(3 HOUR TOUR)
Volterra is located in the east side of the province of Pisa on the borderline of the province of Siena, and located on a hill 550 m above the sea level and it dominates the whole valley of the river Cecina. Its origin dates back from the Etruscan period to the 19th century with artistic and monumental traces of great importance and cherishes abundant evidence of this period: Porta all’Arco (the Etruscan gate 4th century B.C.), the Acropolis, the defensive walls which are still visible in parts of the town.
The Roman period is attested by the important remains of the Teatro di Vallebona which date back to the Augustan period, the Baths and an enormous rectangular water cistern.
The Middle Ages are not only visible in its urban structure but too in its buildings, its house-towers and churches: the Palazzo dei Priori, a 13th century building, the Palazzo Pretorio, with its crenellated Tower of the Little Pig, the pair of towers of Buonparenti and Bonaguidi family, the house-towers of Toscano family, the Cathedral (12th century), the Baptistry (13th century) streaked with Volterran stone, the conventual Church of San Francesco with its adjacent chapel of the Croce di Giorno, the Church of San Michele and of San Alessandro.
The Renaissance period has influenced Volterra in a particular way, however without changing the Medieval atmosphere. Some good examples are the Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, beautifully inserted among the Medieval housetowers, the Palazzo Incontri Vitii with its theatre Persio Flacco added in the courtyard in the 19th century, the Palazzo Inghirami, the Palazzo Ruggieri, the Convent of San Girolamo with the terracotta statues of Della Robbia and the Medicean Fortress which looms over the Medieval town.
Apart from its monuments, its art and history, Volterra also offers a magnificent panorama of the gentle undulating hills of the surrounding landscape abruptly interrupted in the West by the Balze (crags). The slow progression of these repeated landslides finally precipitated the destruction of the most ancient Etruscan necropolis, the earliest Christian churches and the ruin of the 11th century Badia Camaldolese.
In case you wish to have a full day tour (6 hours, lunch excluded), you may add to the visit above describe, the entrance to 2 of the following museums :
1) The Museo Guarnacci : one of the most important museums in Italy for its rich Etruscan-Roman patrimony.
2)The Pinacoteca and the Museo Civico: preserving valuable paintings of the Sienese and Florentine schools, among which “The descent from the Cross” by Rosso Fiorentino. 3)Museo dell’Opera del Duomo : noteworthy for the variety and quantity of ecclesiastical vestments, the collection of gold reliquary, the illuminated manuscripts and the 14th century sculptures of the Sienese school.
Volterra is famous even for an artistic handicraft unique in the world: the manufacture of Alabaster.
Half day (maximum 3 hours) € 115.00 for 25 people and 2€ extra for each person
Individual and family rates (1-10 partecipants)
Half day (maximum 3 hours) €130