VOLTERRA

Volterra

Experience the real Tuscany

Time passing by and history, art and people’s stories throughout the millennia: this is Volterra.
The city, with its past as an Etruscan capital, a Roman settlement and a medieval city and currently a treasure chest of masterpieces, dominates the beautiful Valdicecina.



Walking through the town’s many piazze, towers, churches, gardens and vaults up to the top of the hill, one can admire the roaring hills with their fields of olive trees and grapevines fading into the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The noble city of Volterra is awaiting you, with its mysterious and magical aura and fun nature, ready to enchant you.

FIND OUT MORE

Built on a hilly ridge of the Pliocene, between the valleys of Era and Cecina, surrounded by a double row of walls, the Etruscan and the medieval ones, Volterra, in the province of Pisa, (545 m. a.s.l.) is one of the most important centers of Tuscany, both for the presence of monuments that witness to the civilizations that have succeeded one another during 30 centuries, and for the production of Tuscan alabaster. The objects made with it today are among the most typical and traditional products of Italian craftsmanship.



Inhabited since the Neolithic period, the town experiences the period of Villanovan culture on which the Etruscan civilization flourishes in the 8th century. Once become one of the 12 lucumonies of the Etruscan nation, in mid-3rd century B.C. it is subjected to Rome of which it becomes an important municipality.



Once Christianity settled in, Volterra followed very soon the new faith and at the fall of the Roman Empire (479 A.D.) it became the seat of the bishop at the head of a very large diocese. After the barbarian domination and the bishops’ rule, the free commune is affirmed, formulating its own statutes since the first half of the 12th century. But its autonomy did not last long. Free from the power of the bishop-count and the rule of the Belfortis (1361), it had to struggle against the hegemonic politics of Florence. Open attempts to rebellion (1429), measures to put up with the situation, compromises and apparent friendship only delayed the final subjection to Florence, which took place in 1472 on account of the alum quarries of Volterra.



Today, Volterra is a town still untouched by the hectic pace of contemporary life and the visitors to Volterra immediately have the impression of finding themselves in a particular city, where one has a feeling of living in an ancient time, among the narrow streets of a medieval village, among the crafts that are deeply rooted in an Etruscan past.

With its mainly medieval appearance it contains huge quantities of Etruscan findings, such as the Porta all’Arco dating back to the 4th century, the Acropolis, the walls still visible in some parts of the city. The Roman presence in Volterra is documented by the important ruins of the Theatre of Vallebona, from the Augustan Age, spa buildings, and a big water cistern. The medieval look of the town is not only evident in the urban layout, but it stands out especially in the palaces, the tower-houses and churches: the Palazzo dei Priori of the 13th century, Palazzo Pretorio, with the embattled tower called ‘del Porcellino’, the two groups of Towers of the Buonparentis and the Bonaguidis, the tower-houses Toscano, the Cathedral of the 12th century, that contains works from the medieval and renaissance period, the Baptistry, an ancient construction dating back to the 13th century, made of rows of Volterran stone, the convent church of St. Francis with the adjacent chapel of the Cross “di giorno”, frescoed by Cenni di Francesco in 1410, the church of St. Michael “in foro” with its Pisan facade as well as the church of St. Alexander.



The Renaissance civilisation affects Volterra in a remarkable way, but without altering the medieval atmosphere. Just to mention some: Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, perfectly set among the medieval tower-houses, Palazzo Incontri Viti, which has the elegant 19th century theatre Persio Flacco in its courtyard, Palazzo Inghirami, Palazzo Ruggieri, the convent complex of St. Jerome with the Della Robbias’ earthenware items, as well as the Medici’s Fortress that, rising on the medieval built-up area, is the beginning and the end of the urban context.



In addition to the monuments and the numerous testimonies of art and history, Volterra offers the view of the surrounding rolling hills that is abruptly interrupted on the west by the wild and impressive spectacle of the Balze. The erosion phenomenon has determined the destruction of the most ancient Etruscan and Italic necropolises, of the most ancient Christian churches and the ruins of the Badia Camaldolese of the 11th century.

Finally, Volterra has three museums of a remarkable historical and artistic value.



  • The Guarnacci Museum is one of the most important museums in Italy for the wealth of Etruscan-Roman heritage artifacts.

  • The Pinacoteca (picture gallery) and the Civic Museum contain valuable tables from the Senese and Florentine schools, among which the “Deposition from the Cross” by Rosso Fiorentino.

