Tuesday, June 19th
The breakfast the following morning in Bologna was one of the usual buffet types. There was a man at the bar taking orders for coffee. He made me a delicious Caffè macchiato. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I found Hotel Porta San Mamolo after reading one of Palma’s posts from Bologna. I would definitely stay there again if returning to Bologna.
I arrived in Cortona about 12:45 after two train rides. It was a beautiful day. I was fortunate to have a nice man share a taxi with me at the Camucia-Cortona train station, although I think I ended up paying the entire fare. After checking into my B&B, I went on a restaurant hunt to find a somewhere to have lunch. I brought a list of recommended restaurants with me. As I did not know the town well yet, I looked for restaurants near the center which was also near my B&B. I stumbled onto La Logetta but it was already full. Since I was there, I asked to have a table reserved for me for dinner. I also asked the waiter for a recommendation of another restaurant nearby. He suggested Il Cacciatore.
Il Cacciatore was also on my list and turned out to be my favorite place to eat while I was there. I had a ravioli dish which was stuffed with eggplant and came with a fresh tomato sauce. Delicious!! I also enjoyed the atmosphere. There were a few tables full of locals and what seemed to be a table of Italian tourists. Right before I was done, in walked “Imelda” and her party as I will call her (nicknamed by a fellow slow traveler and that is all I will say about that). There were only tables for 2 set up. Two men offered to move so that they could set a table for four but they just started eating. I was just finishing up my water and waiting for the bill and offered to let them have my table but no one would hear of that. It was an entertaining few minutes before I left.
I then went to look for Il Girasole to see if Alessandra was there. It took me a while to find it and when I did, I could not believe I did not see it sooner as it is located right in the town center. Alessandra wasn’t there and so I left a message saying that I would be back the next morning.
After leaving my message, I went to the tourist information office to get a map of Cortona. I also inquired about the hike up to the church on the top of the hill. The road to take started near where the buses depart and so I went to check the bus schedule and then started on my long hike. It was a very hot day and I ended up with the beginning of a blister. At the top was the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita and a little further up was a fortezza, Fortezza del Girifalco. The cost was 3 euros and it was similar to the fortezza in Montalcino in that it had the wall at the top that you could walk around but it was not as big. I really enjoyed my visit inside the fortezza. The views were spectacular.
After my long walk up to the church and the fortezza, I headed back down a different way which included walking along a few windy roads through the middle of the town. When I got back to the center, I went back to my room to rest my feet for a while. I went back out to look for an internet caffè and spent a little time catching up.
I then headed over to La Logetta for dinner. The food at La Logetta was good but it was a very “touristy” restaurant and I felt that the service was not as genuinely friendly as I find it to be in places which are not frequented by so many tourists. I had bruschetta with tomatoes and a salad with lots of vegetables and delicious tuna.
I was pretty tired after dinner and went back to my B&B for the night.