Cortona represents the only out of town branch of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
, which owns the Palazzone
, an imposing Renaissance villa just outside Cortona that is used for lectures, conferences and graduate courses.
This magnificent villa, along with its estate, were donated to the Scuola in 1968 by Count Lorenzo Passerini di Cortona, a descendant of Cardinal Silvio Passerini
(1469-1529), Bishop of Cortona, who built the house as a means to show off the prestige of his noble family, in the service of the Medici.