Excursion tips

Tuscany awaits you with a mixture of Mediterranean flair and enchanting towns and cities. Countless olive trees, cypresses and vines are typical for the region.

Episcopal see Cortona

A cultural highlight in the immediate vicinity is the Italian city of Cortona. The bishop’s seat was founded long before the birth of Christ and was already appreciated by the Etruscans as a place to live. Framed by an impressive city wall, Cortona lies on the slope of Monte Sant’Egidio. The hillside location lends the city a special atmosphere, hardly any alley, street or square is at ground level.
The Tuscan city offers a breathtaking view over the Val di Chiana. A walk along the 3 km long city wall is a special experience.
The main attraction is the church of San Francesco, a Franciscan church in the heart of the city. Further sights are the town hall and the Renaissance church Madonna del Calcinaio.

On the Via Nazionale and the many small alleys there are some restaurants, cafés and numerous boutiques and shops. However, the centre of Cortona is dominated by Piazza della Repubblica, framed by Palazzo Communale and Palazzo del Popolo.

Accessible from La SaRu:

10 minutes by car to Cortona

Events:

During the Sagra della Bistecca (Steak Festival) at the Ferragosto, August 15th, everything in Cortona revolves around the steak of Chiana cattle every year. The festival in honour of the excellent Bistecca alla Fiorentina attracts locals and numerous guests.

The Archery Festival is held in Cortona at the end of May. Wrapped in historical garments, the selected representatives of the districts compete against each other.  http://www.giostraarchidado.com

Le Celle

Franciscan monastery in Le Celle

One should definitely plan the small side trip if one is already in the area of Cortona. A narrow road winds downwards and leads directly to the monastery. The monastery complex impresses by its location at the edge of a mountain stream in the midst of seemingly untouched nature. Its foundation goes back to Francis of Assisi, and 800 years later, the complex still impresses the visitors. A long time ago, the Franciscan monastery became a Capuchin monastery, consisting of several buildings that seem to cling to the mountain. Very quiet. Very worth seeing.

Accessible from La SaRu:

15 minutes by car to le Celle

Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno in Umbria

Picturesque places, untouched nature and culinary delights: Lake Trasimeno in Umbria is the fourth largest lake in Italy and still relatively untouched by mass torism. Only up to 7 m deep and with numerous bath bays the lake invites you to relax surrounded by up to 600 m high mountains. Also worth a visit are the villages around the lake Castiglione del Lago, Sant Arcangelo and Castel Rigone.
Nature lovers can also explore the Lago Trasimeno National Park on the numerous wild hiking trails.
Fishing is still one of the main sources of income and you can enjoy fresh fish everywhere. Pasta dishes with fresh truffle, which grows in the oak forests of Umbria, should also be tasted.

A trip to Isola Maggiore is a must. Small ferries bring travellers daily to the car-free island from various places on the lake. The island invites you to walk and swim, you will find two small village churches and you can admire Villa Isabella (built in the 14th century as a monastery and restored towards the end of the 19th century and dedicated to the lover of the builder).

Accessible from La SaRu:

 

30 minutes by car to Lago Trasimeno

Arezzo

Arezzo, the fourth largest city in Tuscany

Many patrician houses and medieval merchant palaces attract travellers to the city every year.
A jewel of medieval culture and architecture, it invites you to travel back in time to the era of the Etruscans and Medicis and the heyday of art and crafts. Arezzo is still the centre of Italian jewellery production today, processing around 10,000 kg of gold a month. But also the churches and above all the cathedral of Arezzo with the impressive large glass paintings are extremely worth seeing.

Accessible from La SaRu:

40 minutes by car to Arrezzo

Events:

The Fiera dell’ antiquariato di Arezzo is one of the largest antique market in Italy every 1st weekend of the month. http://www.fieraantiquaria.org/

Once a year the “Giostra del Saracino” takes place (penultimate Saturday in July) a historical horse race with riders in splendid medieval costumes, for which the backdrop of Arezzo virtually made for. http://giostradelsaracinoarezzo.it

Perugia

Perugia, one of the most beautiful cities in Umbria

Perugia is the largest and one of the most beautiful cities in Umbria. From the old town, situated on a high hill, you have a fantastic view of the Appinnen peaks, the surrounding villages and Lake Trasimeno.
The heart of Perugia is Piazza Grande, where the medieval fountain Fontana Maggiore stands. Next to it is the splendid Palazzo dei Priori, where you can admire the collection of paintings of the National Gallery of Umbria.
If you want to explore the historical centre of Perugia, there are long escalators in the south of the city, which go through the underground vaults of the Rocca Paolina and end directly at the popular promenade, Corso Vannucci. Many small boutiques but also well-known labels and traditional cafés chain up here and invite you to shop and stop for a bite to eat.

