Via San Lino, 26 56048 Volterra (PI)

Volterra

Volterra Hotel San Lino ★★★★

Volterra

Volterra, a haven of Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance art, dominates the Cecina Valley 550 metres above sea level, affording a spectacular view as far as the sea. The city retains traces of its majestic past which gradually unfurls as you wander through the narrow streets and explore the Etruscan Museum, the Art Gallery and Museum of Sacred Art.

Volterra is a city of art

Volterra boasts more than three thousand years of history and offers three important museums which are open everyday of the year.

Volterra today.

Volterra is a well preserved Medieval hilltop town dotted with 13th century house towers and crowned by the main square, the Piazza dei Priori, where traditional events continue to take place all year round.

Just behind the main square, the Piazza San Giovanni where the Romanesque Cathedral and Baptistery are situated. The recently renovated Cathedral is well worth a visit to admire the prestigious works of art including the 13th century group of wood sculptures the Deposition and the 12th century pulpit.

The Devil’s Valley and the steam jets

The Piazza San Giovanni affords a breathtaking view of the undulating hills (the Metal Hills) and the Larderello geothermal plant.

The main streets such as Via Matteotti and Via dei Sarti provide an array of alabaster artisan shops, food shops selling local organic produce, artisan pastry shops, Palazzo Viti and the Historical Art Gallery that houses the famous Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino.

The Etruscan Guarnacci Museum

The museum houses a rich collection of Etruscan artifacts enhanced by a prehistoric and Roman section.

There are more than 600 Etruscan cinerary urns on display carved in alabaster, tufa and terracotta; a splendid collection of coins, ceramics, gold jewelry, sculptures, tools, votive statues, bronze figurines and so much more.

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Historical Art Gallery and Civic Museum.

The Palazzo Minucci Solaini, a remarkable example of late 15th century Renaissance architecture, has housed the Art Gallery since 1982 and exhibits splendid and exceptional works of art such as the Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino, the polyptych by Taddeo di Bartolo and the Pietà by Francesco Neri. The collection is enriched by sculptures, Medieval ceramics, medals and coins.

The Museum of Sacred Art

The museum exhibits works of art from the cathedral and churches of the Diocese of Volterra; paintings, sculptures, ecclessiastical vestments and objects of worship.

Volterra and the surrounding area

You need a few days to visit places in the surrounding area. Larderello, once known as the Devil’s Valley, is notable to many for its steam jets and geothermal plant that supplies 25% of the electricity requirements in Tuscany.

Well worth a visit is the Geothermal energy Museum which attracts 60.000 visitors a year. Founded in the late 1950’s, the museum traces the history and development of the geothermal energy in Larderello.
Once the home of the well known painter Pomarancio, Pomarance is a small quiet town where the ruins of the nearby Rocca Sillana, recently reopened to the public, rises on the top of a hill.

Montecatini Val di Cecina is well known for its copper mines exploited since the Etruscan era and today open to the public for educational visits. The well preserved Medieval village perched on the top of a hill offers panoramic views of Volterra and the Balze.

The Balze (the Crags), a leisurely walk from the centre of Volterra, is a dramatic sight to behold, a natural landslip created by the erosion of the layers of clay and sandy soils.

The Val d’Era boasts an annual venue that takes place at the open air theatre the Teatro di Silenzio where Lajatico’s most famous citizen Andrea Bocelli performs to an international audience.

Alabaster live

Such an interesting experience

“A lovely place … nothing to do compared to the small shops that only sell cheap products in alabaster, selling them wholesale … here you can breathe a completely different air … it’s a real laboratory and the staff is pleased to show the work explaining everything about alabaster, from extraction to processing. I asked for two scraps of alabaster that I was kindly given away. Really worth a visit! “

YouTube: Simone Rossi – 2 years ago
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