Volterra, the Alabaster city

Volterra, the Alabaster city

Volterra is a town in the province of Pisa, not far from Florence, Siena and the coast, particularly known for its Etruscan origins and the many archeological findings belonging to this period.

Today, Volterra is a popular destination to Tuscany, both for its typical products, both because of its urban layout that recalls its Etruscan origins; You can still visit most of the walls built in the 4th century b.c. and two of the gates of the city, Porta Diana and Porta dell’arco, as well as the old Acropolis which houses several buildings and the foundations of two anichi temples. There are also many traces of Roman rule still visitable, as the charming Roman Theatre, built on a hill slope reminiscent of course the shape of an amphitheatre; brought to light only recently, around 50, is supposedly was built around the first century BC. In more recent times, the Medici fortress is well worth a visit: its Rocca Nuova was built at the behest of the same Lorenzo il Magnifico and today hosts inside a maximum security prison, whose inmates participate in a rehab project that got them involved in running a restaurant are organized-successfully-various initiatives.

Among the many interesting places to visit in Volterra there is definitely Romanesque cathedral-as well as the baptistery-where are preserved priceless works of art created by artists like Andrea della Robbia, Mino da Fiesole and Benozzo Gozzoli, the latter author of a fresco depicting the three wise men. No inferior charms are the Piazza and Palazzo dei Priori, built in the 13rd century and the art gallery, housed within the Palazzo Minucci Solaini. In the Pinacoteca–or Municipal Museum of Volterra are conserved important works of art, including the one that has greater fame is the deposition by Rosso Fiorentino; near the Pinacoteca is, finally, another Museum that you should visit, the alabaster Museum, which houses over 300 works of art made of Alabaster, in fact, realized between 18° and 19° century.

Walking through the streets of the historic center and let yourself be carried away by the timeless magic that envelops the city; try typical products and browse within features craft shops where you will find many ideas for souvenirs of your trip to Tuscany, especially among the beautiful objects in Alabaster, so one can say that Volterra is famous throughout the world.

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Guido Ciatti

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