According to archaeologists Cortona's history as a city can be traced back at least to 700 BC. However, for the citizens of Cortona this is just not old enough. When asked how old Cortona is, almost every citizen will look you straight in the eye and tell you, "Cortona è la mamma di Troia e la nonna di Roma" that is "Cortona is the mother of Troy and the grandmother of Rome" . They are making reference to Dardanus of Cortona in the epic poem by Virgil, the Eneid, Dardanus left Cortona to found the city of Troy and when that city fell, the citizens went on to found the city of Rome...or so the story goes. Therefore, Cortona as a city supposedly older than Troy and Rome.
Still others want Cortona to be even older. Stories of Pythagoras being buried here at the Etruscan temple outside the city walls. There is also a legend which tells of the selection of the site of Cortona for a city...it starts something like this-And after great the waters subsided, the son of Noah, while navigating down a canal on his barge -looks up- and lo and behold there is a great beam of light shining down upon a hilltop...and which hilltop could that be? Of course the one right under Casa Chilenne! And after consultation with his father, it was decided that yes, this was truly a sign from God, and thus Cortona is said to be the third city built on the new, dry land that became Italy!
However, local pride aside, there is much to admire and discover here-apart from the fine artwork in our museums by Fra' Angelico (the painter, not the liquer), Luca Signorelli and Pietro da Cortona (Berrettini) and the astounding relics uncovered from the stone-age forward which are showcased at our MAEC museum, there is something much more to be appreciated in Cortona. Cortona itself.
There is a magic here, some in my home state of California would say it has an aura, an energy which makes it distinctive from any other place. It calls to you like a siren perched on the hill over the sea of the haze-filled valley. Once you are caught in its spell you must return, you want to discover, know and understand more. And when you think that you have seen it all, there's something new to discover...the Celle, one of the first monasteries founded by Saint Francis of Assisi, Luca Signorelli frescoes and paintings tucked away in San Nicolò Church, the stations of the cross designed by Futurist artist, Gino Severini , a native son of Cortona.
The list continues but you must come to discover it for yourself-
We hope you'll choose Casa Chilenne to be your home in Cortona-Your home away from home.