Italy – Frequently Asked Questions

Cortona is located in southern Tuscany, about 2 hours north of Rome and 1 1/2 hours south of Florence. It sits right in the middle of Italy.
You can contact Stacey to book your stay at travel@sojourn-ventures.com. We suggest you contact us as soon as you know when you would like to travel so we can do our best to book your preferred dates.
Cortona is easy to access from both airports, with Florence being a little closer. Rome is about 3+ hours by train or car, Florence is about 2+ hours by train or car. Florence is a smaller airport. Rome is a large international airport. We recommend that you make your selection by the city that works best for you with regards to price , flight connections, etc.
That would depend on what type of experience you would like to have. Do you enjoy warm summer months, temperate spring and fall months, or winter weather? The busiest times are April/May through October.
We are hesitant to comment on the weather anymore, as patterns all over the world have been extreme and unusual. We suggest that you Google the weather for the time of year that you wish to travel.
You will only need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned date of departure from Europe.
You can get to Cortona by train, rental car or private taxi. When you book your stay, we will send you arrival instructions to Cortona.
It will depend on your accommodations. Cortona is a small village and many of our homes have parking close by but the furthest you would need to park would be a 10-15 minute walk.
You need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive and, in most cases, to rent a car in Italy. The IDP is a translation of your driver’s license so you need to bring your actual drivers license when you go to get your IDP. You can get an IDP at AAA (Automobile Association of America). It is good for one year.
Yes, you will check in with our colleagues at Together in Tuscany in the town of Terontola, about 10 minutes from Cortona. Specific arrival instructions will be sent to you upon confirmation of your stay. Someone will escort you to your accommodations, regardless of your mode of transport.

All of the Sojourn Ventures accommodations have been carefully inspected by us.

All have:

Full-service kitchen
Hair dryer
Washing machine (no dryers — Italians hang their clothes to dry)

Some of our homes have:

Air conditioning
Televisions (with italian channels)
All of our homes have WiFi, with the exception of Casa Dolce Vita. Most cafes and some restaurants have free WiFi in Cortona.

You need to get a special international plan for texting and phone service before arriving in Italy. We strongly encourage you to bring a Smartphone that has been activated with an international plan, in the event of an emergency, or unforeseen delay of your arrival in Cortona.
You can usually buy euros in advance through your bank. There are ATMs in all airports and train stations, as well as several in central Cortona.
There are a few doctors in town and a hospital in the valley about 20 minutes away. THere is a pharmacy in Cortona. In case of an emergency, contact Together in Tuscany. You will be given their direct contact information upon booking your stay.

Handicapped accessibility is not as prevalent in Europe as it is in the U.S. You should be aware that most public buildings such as museums are not wheelchair accessible. In addition, city centers and train transport can be extremely difficult.
Cortona is very hilly and has very few level areas for wheelchairs, and they are only in the center of town, not at any of the accommodations.

Train and bus service are excellent. There are two train stations close to Cortona. A train ride to Florence is little over 1 hour and to Rome a little over 2 hours. Buses depart from Cortona to much of the surrounding area.
Cortona is very small but very hilly. You can walk the entire town in about 1/2 – 1 hour. You would not use a car to get around town, only to leave Cortona for day trips. Only resident or commercial vehicles are allowed in the town center.
Yes, there is Molesini Market in the main piazza in the center of town. There are several produce stores in town as well as wine shops.

We recommend you book local tours with our colleagues, Together in Tuscany, to get an authentic flavor of the area. They have many personalized tours available, the most popular being the wine tours and cooking classes. Together in Tuscany also provides excellent tours in Rome, Florence and Venice — and further afield as well.
We encourage you to book your tours well in advance of your arrival to insure that the tour you wish is available during the week you are in Cortona.

Comfortable clothing — and layers for different temperatures. Always bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Cortona is not a fancy town, so casual is good.
You will check out with Together in Tuscany. Instructions will be provided upon check in or you can make arrangements in advance via email.

Italy operates on a 220 volt system. You will need simple plug adapters for items like computers, camera and phone chargers.
You will need an actual electrical transformer or converter, to convert the voltage for items like hair dryers, hair curling and straightening irons, electric shavers. We like to order from Amazon.

Italians are used to having Americans tip, since we are a tipping culture, and although Europeans don’t generally tip, your tips are more than welcomed and appreciated.
A 15-20% tip would suffice and these services below are where you would be expected to tip:
Restaurants
Taxis
Tour Guides, Chefs from Cooking Classes
Hotel concierge service, bell hop
Cleaning services in private residences (Cortona) and hotels

*Together in Tuscany: Denyse and her staff, Giulia and Chiara work very hard to serve you and insure that you have a quality stay. If you are inclined, your generosity will be very much appreciated! Any amount you deem appropriate is wonderful, thank you!