Volterra ; town of Tuscany : 531 m above sea level 11800 pop.
Also called the windy town, thanks to its hilltop location halfway between
the valleys of central Tuscany.
Town of Etruscan origins became important Episcopal seat around the 11th
C. Nowadays the town is an important city of art, well known also for the
handicraft of alabaster and onyx.
Sights to see :
Porta all' arco: Important remains of Etruscan engineering dating
back to the 4th C. BC, it preserves the imposing jambs made with big
blocks of stone.
Piazza dei Priori: In the heart of the town, it represents one of the
most harmonious and scenic medieval piazzas of Tuscany.
Palazzo dei Priori: Built in the 13th C, it is one of the most
ancient "Palazzo Comunale" of Tuscany. It is enriched by elegant two-light
windows, numerous coats of arms and maiolicas belonging to Florentine
families. Palazzo dei Priori is surmounted by a nice tower with turrets.
Duomo: Romanesque building (12th C) characterised by a nice portal,
big rose window and is richly decorated. 3 nave interior, several works of
art: "Deposizione" a notable ligneous sculpture, a marmoreous ciborium by
Mino da Fiesole dating back to 1471 and "Annunciazione by Bartolomeo della
Porta. Inside a chapel "NativitÓ" and "Adorazione" , 2 painted terracottas
attributed to Andrea della Robbia. On the left is the fresco "Cavalcata
dei Magi" by Benozzo Gozzoli (1479) . It preserves also other works
by Taddeo di Bartolo, Antonio Vanni, Neri di Bicci, Domenico Ghirlandaio,
Battistero: Octagonal building dating back to 1283, with a very
nice Romanesque portal. Inside are the baptismal font by Sansovino and the
decorated altar by Mino di Pietro.
Museo diocesano di arte sacra: also called "Opera del Duomo" it
preserves important works of art belonging to the Duomo and other churches
of Volterra. Among the works "Busto di San Lino" by Andrea della Robbia, "
Busto di Sant'Ottaviano" in carved Silver by Pollaiolo, the reliquary of
San Vittore, a bronze gilt "Crucifix" by Giambologna and "Madonna with
Saints" by Rosso Fiorentino.
"Quadrivio dei Buonparenti": Crossroad between Via Roma and Via
Ricciarelli, it is one of the most evocative corners of the medieval
center of Volterra. Here stands the Tower-house of Buonparenti that
emerges among the ancient palaces and towers.
Palazzo Solaini: Elegant building by Antonio da Sangallo the elder. It
houses the "Pinacoteca" (picture gallery) and the Civic Museum. Several
works of art by Taddeo di Bartolo, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli,
Rosso Fiorentino. Worthy of note is the "Deposizione dalla Croce" by Rosso
Fiorentino (1521). The palazzo preserves wooden and marble sculptures, as
well as, a rich collection of coins made in Volterra in the 12th C and
Palazzo Viti: preserves a rich collection of alabasters, ancient
porcelains and sacred vestments.
The Church of San Michele Archangel: It preserves works of art by
Pomarancio, Carlo Maratta and a terracotta by Andrea della Robbia.
The Roman Theater. Discovered in 1950, it is a very important ruin
of the Roman Era.
Guarnacci Museum: It is considered one of the most important Etruscan
museums of Italy. It preserves more than 600 cinerary urns of
extraordinary beauty. On display are several sarcophagus, sculptures,
vases, Etruscan bucchero objects, coins, jewelry, bronzes, idols and small
statues. Among the cinerary urns worthy of note is the " Urna degli Sposi"
(1st C BC)
Among the statues do not miss seeing the "Ombra della Sera"(2nd C BC ), a
bronze statue which became the symbol of the Etrucan civilization.
The Fortress: stately defensive construction which nowadays hosts a
Balze: Striking chasms created by landslides.
How to get there:
By Train : The closest train stations are Florence and
By air :International flights to Rome or
Pisa - Domestic flights to Florence.