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Casa Dardano is just 3 km from the centre of the splendid hilltop town of Cortona, featured in the popular movie, "Under thre Tuscan Sun" The Tuscans are not noted for their modesty and in the case of Cortona, they haven’t held back in their urge to demonstrate its ancient origins. Annio Viterbese, who wrote a 15th Century version of The Rough Guide, would have us believe that Noah was so taken with “the altitude, the amenities and the air of tranquility,” that one of his offspring, a certain Crano, was detailed to create this delightful little walled citadel. Noah saw that goodly works had been done and bestowed the name Corito (derived from the Latin word for sceptre, the symbol of a king’s power) on his relative, and thus Cortona got its name. Whatever the truth may be, there is no doubt that Cortona is indeed ancient, and within its walls you’ll find eateries, smart shops and a museum housing the famous Etruscan lampadario.
Dardano is a deceptively large house, full of atmosphere. It is a simple country home, basic even, but with an elemental charm. Outdoors, it has a vine-covered area for shaded outdoor eating. The garden is a neatly mown meadow with glorious views of the surrounding countryside, while the large outbuildings house a barbecue, an outdoor kitchen and give welcome covered parking. A flight of steps leads to the front door and into the old farmhouse kitchen, which also takes a stab at doubling as a sitting room. The stone floor and old fireplace, with medieval “spy hole”, has authentic Tuscany stamped all over it. We couldn’t call the place smart, but it’ll charm you nevertheless with its comfortable bedrooms, ancient arched windows and huge old beams. Also on this floor are a compact double bedroom, a large bedroom with twin beds and a bathroom with shower.
From here you climb the characterful stairs in the picture to reach the tower, which covers two floors. The double bedroom at this level has an en suite bathroom (with shower) and the stairs continue (without a door) to the double bedroom at the top.
The pool was built with safety in mind: it s 3 ft 9 ins deep and completely fenced for total peace of mind.
Try Cortona’s market for fresh bread, huge tomatoes bursting with sunshine flavour, real mozzarella and a flagon of local wine to enjoy in the garden - that’s what Dardano’s all about! It’s plain, simple and appealing. And Noah would most certainly have approved!
By Olva Beaugals on 15-Aug-2017
We stayed for a week in the apartment Benedetta at the back of the mansion which was built I believe 3 centuries ago. The mansion is being beautifully restored by Paolo the landlord. He is a very friendly, warm and funny person. We laughed a lot. He offered us real homemade pizza's on our first night because we arrived rather late. Later in the week he ' officially' cooked us a real Tuscan dinner which was really great. We enjoyed the pool and loved the view from the terrace where we used to have our breakfast. I wouldn't be surprised if many more will enjoy this place.