CORTONA Tourist attractions -
Cortona Archaeological Park
Cortona boasts a number of interesting remains from its past as an Etruscan city state. The surrounding countryside is dotted with sections of ancient walls, buildings and ceremonial tombs. The Parco e del Museo Archeologico di Cortona was instituted with the intention of making this invaluable archaeological heritage – one of the finest in Italy – known to a broader public.
The new archaeological museum in Palazzo Casali is due to be inaugurated in June 2005 and will act as the fulcrum of this archaeological park, as well as a centre for documentation and teaching. The building will house roughly 1000 square metres of new exhibition space over and above the existing exhibition space of the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca on the top floor of the building, which houses some 700 finds unearthed in the surrounding countryside. One of the highlights of the new museum will be the Tabula Cortonensis, which is the longest Etruscan inscription to have been unearthed so far. There will also be a 15-metre long section of Etruscan wall that is believed to have been one of the supporting walls of the Etruscan acropolis. Other highlights include a 2200-year-old inscription on sandstone from the Tanella Angori, a tomb discovered in 1951 on the hill behind Cortona during a soil strata mapping. The inscription is of three words, one of which is Cusu, the name of a highly influential family of the period that appears also on the Tabula Cortonensis and in the Tanella di Pitagora, another tomb built at around the same time.
A number of major restoration works on Etruscan sites have already been completed, both in Cortona and in the surrounding countryside. In the centre of Cortona itself these include the vaulted archway of Palazzo Cerulli-Diligenti, the vault of Via Guelfa and the Porta Bifora. Outside Cortona there are the Tumuli 1 and 2 del Sodo (known as Meloni 1 and Melone 2 on account of their dome shape), the Tumulo di Camicia, the Tanella Angori and the Tanella di Pitagora, the Mezzania Tomb, the Roman villa at Ossaia and the Roman roads in the hills around Cortona.