Thirteen years ago we honeymooned near to Cortona, in the Italian province of Arezzo. We were staying near the top of an adjacent hill and most evenings would drive down from our love nest and up into the birth place of Futurist artist Gino Severini. Cortona was also the setting for Frances Mayes' 1998 International Best Seller Under The Tuscan Sun which was adapted into the damn awful film of the same same. Mayes must have been raging. I didn't read the book but I did eat the peach tart that Karen made from Mayes' recipe and it was excellent.
About four weeks ago we went back.
Cortona was and still is a beautiful hill top Tuscan town. It's busier than it was thirteen years ago, maybe a little more highfalutin, café prices a little higher. The main street has a few new shops including a fascinating den of objet d'art and ephemera. Mostly way out of our price range but I did fork out a handful of euros for two maps, neither of which featured Cortona but nevertheless held cartographic delights amongst their folds.
Both from the Touring Club Italiano, I can't find a print date on the older sheet but the younger espresso-stained sheet is from 1967 and comes complete with a pre-Pentagram Alan Fletcher designed Pirelli ad on the back. The ad was first seen in 1962 when Fletcher brought his tyre company client back to the UK as he joined up with Forbes and Gill.