The town in Val di Cecina results from a meeting of different historic periods. Volterra retains a considerable historic centre of Etruscan origin, with its Roman ruins and medieval buildings, the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori, which are the nerve centre of the town. The surrounding area provides the desert "salt works" and the "towers" of the geothermic area of Larderello. Volterra has been chosen by the writer Sthephenie Meyer as setting for her famous novel "New Moon". Several times the writer has stated to have been totally captured by the charming of this small but very mysterious city. Just 20 minutes drive from Casa Podere Monti ( 22 km ).
Volterra is one of the most charming town you can visit in Tuscany and it's just 20 min drive ( 22km ) from Casa Podere Monti.
The town in Val di Cecina results from a meeting of different historic periods. Volterra retains a considerable historic centre of Etruscan origin, with its Roman ruins and medieval buildings, the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori, which are the nerve centre of the town. The surrounding area provides the desert "salt works" and the "towers" of the geothermic area of Larderello.
Volterra has been chosen by the writer Sthephenie Meyer as setting for her famous novel "New Moon". Several times the writer has stated to have been totally captured by the charming of this small but very mysterious city. In the next months it will be set of the new international tv serie " The " Medici".
Volterra Top Sights:
• Roman Theater, Forum, and Baths: Construction started on the Roman Theater in the 1st century BC. Behind the theater are remains of Roman baths dating from the 4th century AD. There are also remains of the Roman forum. During the middle ages these sites were part of a rubbish dump and were buried until excavations began in 1951.
• Piazza dei Priori: The main square is one of the most impressive in Tuscany. On the piazza is the 13th century Palazzo dei Priori, the oldest town hall in Tuscany. Also on the piazza are the 14th-century Palazzo Vescovile and the back of the cathedral.
• Cathedral and Baptistry: The duomo, or cathedral, dates from 1120 when it was constructed on the site of a previous church. It has a Romanesque facade and an entrance added in the 13th century. The interior was modified in the late 16th century in Renaissance style and has a richly decorated ceiling and several chapels with frescoes or wood panels and a 12th century marble pulpit. The octagonal Baptistery dates from the 13th century although parts of it may be older. Its facade is decorated with green and white marble stripes and the dome dates from the 15th century.
• Viti Palace: Is one of the most beautiful private residences of Italy.The twelve rooms that are open to the public are beautifully furnished with furniture, porcelains, alabaster collections and other valuable items representing Italian, European and Oriental art dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries.
The palace was visited by kings and princes, and film directors such as Luchino Visconti who used the palace as a film set (in 1964 Luchino Visconti chose the palace for part of the shooting of “Vaghe Stelle dell’Orsa” (“Sandra”), featuring Jean Sorel and Claudia Cardinale, which won the Venice Festival’s Golden Lion).Visiting these beautifully frescoed rooms is like reliving the magic atmosphere of times past.
The palace is still inhabited by descendants of the Viti Family. Official web site : Palzzo Viti
• Medieval Wall and Gates: 13th century walls enclose the historic center. There are six gates in the walls into the center, dating from the 13th to 16th centuries. Porta San Francesco still has traces of the original frescoes. From Porta San Felice there are views of the countryside beyond the town. Two fonts have also been preserved. One of them, Fonte di Docciola, was used in the middle ages to provide water for mills and the wool industry. Near San Felice font, built in 1319, are remains of the Etruscan wall.
• Etruscan Sites: At the highest point of Volterra is the Etruscan acropolis with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The archeological site is part of a park that includes foundations of two Etruscan temples, dwellings from the Hellenistic period, a system of cisterns, and medieval tower ruins. Porta All' Arco, the Arch gate, has sides possibly dating back to the 5th century BC with the arch and heads dating from the 3rd to 2nd century BC. Etruscan tombs, carved into sandstone below the ground, can be found in several places.
• Museums: The Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, founded in 1761, was one of Europe's first public musuems. The large collection of artifacts is housed in the 13th century Palazzo dei Priori. The Civic Museum and Art Gallery are housed in the 15th century Palazzo Minucci-Solaini and includes paintings and art works from medieval to modern times. A Museum of Sacred Art is housed in the Bishop's Palace.
• Medicea Fortress: The fortress, high on the hill, consists of the Rocca Antica and the Rocca Nuova.
• The Park with the old Prison: : Lovely well mainteined park inside the city center.