks, AF Travel, for putting this together.

Christmas In Cortona, Tuscany ©AF TRAVEL

Click here and enjoy: Christmas in Cortona



Fett’ unta on Via Maffei, Cortona

26 May

In Italian, the word “merenda” means afternoon snack. Fett’ unta is a new small eatery in Cortona, just opened a week, serving light lunch and dinner as well as afternoon snacks. We watched them doing construction at this location last summer so we stopped in today to sample the local cuisine. As for the name, if I understand it correctly, unta means “greased” as in greasing something with oil. Since literal translations rarely work, I’ll go with drizzling olive oil on your bread or panini, etc. At any rate, the food we ordered was delicious.

We shared two different bruschette:

Pear, cheese and walnuts; Mozzarella and roasted tomatoes


Then we each ordered a hearty local soup as summer has yet to arrive in Cortona:

Orzo, artichoke and pecorino


And pearl barley and beans


Meet the owners, Ulisse and Antonio


and check out their website at

Better yet, stop by when you are in town and they can make you a fresh prosciutto panini!




Castiglione del Lago

21 Jun

Today we drove to the city of Castiglione, which was built on a limestone cliff above Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake on the Italian peninsula. It is what is called an impounded lake as it receives water yet has no outlet. Both the city and lake are in Umbria. We noticed the difference in heat as soon as we arrived, as Cortona is higher in elevation, thus cooler. We also noticed that although this town is on a lake with beaches, the streets were quite empty.

Though not many people, the streets are filled with charcuteries, small stores filled with an amazing assortment of meats, cheeses, grains, pasta and condiments. We tried to buy this boar as a souvenir, but no game. We thought it might be fun taking him through the TSA body screening…hmm… All is a day’s travel.

Note: If planning to use GPS from a car rental agency, at least in Europe, our advice is to forget it. We learned that two other friends had the same negative experiences we’ve had. We’ve gloveboxed ours and driving is getting better…now there’s only two of us fighting about directions instead of three!



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