from the map of Europe with the massive invasions that saw the
end of the western Roman Empire.
The city reappeared in the 11th century
as an independent state but was purchased by the Republic of Florence
from the King of Naples in 1410.
Cortona played a significant role
in the development of the Franciscan movement: Saint Francis of Assisi lived there for
long periods of time and it was the home of Brother Elias, one
of the founders of the Franciscan order.
Cortona was the birthplace
of a number of famous artists, including Signorelli,
Pietro Berrettini (called Pietro of
Cortona) and Bocadoro, the architect of the Hôtel
de Ville in Paris. Fra Angelico and Vasari both visited the city and left their mark.
the 18th century a group of young aristocrats founded the Etruscan
Academy, an erudite assembly of bibliophiles, philosophers and
collectors. They gathered
a rich archaeological collection and an extensive library and
later founded the Museum, which today houses a fascinating, heterogeneous
mixture of art collections, sculptures, mosaics, books, jewellery,
furniture, coins and other artefacts.