Cortona and the Academy Museum

the pearl of Tuscany


Originally an Umbrian city, it was conquered and enlarged by the Etruscans, who called it Curtun. The name should be related to a family of indoeuropean word, with the meaning of "enclosed place" and consequently walled city like German garten, Italian orto, English gird and yard, Gordio, Anatolian town and Russian grad. During the 7th century BC, it joined the Etruscan League.

Details of the Tour


Half Day
Full Day




140 € (HD)
260 € (FD)

Cortona is the main turistic and cultural center belonging to Arezzo's Valdichiana area. In antiquity it used to be a powerful city-state belonging to the Etruscans' dodecapolis -or "twelve-cities' league". Today it offers a wide range of artistic points of interest, including Etruscan tombs, churches, museums -such as theDiocesano, with its famed masterworks by Signorelli- and the MAEC, a museum placed in historical Palazzo Casali (XIIIth century) and bringing together the former Etruscan and Roman museum of the city of Cortona and the Etruscan Academy museums. The collections are housed on four different levels, two of which lay underground.


A visitor's tour starts from the two lower levels, which house the original collection of the Museo della Città Etrusca e Romana di Cortona. The first room introduces visitors to prehistoric Valdichiana, thanks to the fossil remains of prehistoric animals on exhibit.Proceeding to the next two rooms, item from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages are found. Rooms 4 to 6 are dedicated to the items found in the Etruscan tombs of Camucia and Sodo, two main areas of archaelogical interest, known also in the local dialect as Meloni -or "melons"- due to their circular shape. The main floors of the Palace host the Museo dell' Accademia Etrusca, which collection does not follow a specific chronological or thematic theme, but follows the steps of the Academy's own development, from its founding (1727) up to the present day.


The collection is made up of several books, manuscripts, ancient relics, works of art and handcrafts, and it was assembled by the founders of the Accademia, or donated by benefactors. Among the paintings available, masterpieces from main Tuscan artists ranging from the XIIIth to the XIXth centuries can be found. One of the most prestigious collections is the Egyptian one. MAEC is easily accessible to people with physical disabilities, who can use the elevator and the minilift to move from one floor to the other of the building. At the reception a Braille guide is available, and small tactile exhibits especially conceived for the blind are present.

Related Tours

Churches and Art in Arezzo

There are even other churches and buildings in Arezzo which had a great importance for the historical and artistic development of the town. The church of St. Domenico has a simple structure because of its unique nave.

Piero della Francesca

in Arezzo

In Arezzo two are the obligatory stops in order to admire the stilistic genious of the “Biturgense” master: the Cathedral, which is a sort of casket to the unicum of Maddalena and the Bacci Chapel in the Basilica of St. Francis.

One of Italy's most picturesque town

Anghiari is considered one of Italy's most picturesque towns. On June 29 1440 the plain at the town's outskirts was the setting of a famous battle, which would be later aptly named "the battle of Anghiari".


Are you ready to discover the heart of Tuscany?


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