Convents & Monasteries – Cortona

Today’s Cortona is a foreign-wedding destination, college town, Etruscan site, and expat haven. Visitor lodging is abundant – including some convents and monasteries in Cortona.


Featured photo: A spring scene in Cortona, Italy.


Table of Contents

Convents & Monasteries Series

This is part of a series of ongoing blog posts about Italian convents and monasteries where I have stayed. I will update this page as I get to stay in more religious guesthouses in the future.

Check my main article on staying in convents and monasteries: the pros and cons, and what to expect when considering these accommodations.

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Cortona

Cortona is situated on a mountainside almost 500 meters in elevation. During ancient times, Cortona was an Etruscan town known as Curtun. In 2018, I visited the town in search of its Etruscan treasures: the remaining walls and gate of the ancient Etruscan city, the Tabula Cortonensis (a legal Etruscan document inscribed in bronze), and the enigmatic lampadario (an Etruscan chandelier of sorts).

Today, Cortona is a very popular venue for weddings of foreigners. There is a cottage industry of wedding planners and services in the town. The Comune di Cortona is popular, where the stairs provide a great spot for the wedding entourage.

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Cortona also hosts the study abroad program of an American school, the University of Georgia.

Bramasole – Frances Mayes’ famed villa in Under the Tuscan Sun – is located a mile outside the town center.

You can tell Cortona has a robust number of visitors and expat residents. On any given day, you will hear English spoken at the town center, the grocery shop, and the train station. In addition to hotels, B&Bs, and agriturismos, there’s a fair number of convents and monasteries in Cortona that offer hospitality to visitors…

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Casa Per Ferie Villa Santa Margherita

The Casa per Ferie Villa Santa Margherita is operated by the Suore Serve di Maria Riparatrici (Sisters Servants of Mary Reparation). They have a layperson who manages the bookings and reception for the guest house.

The gardens of Villa Santa Margherita - elegant guest house in an Italian convent. Cortona, Italy.
Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: Casa per Ferie Villa Santa Margherita – an elegant guest house in an Italian convent. Cortona, Italy.

Highlights

The villa seems to have been modernized recently with a nice Tuscan motif. The elegant double room I had was quite spacious, with a spacious bathroom. I asked for a room with views of Lake Trasimeno or the mountainside, and it was perfect!

Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: A room with a view of the hillside in Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.
Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: A room with a view of the hillside in Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.

The villa has a garden/terrace, a dining room where breakfast is served, and sitting or lounge areas.

Breakfast is worth a mention: in addition to the usual convent fare, the villa provided proteins with eggs and some salumi meats!

Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: The reception area of Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.
Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: The reception area of Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.

This convent guest house has no curfew. You are given keys to the gate, front door, and your room. You don’t surrender your keys when you leave the convent for the day. 

Villa Santa Margherita is within walking distance of the Cortona town center, Piazza della Repubblica. It’s a 0.3 mile distance with 100-foot ascent. Follow this Google maps walking route.

A few items to note (as of 2018 – hopefully, things get better in the future):

  • The reception has a limited schedule. It closes after 3:00 pm.
  • Air conditioning is extra (€5/day) – but I didn’t need it because it was still cool in the mountain when I stayed in the spring.
  • Wi-fi charge is extra (€1 per person /day). However, I found it barely usable in the room.
  • Laundry facilities – only available in Camucia!
Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: Another view of the hillside from Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.
Convents & Monasteries in Cortona: Another view of the hillside from Villa Santa Margherita. Cortona, Italy.

Lodging Summary for Villa Santa Margherita

Bed & breakfast rate (single):€47 in 2018
Distance from city center: ✅✅✅
Breakfast:✅ ✅ (with protein!)
Wi-Fi:✅ (unreliable)
Check-in:from 10:00 am -3:00 pm
Check-out: by 10:30 am
Curfew:none
Credit cards:Yes
Luggage storage:Yes
Laundry facility:No
Onsite parking:Yes
Elevator:Yes
Ensuite bathroom:Yes
Wardrobe/drawers in room:Yes
Desk/chair in room:Yes

LEGEND:

Distance from the city center or main attractions
✅ Must drive or take taxi/multiple bus/train ride
✅✅ Within 30-minute walk or short bus/train ride
✅✅✅ Within 15-minute walk

Breakfast offering
❌ No breakfast offered
✅ Basic: coffee, milk, juice, bread, jams, cereal, fruit
✅✅ Basic plus protein: above plus eggs or some meat
✅✅✅ Sumptuous breakfast buffet

Wi-fi coverage
❌ No Wi-fi
✅ Wi-fi only in common areas
✅✅ Room Wi-fi: adequate
✅✅✅ Room Wi-fi: strong

Contact & Address

Email: info@villasm.it
Tel.: (39)0575-63036
Website: http://www.santamargherita.smr.it/?lang=en
Address: Viale Cesare Battisti, 17, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy

How to get there:  
Take the train from Roma, Firenze, or other points in Italy – to the Camucia-Cortona train station. From the station:
➤ The simplest way to get to the convent is by taxi, especially if you have luggage in tow. This is an 8-minute drive from the valley town of Camucia, and up the mountain town of Cortona.
➤ OR: It’s 10 minutes by bus. Use Google maps for navigation. Take the bus SU5 that goes to Cortona Piazza Garibaldi. Get off right in front of the Villa Santa Margherita, at the stop Viale C. Battisti Di Fronte Nc.17

How the Villa Santa Margherita convent building and gate look like (No. 17 on the left):

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Other Convents & Monasteries in Cortona

You may want to consider the following convents and monasteries, which are on my wishlist. I haven’t stayed in these guest houses yet. When I have the opportunity to do so when I’m back in Cortona, I will write about my experience.

CASA PER FERIE SANTA CATERINA
Email:
s.caterinacortona@yahoo.it
Tel.: (39)0575-630343
Website: http://www.cortonaresidence.it/index.html
Address: Via Santa Margherita, 2, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy

Note: This guest house is operated by the Sorelle dei Poveri di Santa Caterina da Siena.

HOTEL OASI NEUMANN
Email:
info@servizire.it
Tel.: (39)0575-630127
Website: http://www.hoteloasineumann.it/index6ac7.html?cID=138
Address: Via le Contesse 1, 52044 Cortona (AR) Italy

NOTE: This used to be the location of the ancient monastery of Santa Maria alle Contesse. It no longer seems to be an active religious institution but has been converted into a real hotel.


For a complete list of sources and resources used on this webpage, please see the References page.


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