Friday, 8 February 2013

Where is the best place to park in Cortona?

As many of you will know, Cortona looks deceptively flat on a map but in reality is spread over a steep hillside and has only a single horizontal street. The latter is via Nazionale which runs from Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Signorelli. Together they form the centre of the town. You won't be able to park on Via Nazionale, since it's closed to traffic from 8 am until 9 pm every day.

In fact, the simplest solution to the question of where is the best place to park in Cortona is to use one of the parking areas provided outside the walls. These parking lots are spaced at equal intervals around the town and they are free. One of the best is just below Via Garibaldi because there is an escalator (marked "S" on the map) that carries you all the way up to the piazza and hence onto Via Nazionale. This definitely beats walking up the steep streets of Cortona! Note that there's a shop at the bottom of the escalator that offers a very good range of guide books not only about Cortona but many other areas of Tuscany and Umbria.

Inside the walls, there are often parking spots free on via San Marco or on via Moneti, the street immediately before via San Marco. However, if you park on the street, do remember that if you park where a "P" sign is in place, blue lines mean you pay by buying a ticket from one of the machines nearby, yellow lines mean parking is for local people with a special permit only, and a white line means free parking.

Where is it best to park in Cortona?
How not to park in Cortona, no matter how fancy your means of transport.
DO NOT park on the yellow cross or under the no parking sign (Passo Carrabile)!

Last but not least, be aware that Cortona, like many other Tuscan towns and cities, has limited traffic zones (ZTL) watched over by automated cameras. If you drive into one of these zones without a permit, sooner or later you'll receive a fine in the mail whether you were driving your own car or a rental car.

Don't let any of this put you off visiting Cortona. It's a wonderful place, readily accessible from Borgo di Vagli, that rewards multiple visits. In later posts, I'll be telling you a bit about some of the important sights there.

Click this link for a printable map of Cortona showing the official parking lots.

More about limited traffic zones in Italy.

More about Cortona.

More about Borgo di Vagli fractional ownership vacation village in Tuscany.

Fulvio Di Rosa

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