in the heart of Tuscany
museums, alabaster, nature
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.
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 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.
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
the Cecina Valley
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.
Massimo Gentili & Inger Oosthoek
Agriturismo Podere Fraggina
Tuscany - Italy
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