Cortona – the town made famous by Frances Mayes book Under the Tuscan Sun, offers a wonderful opportunity to visit both Tuscany and Umbria. see our ideas below – This part of Tuscany is my one of my very favourite, the first part of Tuscany that inspired me to offer villas. Here I discovered the beautiful La Pietra just 30 minutes from Cortona in the lovely Niccone Valley. Set high on a hillside, I met Katharine whose vision had transformed a pile of stones ( literally) into this lovely villa. I walked in and fell in love with the villas of Tuscany. The area nearby, around Cortona and in the hills beyond became my dream of Tuscany…I hope you can share some of my dream going through these notes.