Cortona vs Pienza

Old Jun 5th, 2001, 06:04 AM
debora hallyburton
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Cortona vs Pienza

I have a choice of Cortona or Pienza as a "home base" during a stay in Italy. Day trips to surrounding areas. Any preferences?
Old Jun 5th, 2001, 06:26 AM
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Buon giorno Debora, Both towns are great but Pienza is better located for most of my favorite Tuscan destinations.
Cortona is barely in Tuscany, and is a good base for Umbrian destinations. The crete and Val d' Orcia regions of south Tuscany are superb, and Pienza is the ideal location for these. And, Siena is only about :30. It really depends on your day trip priorities.
Old Jun 6th, 2001, 02:59 AM
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Hi Debora, Whatever Bob the Navigator says is good advise. As many others I have learnt to respect and enjoy his postings. However I wish to add, that Cortona versus Pienza as a destination in itself,- as a place with several very good places to eat and visit, as a place near many charming places like Les Celle- is in my book much much desirable than Pienza.
I also think that the hotels in Cortona are very pleasant, like the San Michele, located in an old palazzo. It is charming ... a reasonable four star
hotel. Good luck.
Old Jun 6th, 2001, 12:42 PM
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a friend is in pienza as i type and said there is NOTHING to do. cortona, as stated earlier, is a great city in itself -- even if it is not the better of the two location-wise. GREAT market in the town at the bottom of the hill!
Old Jun 6th, 2001, 01:57 PM
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Hi Debora, My husband and I will be staying in Cortona for 5 nights this October: That's our choice, after talking to friends who have been to both towns. Graziella, in your reply you mentioned that there are several good places to eat in Cortona. Do you have any special favorites? We're staying at Il Falconiere and will probably dine there two nights but want to branch out as well.
Old Jun 6th, 2001, 02:01 PM
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Being familiar with both towns, I'd be curious what one could do in Cortona that could not be done in Pienza? (Aside from the U of Georgia programs.) [My own vote would be for Pienza, both generally and specifically.]
Old Apr 1st, 2002, 02:12 PM
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topping for info about cortona
Old Apr 1st, 2002, 02:49 PM
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My choice would be Cortona. I've spent time in both towns, and Cortona draws me back. I'd love to stay there. Pienza is great for a visit, but Cortona, to me, seems more of a lived-in and friendly town. Lots of restaurant choices, internet cafes, shops, bars, and one of my favorite museums in the world, with Fra Angelico's lovely annunciation - I'd go back just to sit in front of that painting again!
Old Apr 1st, 2002, 06:06 PM
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Hi, we ate well in most places in Cortona, also in Il Falconiere, which we found a charming place in the middle of the "country".Now that I think about it , you migt be a little secluded there. During the day it is lovely with the pool, the garden etc.
Tonino is a restaurant in a hotel in Cortona that serves a superbe antipastisimo and great classical cuisine..
I cannot remmember the name exactly but near the Hotel St Michele, we enjoyed three places, one a simple trattoria ( around the corner from the St MIchele) probably was called The Grotto , it was very good and reasonably priced, next door to the St Michele there is a fine restaurant whose name I cannot remember either ;-(
And a couple of blocks, located on the upper floor of one the old buildings there is also a fine restaurant...that we enjoyed. The hotel will let you know everybody knows all the secrets in that small Town. Good luck.The action in Cortona as limited as it looks seems to me it is much more that what you can expect in Pienza. ....Good luck.
Old Apr 1st, 2002, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for the comments about both towns. I'm sure Pienza is a very picturesque town, but I'd certainly think there would be more "life" in Cortona since it looks much larger than Pienza.

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