Fortezza Medicea del Grifalco, Cortona

The Girifalco Medici Fort (1549-1556)

This fort was built by Gabrio Serbelloni, nephew of Pope IV and Francesco Laparelli from Cortona. The fort has a trapezoidal shape with four large bastions and is an excellent example of sixteenth century military architecture

Via Santa Margherita

From the establishment of the government of Cosimo I Medici until the subjection of Siena in 1555, Cortona was an important military town. Gabrio Serbelloni and Francesco Laparelli built the Girifalco Medici Fort on the ruins of the town’s ancient medieval fortress in 1549. In the latter part of sixteenth century, in 1556, Cosimo I had the rest of the fort built on the north-east corner of the quadrilateral walls. The original foundations of the fort were from an Etruscan construction which subsequently was used by the Romans and also in the medieval period up to the sacking of 1258.
It has been re-built in modern times and no evidence of battles here has been uncovered. The fort now houses an exhibition centre which is open to the public from April to September. From the top of the tower there is a breathtaking view of Cortona and all of the Valdichiana area.

Guided tours:
Aion Cultura offers guided tours around the fort. To book a tour call Aion Culture on 0575 637235 or email

Interesting fact:
Thanks to its position, the fort is used as an anti-forest fire lookout point in the summer.

The foundations of the city have been lost in legend
As far as the Florentine ruling class was concerned: to increase the value of the vast territorial consistency of Tuscany, like ancient Etruria, as well as the antiquity of all of its most famous cities since primordial civilisations immediately after the Great Flood, with the aim of obtaining for that territory and for those cities the recognition of Grand Duchy and the title of Grand Duke ...