Volterra, Tuscany, italy

The “magic and mysterious” city of Volterra has its roots in three thousand years of history. It is possible to find evidence and traces from every historical period which gives the artistic city a unique aspect.
The ancient city walls, the imposing Porta all’Arco, the Necropolis of Marmini and the numerous archeological finds conserved in the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci like the Ombra della Sera with its unique profile, the funeral urns and the finely crafted jewellery, bear testimony of the Etruscan period.
The Theatre of Vallebona survives from the period of Augustus and suggests the importance of Volterra under Roman domination.
Today the city conserves above all a Medieval aspect not only for the 12th century city walls but also because of the urban layout with narrow streets, palaces, tower houses and churches.
The Renaissance had an important influence on Volterra but without changing the city’s Medieval character.
From this period are the superb palaces of Minucci Solaini, Incontri-Viti and Inghirami, which are built into the Medieval city, the imposing Fortezza Medicea and the Convent of San Girolamo.
Volterra map

Volterra map

Tuscany art
Volterra, tuscany, italy

your holidays in Tuscany

Tuscan architecture Volterra is also a city of museums. Other than the Etruscan Museum there is the Civic Art Gallery with a fine collection of works from the Sienese and Florentine Schools, among which is the Deposition from the Cross by Rosso Fiorentino. The Museum of Sacred Art has an important collection of reliquary, 14th century Sienese sculpture and miniatures.
The alabaster craft whose history is inseparable from that of the history of the city, represents an other point of great interest. Browsing around the numerous exhibitions and workshops of the city, visitors will be charmed by the magic atmosphere.
Besides the art and history the surrounding area is rich in natural beauty. There are organised excursions on foot, on horse back or by bicycle along kilometres of sign posted itineraries enabling visitors to discover unique and beautiful places.
Art in Tuscany
Alabaster in Tuscany

a church in Tuscany, Volterra Volterra is also famous for the regional gastronomical specialities and for the warm hospitality offered to visitors. Many hotels, farm houses and holiday apartments are available to tourists along with a well equipped campsite and a modern youth hostel.
During the summer period there are many cultural events like the annual festival Volterra Teatro, classical and contemporary music concerts, exhibitions and folklore events which enable visitors to enjoy a rich and varied holiday.
roman theater, tuscany

Cecina valley, tuscany

Cecina valley map

The Upper Cecina Valley is made up of the districts of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Pomarance and Volterra. The area is bordered to the west by the Cornia Valley and the lower Cecina Valley, to the north by the Era Valley, to the east by the Upper Elsa Valley and to the south by the Colline Metallifere.
The area is rich in history and boasts a unique artistic and archeological heritage. Together with the landscape, this area of Tuscany has inspired many writers, poets and painters such as Rosa, Stendhal, Lawrence, Dennis, Corot, D'Annunzio and Cassola.
Volterra has most of the works of art from the Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance periods. The city is the cultural centre of the beautiful Upper Cecina Valley, dominating an area of varied landscapes. The forests of Berignone-Tatti and Monte-rufoli are some of the wooded areas which form the landscape, often characterised by Mediterranean shrub land, the dramatic landslides of the Balze and roling hills.

nature in Tuscany
Montecatini, village in Tuscany

Montecatini Val di Cecina is on the eastern slopes of Poggio La Croce. The ancient Monteleone is dominated by a tower at the foot of which a typical medieval town is situated. The main religious and political buildings can be identified in the Palazzo Pretorio with its elegant porch and in the 14th century church of S. Biagio.
Montegemoli is characterised by the emerging structure of the castle with its round tower and its renaissance forms.
Pomarance conserves important vestiges of its ancient past like the Porta Orciolina and the Porta di Casale of the 14th century town walls, the church of S. Giovanni containing paintings by Roncalli, Cergignani and Ademollo and the palaces of Pucci, Bicocchi, Bardini, De Larderel and Pretorio.
Montecastelli is characterised by a massive Medieval tower with a square base and the Romanesque church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo (13th century). The church has three naves with many carved capitals with figurative details. Near the cemetery is the Buca delle Fate, an Etruscan tomb from the 6th century B.C.
S. Dalmazio is interesting for the remains of the Medieval walls which with two gateways define the circular form of the village. The Romanesque church houses a terracotta tabernacle by the workshop of Luca della Robbia.
Nearby are the dramatic ruins of the castle of Rocca Sillana.

village in Tuscany
Tuscany landscape

village in Tuscany

Montecerboli also has the circular form of an ancient castle with a Medieval village.
Castelnuovo Val di Cecina is surrounded by extensive woodlands. The town preserves its original urban form built around a rocky outcrop.
Sasso Pisano is built around its ancient centre dominated by the castle on the highest level of the village.
Serrazzano is interesting for its urban centre with its Medieval walls and two gateways. Noteworthy are the Gothic vaults inside the church of S. Donato and the pretty Romanesque church of S. Antonio.
Sassa is characterised by a tower and the church of S. Martino.The village offers magnificent views inland towards Volterra and Querceto.
The village of Querceto is built around a residential castle, situated on a rocky outcrop. Inside the village the beautiful chapel of S. Giovanni is worth a visit. The village is set amongst beautiful woodlands of pine and oak.
The art of working alabaster forms one of the principal economic activities of the Cecina Valley.
Salt is also extracted at Saline di Volterra. The heat from natural hot water springs is used to produce electrical energy in the power plants of Larderello, a typical industrial village with a church designed by Michelucci and the interesting museum of the geothermic industry.
Ponteginori, built in 1919 by the Società Solvay, is a unique example in the Cecina Valley of a model Northern European style mining village.
Libbiano, Micciano, Lustignano and La Leccia are built at the top of hills suggesting their ancient defensive origins.

village in Tuscany
your holidays in tuscany
come visit Tuscany, italy
Querceto, Tuscany