Due to the narrow urban layout of the city, the old town centre of Cortona is limited to traffic. There are some areas which you can access by car, but they are a limited number of streets and in limited hours. Unless it is strictly necessary, don’t enter the old town with your car. You can easily leave it in one of the parking areas just outside the walls. Some of these are paid parkings, so pay attention at the color of the lines:
- Blue: payment needed
- White: no payment needed
- Yellow: reserved parking lots, usually for locals living within the walls or for business/emergency vehicles/buses.
- Gravel area (no lines): usually no payment is needed, but check the signs around to be sure.
Here is a map, provided by the Municipality of Cortona, showing all parking lots close to the old town center and their GPS coordinates:
It is the more convenient parking, free of charge, very close to the city center provided with escalators that take you straight to Piazza Garibaldi.
Via Cesare Battisti
You can also park along this street, there is a small parking lot at the big bend and more parkings on both sides of the street. Payment needed (only some white lines at the beginning of the road).
Tip: If you follow the signs to Piazza Garibaldi (at the end of via Cesare Battisti), you can let your passengers ou there and save them the walk from the parkings. Then take the ramp back down and turn right for Spirito Santo, or left to look for a free spot in Via Cesare Battisti again.
Piazza del Mercato
It is a large parking area outside the main gates of the town, all free of charge, from the gas station area all the way to Santa Maria gate The walk to the center may be steep but there is plenty of space. The area also serves as the town’s official bus station.
It’s the area in front of the town’s cemetery. It is quite far from the town center (very steep walk!), anyway it can be a solution during very crowded weekends.
Driving along the old town wall you see a “P” sign on the left: it is a small parking, free of charge, where you can leave your car and easily reach Porta Colonia gate through some steps.
It is a “pay and display” parking area just outside the town gate, small but very convenient as you can reach the main squares walking on a almost-flat road. If you are lucky, you may also find a free parking lot on the other side along the city walls, with no fee (white lines).
Santa Maria Nuova
You may also park along the road going down to Santa Maria Nuova Church, and in the space in front of the church. No payment is needed. The walk back up is steep but then through via Dardano you can quickly reach the main sights.
Fortezza (Santa Margherita)
Consider this area if you are staying in the upper part of the town or you want to explore the higher area without having to walk all the way up the hill. It is the most convenient parking to visit Santa Margherita church and the fortress. Also, many buses usually drop people here to pick them up at Mercato.