I fell in love with Cortona when I first saw the movie Under The Tuscan Sun, parts of which were filmed here. So of course we had to spend a day exploring this charming little mountain town when we were driving around Tuscany recently.
It seemed that I was not alone in my love for Cortona for we came across an entire wedding party traveling all the way from America, to hold their ceremony in the beautiful old church. Under The Tuscan Sun still has many fans! Indeed there were old movie posters all over town, proudly showing the locations where the movie was filmed.
Most of Cortona can be seen in one day, especially if you are wearing good walking shoes! The steep, winding medieval alleyways, the ancient town walls affording glorious views of the amazing Tuscan countryside with glimpses of Lago Trasimeno (lake) shimmering in the distance, the fortress at the very top of the hill, and the the main town square of Piazza della Repubblica will keep you happily exploring for hours.
There is also the famous Diocesan museum housed in one of the old churches that is well known for it's fabulous works of religious art. The churches here date back to the 12th century and are lovely to explore while soaking in the peace.
And when you want to give your feet a rest, there are plenty of good restaurants and cafes to relax in. We had a delicious meal of grilled lamb chops with garlic and rosemary, pasta in cream sauce and a sun ripened tomato caprese salad that, along with a huge gelato, revived us wonderfully.
These lamb chops develop fantastic flavour when marinated overnight. Serve them with some crusty bread and a salad to complete the meal.
Grilled Lamb Chops
8 lamb rib chops, each about 3/4 inch thick
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 long sprig of rosemary, coarsely chopped up
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup each: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine
Combine all of the ingredients in a resealable plastic bag, shake well to coat lamb with marinade.
Refrigerate overnight, shaking bag occasionally.
Preheat barbecue to medium high.
Remove lamb from bag, discarding marinade.
Grill chops for about 6 min or until done to your liking, turning once.
Transfer lamb chops to serving platter, tent with foil and let them rest for 10 min before serving.