bella Cortona

Tuesday, June 19th
The breakfast the following morning in Bologna was one of the usual buffet types. There was a man at the bar taking orders for coffee. He made me a delicious Caffè macchiato. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I found Hotel Porta San Mamolo after reading one of Palma’s posts from Bologna. I would definitely stay there again if returning to Bologna.

I arrived in Cortona about 12:45 after two train rides. It was a beautiful day. I was fortunate to have a nice man share a taxi with me at the Camucia-Cortona train station, although I think I ended up paying the entire fare. After checking into my B&B, I went on a restaurant hunt to find a somewhere to have lunch. I brought a list of recommended restaurants with me. As I did not know the town well yet, I looked for restaurants near the center which was also near my B&B. I stumbled onto La Logetta but it was already full. Since I was there, I asked to have a table reserved for me for dinner. I also asked the waiter for a recommendation of another restaurant nearby. He suggested Il Cacciatore.
Il Cacciatore was also on my list and turned out to be my favorite place to eat while I was there. I had a ravioli dish which was stuffed with eggplant and came with a fresh tomato sauce. Delicious!! I also enjoyed the atmosphere. There were a few tables full of locals and what seemed to be a table of Italian tourists.

After lunch, I went to look for Il Girasole to see if Alessandra was there. It took me a while to find it and when I did, I could not believe I did not see it sooner as it is located right in the town center. Alessandra wasn’t there and so I left a message saying that I would be back the next morning.

After leaving my message, I went to the tourist information office to get a map of Cortona. I also inquired about the hike up to the church on the top of the hill. The road to take started near where the buses depart and so I went to check the bus schedule and then started on my long hike. It was a very hot day and I ended up with the beginning of a blister. At the top was the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita and a little further up was a fortezza, Fortezza del Girifalco. The cost was 3 euros and it was similar to the fortezza in Montalcino in that it had the wall at the top that you could walk around but it was not as big. I really enjoyed my visit inside the fortezza. The views were spectacular.

After my long walk up to the church and the fortezza, I headed back down a different way which included walking along a few windy roads through the middle of the town. When I got back to the center, I went back to my room to rest my feet for a while. I went back out to look for an internet caffè and spent a little time catching up.

I then headed over to La Logetta for dinner. The food at La Logetta was good but it was a very “touristy” restaurant and I felt that the service was not as genuinely friendly as I find it to be in places which are not frequented by so many tourists. I had bruschetta with tomatoes and a salad with lots of vegetables and delicious tuna.

I was pretty tired after dinner and went back to my B&B for the night.

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