IS there a good bookstore in Cortona that sells English language books, used or new?
There is an all purpose book/office store called Nocentini's on the main street. They sell a few English bestsellers, not much.
I do not think that there are many other options for English books in the close region, until you get to Florence. Arezzo probably has English books at the largest bookstore which would be probably a Feltrinelli brand; i'm not sure of this, though.
Thanks for the reply. We figured as much. We will be spending 6 weeks in Cortona in late April - end of May and will need to replace our reading marterial. After that we will be in Florence for the summer and are familar with Feltrinelli and the legendary Paperback Exchange. I suspect one of our first ventures out of Cortona will be to Arezzo, as it is pretty high on our list of other places to explore.
6 weeks in Cortona? may I ask what you're doing there?
And then Florence for the summer... which you clearly know will be HOT. TOo bad you couldn't invert the two locations!
For books you'd do fine to day-trip over to the papex in florence and haul some trade-ins for refreshed reading material.
I have noticed that often B&Bs and hotels in Tuscany have a pile of English books (mainly cheap novels) available in the lobby that were left by previous guests. Try to ask at the place where you are staying!
Yes, we are aware that most people do just the opposite, but that is how it worked out. We have been to Florence many times in the summer and know it will be hot. We watched the temperature daily and noted that it was pretty similar to southeastern Virginia where we grew up. We did make sure we have an apartment with ac. We will be living on the Piazza Santa Croce on St. John's Day and have a bird's eye view of the Calcio Storico.
As to what we will be doing in Cortona for 6 weeks : photographing the town, traveling by train to other places in Tuscany (yes, we know the station is in Camucia). relaxing in our little stone house, looking for a very long-term rental somewhere in central Italy, shopping in the markets, cooking & eating Italian produce, reading and decompressing after a long career as a prison educator.
We are renting a small house and from the pictures we have seen there is a bookshelf with some paperbacks on it. We are hoping to do a little better and hoping we can find some things in English, which you can't count on in Italy.
I don't know how much you read, but I would certainly not expect to find sufficient reading material in English for six weeks in Cortona.
Buy a Kindle and you can download as many books as you like, even in Italy. And they will cost considerably less than they would as printed books bought in Italy.
sounds like you deserve a relaxing break after your career, indeed!! I know that there is an american couple looking to sell a house in Umbria, their names are Barb and Art, they have a blog and are active on the slowtrav. There are links to their site from my site, and an article... you'll find them if you google them.
Will you not have a car during your stay in Cortona? The train and bus are pretty limiting, but clearly you are well informed so i'm not telling you news. You'll also easily figure out that some of the places along the train line of interest are perugia, castiglion fiorentino (also the local bus goes there), arezzo of course, and even stuff above arezzo like montevarchi and san giovanni valdarno.
In Cortona at that bookstore you can buy a hiking map of the area, there are some beautiful marked trails.
If you're going to be photographing a lot, it would be great if you woudld share those images in some way. Could you create a public flickr with all your Cortona photos? I'd like that... for ideas feel free to contact me directly via DM.
Thank you for all your suggestions. We will look into kindles, but had been told that all that is available is current bestsellers, something we have limited interest in. Clearly though, if that is true presently, it won't always be so. I need to do my research.
Not sure how much of my personal plans you are interested in raeding but --
No, we will not have a car while we are in Cortona, which is a shame because our little house has a gated/walled parking area in front of it. I am considering renting a car for part of the time so we can see those more remote towns more easily. My husband is 70 and from what we read it is not easy to rent a car in Italy at that age. It is also sooooo expensive. We may have to be happy with what we can access by train or bus.
Alexandra, we do appreciate the suggestions for other places we can visit by public transport. We spent a week in Perugia in 2003 and really enjoyed it. We hope to get back during this trip. Arezzo is high on my list of cities to settle in long-term. We plan on visiting in more than once. We have put your other suggestions on our list. We will also visit your site and check out the couple you mentioned, altho' we are not planning on buying property.
I guess we are reasonably well-informed. We used to escort groups of high school students to Europe, have traveled to Italy both seperately and together 4 times in the last 6 years. We developed an interest in digital photography on one of our first trips together and already have some gorgeous shots of Venice and Rome. I appreciate the suggestion of starting a Flickr account and may take you up on it. (Not that our pictures are better than the others out there.) Hope I haven't bored you with all this.Edited: 17 December 2009, 20:51
Not at all bored!! I'm going to take our conversation over to private messaging though ;-)