Fortezza di Girifalco, CortonaNovember 30, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C
We eventually made it to the top and to the Fortezza di Girifalco. There has probably been a fortress on the hilltop overlooking Cortona since the 5th or 6th century BC, when the original Etruscan walls followed a course which roughly corresponds to the existing perimeter walls of today. However the first historical records date back to 1258 AD. Having been plundered and sacked several times during the wars with Arezzo, it was sold to the Florentine Republic in 1411 and reconstruction work began in 1527. Over time changes were made and fortifications added to ensure it could resist the force of heavy artillery barrage from the cannons of modern European armies of the 16th century.
In 1766 it was finally disarmed and sold to the Community of Cortona which used it as a town prison. During WWII it was the home of 250 children whose parents were exiled abroad, and as a strategic observation post of German radio operators who were eventually kicked out to accommodate liberation troops of the allied forces.
Further restoration work was undertaken in 1959 and 1969 to enable visitors to view the keep and the internal courtyard. Today it is used for temporary exhibitions, small shows, conferences, weddings and private parties. With its history and what I had read in my research I thought this would be a good place to visit. However, for the €5 entrance fee, it really was a disappointing stop with very little done to promote or display the history. The advertised café was non-existent and with the clouds still covering the valley the views weren’t what we had hoped for. It really wasn’t worth the long hard hike up the hill.Read more