La Fonte di Docciola
Right in front of the homonymous ancient door
The source is accessed via a staircase of 251 stairs in 1933 or, for those arriving by car from the Docciola car park right in front of the Docciola gate, the entire exterior of the medieval city wall. The people of Volterra still call this road Via delle Scalci di Docciola.
Two arched stone arches, used in the first half of the 13th century, support the covering of the sink, which takes notice from a mouth on the right, from which a trough is also eaten, and from a mouth placed in the center of the wall that rests to the hill. On the sides and in the center of the facade there are three crosses.
Also on the façade is an epigraph which informs us when and by whom this work was carried out.
A canal, dug in the pavement of the square in front, led to a vent opening that opened into the walls; through it the excess water came out of the belt feeding an additional basin from which knowledge could be drawn even when the door was closed or walled.
A first documentary memory dates back to 1224: in a chapter of the statutes of the Municipality of Volterra of that year a route was established that went from the source of Docciola to the river Era, but other documents show that, before 1224, it was present a source in that place.
Right in front of the Source, the door opens through the Docciola gate, inserted in the medieval walls a few years after the construction of the spring, which was installed together with the stretch of walls that closed the valley, shortly after 1260.
The gate was walled during the fifteenth century due to the demographic decline of the city which made it impossible to keep watch over all the city gates. It was reopened only in the mid-nineteenth century.