The small narrow streets are quieter: Small shops sell local specialities and inviting trattorias offer all kinds of culinary delights. A temptation is the baci perugina, a chocolate praline filled with nuts and a popular souvenir from Perugia.

Accessible from La SaRu:

50 minutes by car to Perugia

Events:

Perugia is also the venue of Umbria Jazz, one of the largest and most famous jazz festivals in the world, where national and international jazz and blues greats perform every year. The ten-day festival has been held annually since 1973 at the beginning of July.  http://www.umbriajazz.com/

Eurochocolate, one of the most popular European events on chocolate, takes place annually in October. https://www.eurochocolate.net/perugia/

Assisi

Assisi, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Near Perugia lies Assisi, well-known for St. Francis and St. Clara. The Basilica of San Francesco has always been an attraction for travellers. In 2000, Assisi was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its well-preserved historical centre and the ring wall. This promises a lot of architecture, culture and history, but also strolls and shopping are do not come too short.
The Roman roots of the city can be discovered in the almost completely preserved Forum, Amphitheater or in the Temple of the Goddess Minerva (Goddess of Wisdom).

Assisi arouses particular interest among professional and amateur photographers. The warm colours of the sandstone and the constantly changing light at sunrise and sunset seem to make Assisi shine.

Accessible from La SaRu:

60 minutes by car to Assisi

Events:

In April, in Piazza del Comune, the Mostra Mercato Nazionale dell’Antiquariato (National Market of Antiquarian Booksellers) takes place, which enjoys great prestige for the quality and variety of the pieces on display.

In the first week of May, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Calendimaggio celebrations take place. The town is transformed into a medieval village. Knights and ladies walk along the streets decorated with flowers and flags. There will be theatrical performances, concerts, dances, bow- and flagwaving competitions, in which the two ancient districts of Parte de Sopra and Parte de Sotto will compete against each other. https://www.calendimaggiodiassisi.com

Pienza

Pienza, the Renaissance city

In the 15th century Pope Pius II planned the village named after him as an ideal Renaissance town.
The main square, Piazza Comunale, was built around four magnificent buildings in the centre of the geometrically laid out ground plan. Several star-shaped streets lead to the piazza, and unique perspectives were created on the main buildings. The travertine fountain in the piazza, with a dedication to Pius II, is a special eye-catcher.
Pienza also attracts culinary visitors. Pienza is famous for the locally produced Pecorino Toscano (sheep’s cheese).

Accessible from La SaRu:

55 minutes by car to Pienza

Events:

At the beginning of September, the Fiera del Cacio festival is celebrated in Piazza Comunale, where the whole variety of different Pecorino varieties is presented.

Restaurant tip:

Tuscan home cooking “no pizza, pasta, cola and no W-LAN” (reservation recommended) Piazza di Spagna, 1, 53026 Pienza SI, Italien, +39 0578 749092

Montepulciano

Montepulciano in the region of Siena

Montepulciano is a small town in the region of Siena. It lies outside the typical tourist centres and is a charming and at the same time impressive holiday destination. Montepulciano was built on a hill and is characterized by historical buildings and an attractive townscape. Walking through the city you can discover romantic alleys and rustic restaurants. The place where almost everything happens in Montepulciano is the old town. Some of the buildings in the old town date from the 13th and 14th centuries. The Palazzo Pubblico, for example, seems to come from another world. The Madonna di San Biagio is also impressive. The church was designed by Antonio de Sangallo and has a large round dome.
Filming location of the Twilight saga episode New Moon.

Accessible from La SaRu:

40 minutes by car to Montepulciano

Events:

A competition of the eight city districts in which wine barrels have to be rolled up the mountain; it takes place every year on the last Sunday in August. http://www.braviodellebotti.com/

Montalcino

Montalcino

Little Montalcino, with its 5,000 inhabitants, is world famous for its wine. The small and narrow streets of the centre lend the tranquil town a medieval charm. The imposing fortress is well worth a visit, from where you have a wonderful view over Montalcino and the wine-growing areas.

Accessible from La SaRu:

60 minutes by car to Montalcino

Events:

Colourful and exciting is the ‘Sagra del Tordo’, which has been celebrated annually since 1958 on the last Sunday in October. It is a folkloric competition between the four districts of the town centre (Borghetto, Pianello, Ruga and Travaglio) that takes place in the form of archery and opens the hunting season. It begins with a historic procession to Fortezza, the venue of the competition.

Florence

Florence

What should we still tell about Florence (-:

Accessible from La SaRu:

1 hour and 38 minutes by car to Florence

regular train service from Cortona. online ticket