Cortona is a town and ‘comune’ (municipality) in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. Originally an Umbrian city, it was conquered and enlarged by the Etruscans, who called it Curtun. The prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside at an elevation of 600 metres (2,000 ft) that embraces a view of the whole of the Valdichiana. Parts of the Etruscan city wall can still be seen today as the basis of the present wall.
The restoration project
In Cortona there are several original lamp posts along the ancient walls. They are simple ones with one light and haven’t been used for years. They are quite unique and similar ones haven’t been documented in any other city in Tuscany or in Italy. They were probably manufactured locally and exclusively for Cortona.
The lamp posts have been rescued not only through an external restoration of the oxidised surfaces but also by strengthening the whole structure using a steel core. By doing this, it has been possible to salvage even those who, due to fractures along the column, it wouldn’t have been possible to re-install.
The restored lamp posts have been installed on the Etruscan city wall overlooking ‘Piazza del Mercato’. They come from different parts of Cortona, but they’ve been put all together here to give a consistent look to a portion of the ancient walls. On the lamp posts the lantern Light 802 has been installed.
The new installation
The requalification project has also included the city walls of San Sebastiano, litten up using Tabit system, chosen for its similarities with the restored lamp posts.
In this way it has been possible to create continuity in the two city walls crossed by via Guelfa towards the main ‘piazza’ of Cortona.