Volterra

Overview

Introduction

A distinct shadow of Etruscan past, Volterra is perched at an elevation of almost 2,000 ft/609 m. It was one of the original neolithic settlements in the area, dating back to the ninth century B.C.

Its Duomo offers visitors the chance to see baroque paintings, terra-cotta nativity figures in the Lady Chapel (Cappella dell'Addolorata) and carved portraits of Volterra's Saints.

Palazzo dei Priori is the Gothic town hall and one of the oldest standing structures of its genre in Tuscany. Florence's Palazzo Vecchio was modeled after Volterra's.

To explore the town's Etruscan past, visit Museo Etrusco Guarnacci, one of the world's best-curated collections of Etruscan treasures. For more ancient ruins, Teatro Romano contains Tuscany's best-kept ancient Roman remains, including theaters, baths and the original gateway to Etruscan Volterra, Porta all'Arco.

Volterra also has a Civic Museum, which serves as the town's main art and culture gallery, exhibiting vast collections of paintings by local artists from the 12th to 17th centuries. The building itself is a splendid representation of Renaissance architecture, and there is a nicely manicured courtyard inside.

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