Restaurant La Bucaccia is located in the via Ghibellina, one of the most important streets in medieval Cortona. Whether you climb your way up from the Porta Bifora or you go down it from the Piazza della Repubblica after a walk through the town centre, strolling down this ancient street winding its way past buildings bearing the signs of time, you will fell like you’re taking a trip back in time.
Very steep, especially in the first part (the portion that the Cortonese call “La Bucaccia”), Via Ghibellina starts from a little square achieved on the embankment that covered and closed the Porta Bifora from the inner side of the walls; the embankment was removed during the recent archaeological campaign that allowed the reopening of the ancient gate.
Via Ghibellina runs along a bend and has the appearance of a typical winding medieval street; the houses and the buildings that skirt it, even though expanded and altered during the 15th-17th centuries, show, especially on the lower level, numerous structures from the Middle Ages. The most important buildings of the street grow in number as we approach the town centre.
Half way up the street, on the right-hand side, you will find the Vicolo del Fosso and the Vicolo Bacarelli: the latter was named after the ancient name of the Porta Ghibellina and leads to the nearby Church of San Benedetto.
Our restaurant is housed in the converted Renaissance cellars of Palazzo Cattani at number 17, just past the Vicolo Cattani.
Walking through this very narrow alley, you will go past medieval structures and two remarkable 14th century doors. The coat of arms of the Cattani family featured three mountains surmounted by a cross, an allusion to the three castles anciently owned by the family - Sepoltaglia, Castelnuovo and Montegualandro – in the opinion of some Cortonese historians . This coat of arms can still be seen in the cathedral – at the base of the second altar to the right – as well as over the doors of two houses at n.° 6 of Via S. Benedetto and n.° 4 of Via Ghini. When, the Accademia degli Occulti was established in Cortona in the third decade of the 18th century , Francesco Cattani, a member of the family, was among its founders.
A number of Cortonese authors have assumed that the two buildings separated by the Vicolo Cattani – which runs at a right angle – and the buildings at their back possibly formed a square enclosed by Via Ghibellina, Via Ghini, Vicolo Bacarelli and Vicolo Forno di Sasso identified with an insula of ancient Roman Cortona.
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