October 23, 2014, 09:18 AM
Christmas/New Year time in Cortona
My family and I will be travelling to Cortona for 7 days in the Christmas/New Year period. 10 people including 2 1/2 year old and 12 month old. Does anyone know if there will be Restaurants/Wineries/ places of interest that will be open at that time? Any other words of advise. Not really when we would have chosen to go, but it just sort of happened. Husband bought it at a Charity Auction and now madly trying to make a go of it.
October 27, 2014, 08:43 PM
Oh yes, everything remains open, maybe wineries will be closed on the strict main holidays (December 25th and 26th and Jan.1) but restaurants will be open for sure even on those days.
Museums tend to rotate... some will be open for the occasion, some closed, depends on the museum!
Will you have a car to move around? Despite it being the start of winter, I'd still recommend you take a look a this itinerary for ideas of places to see and visit:
With such small kids, you'll have to remain flexible and adapt to their needs but it is a good start as to what to see and do ;-). Cortona is beautiful so it is a great place to be based in, particularly to see the south of Tuscany.
October 28, 2014, 02:14 AM
Thank you Lourdes,
Originally Posted by JanPerth
Yes we will have a car/van/cars. We're fairly casual and relaxed and 8 adults to mind the 2 babes!
I hadn't really thought to do Pisa from our accommodation in Cortona, wouldn't that be a bit far on a day trip? Perhaps if it was really worth the visit, we could coordinate at the start or as we fly out.
And if we would like to winery visits, is it best to go with a tour company or make contact with the winery ourselves?
Regards and best wishes.
October 28, 2014, 05:27 PM
I also think Pisa might be far for you, but it was to give you an idea... most generally it can be done, but moving around or having a more central base.
8 adults to the 2 kids should work out fine! But still, remain flexible with your plans. I think a mini van or two cars might work best, particularly with 2 car seats. Make sure to request them ahead of time, if you're not flying with them.
Once you're in Cortona, I'd just simply suggest heading to the local tourism office - they have contacts with all the local estates, know which ones might be open and easiest to visit at that time. They will also be able to recommend locally-based tour companies that might offer some interesting itineraries, those can generally be booked a few days ahead of time. So a stop at the tourism office should be among the first things you do once you arrive
I suggest taking it slow and concentrating on the local area, which is quite off-the-beaten-path once you leave Cortona. There are many small hilltop villages in the area, which are charming and offer great traditional dining. Around the holiday season, there are nativity scenes set up in many churches, and small Christmas markets on the weekends. In the area I'd suggest making your way to Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Anghiari, Castiglione Fiorentino, Sarteano and Lucignano... in addition to some shopping at the Val di Chiana outlets (although being around Christmas might be quite packed right before the holiday) and to Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico and Montalcino. In essence - I recommend taking more time to wander around the immediate area than to trek across Tuscany to go to Pisa and just see the tower. Although if you do fly in or out of Pisa, it would be a pity to miss it! It is definitely to be seen, at least once in a lifetime ;-).
October 29, 2014, 02:56 AM
Thank you again Lourdes. Your advice is very much appreciated and has given me confidence for traveling at that time.
October 29, 2014, 01:24 PM
You're very welcome. As you continue planning, if you have any questions or doubts, do share and hope we can help!
Enjoy the planning