The Piazza dei Priori
Relive the grandeur of the medieval art and history in Italy, in a square in the center of Volterra, in the middle of Tuscany
The ancient square was built on a plateau where, even before 1000 a.D., markets and fairs took place. This is where the first civil institutions of the old municipality were built, followed by more important civic buildings as Volterra grew in importance and wealth. Palazzo dei Priori, literally the “building of the priors”, is the most important institution on the square, which also gives it its name.
Other buildings built around the square are the Palazzo Pretorio, the Porcellino Tower, one of the oldest towers of the city, the Palazzo Vescovile, which is the bishops’ “palazzo” and has been used as a grain storage, Palazzo Incontri, home to the bank Cassa di Risparmio di Volterra, and Palazzo del Monte Pio. Palazzo del Monte Pio was built by merging a group of tower-houses and other structures from the 1200s, which are very much visible on the back of the building, in the alley Vicolo Mazzoni.