  • The Museum of the Opera del Duomo, of remarkable importance not only for the abundance and variety of the textile materials, but especially for the jewellers’ crafts, the illuminated antiphonaries and the 14th century sculptures from the Senese school.

view of Volterra from the installation by Staccioli

Priori Palace

Porta all’Arco

direction Porta all’Arco

panorama with the church of San Giusto

Roman Theatre

Piazza dei Priori

alabaster, stone of light

San Felice springs

the Baptistery

Council Hall in the Palazzo dei Priori

Porta San Francesco

the etruscan walls

A cinema-worthy land

Volterra is beautiful and authentic, naturally charming and with a thousands-year old history. It’s the perfect movie set for the best actors and directors!

Volterra’s borghi

Discover the history and the nature

Villamagna

San Cipriano

Saline di Volterra

Roncolla

Montemiccioli

Mazzolla

Events in the area of Volterra

to discover this beautiful land

From Saturday 16 April

Experience Volterra: faces & places discover the city, me...


Discover Event

From Thursday 7 July

Volterra By Night


Discover Event

Where to stay in Volterra

Hotel la Locanda

Agriturismo S. Michele

Agriturismo Podere San Lorenzo

Albergo Foresteria

Albergo Villa Nencini

Hotel San Lino

Agriturismo Fattorie Inghirami

Albergo Etruria

Agriturismo Villa Scopicci

Santa Vittoria

Azienda Agricola Lischeto

Ostello Chiostro delle Monache

Villa Palagione - Centro Interculturale

Agriturismo Serraspina

Agriturismo Vaianino

Albergo Africa

Villa Mascagni

Agriturismo Diacceroni

Residence il Portone

Primavera Bed&Breakfast

Agriturismo Casanuova

Agriturismo Villa Montaperti

Borgo Pignano

Agriturismo Casa al Bosco

Agriturismo Marcampo

Agriturismo Escaia

Hotel Volterra In

Albergo Villa Rioddi

Camping le Balze

Albergo Molino d'Era

Podere Pavone

Casa Vacanze il Vile

Hotel Antica Badia

Tuscany Forever

Agriturismo la Mandriola

Agriturismo Orgiaglia

Where to eat in Volterra

Bar l'Incontro

Da Pina - La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo

VolaTerrA

Ristorante Torre del Porcellino

Ristorante Osteria dei Fornelli

Porgi l'altra Pancia

Pasticceria Migliorini

Frantoio dei Colli Toscani

Ristorante Enoteca Del Duca

Dolceria Del Corso

Tenuta MonteRosola

Pizzeria Alla Vecchia Maniera

Emporio del Gusto

Eudania Ristorante Self Service

Ristorante da Beppino

Ristorante La Carabaccia

Ristorante Vecchia Lira

Bar Osteria dei Poeti

Ristorante Don Beta

Ristorante il Poggio

Ristorante Etruria

Ristorante Le Cantine del Palazzo

La Cantina di Fabio

Enjoy cafè

Discover the other towns

in Valdicecina

Volterra to share

Everyday images from the Tuscany of your dreams

Volterra is a medieval village with an Etruscan heart, built on a hill between the Era and Cecina valleys. It was one of the main city-states of the Etruria and you can still admire part of the ancient city walls, like the Porta dell'Arco that dates back to a length of time between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.
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Pic by gabe.waddell
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TIMELESS ENCOUNTERS - Chapter I, AEVUM

Museo Etrusco Guarnacci - archeological artefacts
Akiko Hirai (Japan/UK) - ceramics
Eleanor Herbosch (Belgium) - painting

Texts and artistic curatorship: Eleonora Raspi, KALPA Art Living
Scientific curatorship: Fabrizio Burchianti, Museo Etrusco Guarnacci

8 July - 4 September 2022
Sala del Giudice Conciliatore, Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra
10 am - 7 pm, every day, free entrance

What role does ancient art still play in our contemporary imagination? How might contemporary visual culture help us to see the Etruscan heritage with new eyes? The exhibition AEVUM addresses these two questions, juxtaposing objects from the past and present from the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum permanent collection and by Akiko Hirai (Japan/UK) and Eleanor Herbosch (Belgium).

The word AEVUM indicates a state that lies between the eternity (timelessness) of God and the temporal experience of material beings. It is sometimes referred to as "improper eternity": on this account, the exhibition draws trajectories upon the universality of artistic feeling and the fascination that ancient art holds on contemporary society.

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photography by simonestanislai

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The first ever witch has lived here. She was called Aradia, the daughter of Goddess Diana, who was sent to earth by her mother to teach sorcery to humans, who at that time had great famine and poverty. History itself tells of an Aradia born in Volterra on August 13, 1313. The church condemned and imprisoned her, but on the day of her execution her cell was found empty. 🧹🧙‍♀️
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Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina Valdera S.c.r.l.
Piazza dei Priori 19/20 - 56048 Volterra (PI) - PIVA 01308340502
Operation/Project allocated within the framework of the POR FESR Tuscany 2014-2020