On a 600 m high hill it dominates the whole Valdichiana as far as the crests of Monte Amiata. Its medieval buildings and lanes give the town an evocative atmosphere.
The Basilica di Santa Margherita and the Franciscan Santuario delle Celle invite the visitor to follow an itinerary of art and faith starting from the upper side of Cortona.
On the contrary,walking down via Nazionale, once Ruga Piana, the only flat street in town, you reach Piazza della Repubblica where are the Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo Casali, once mansion of the noble family now seat of the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca ( collection of Etruscan and Roman finds). At the north side of the town, opposite the Renaissance Cathedral, is the Museo Diocesano which contains works by great local artists like Luca Signorelli and an Annunciazione by Fra Angelico, one of his most beautiful works.
Outside of town, at the foot of the hill, are the Meloni I and II del Sodo, Etruscan tumulus tombs of the VI cent BC. Towards Foiano della Chiana there is the Abbey of Santa Maria a Farneta which, with its crypt, is one of the oldest Aretine Romanesque examples. An event not to be missed is Cortonantiquaria, one of the most interesting national antique fairs. It takes place annually in the XVIII cent. Palazzo Vagnotti and Palazzo Casali (from the last Saturday of August to the second Sunday of September).