If you have ever read something about Cortona’s history, or taken a tour with a local guide, you might have heard this phrase.

A famous local saying: “Cortona, mother of Troy and grandmother of Rome”

According to the legend, Cortona was founded by Crano, one of Noah’s sons, 273 years after the Great Flood. Noah was so pleased when he saw the new town that he appointed his son as Corito, meaning “king”. Corito is exactly the ancient name of Cortona.

Corito’s son was Dardanus (does the name sound familiar? We have “Via Dardano” in town). He soon left the city and moved to Anatolia, where his descendants founded the city of Troy. Here is the reason for the”mother of Troy”!

Some centuries later, the more famous Aeneas led his descendants back to Italy while escaping from burning Troy. They moved to the Tyrrhenian coast and settled in a nearby area, where Romulus would later found the city of Rome… Grandchildren of Corito, thank you! For this reason, Cortona is considered to be the grandmother of Rome. 

It might sound a bit too “epic” to you, but as Cortonesi we are very proud of our origins – and considering the long and amazing history of this town, we have no reason to believe the contrary!