The walls and gateways of Volterra bear witness to the grandeur of the Etruscan period. This Etruscan city wall was built during a period of time that stretched from the sixth century BC to the last decades of the fifth century BC. It northernmost segment boasts a surplus area known as the ‘Guardiola’; this segment suggests that the structure was enlarged during the IV-III centuries BC. The first of its two medieval walls were built from 1200 to 1240, thanks to the efforts of the entire city, including the clergy. The second communal wall was designed to strengthen and complete the previous one; it dates back to 1260-1266. At that time, the walls were equipped with barbicans and surrounded by ditches. The Gateway of San Francesco was also built during said period. Once completed, the structure was equipped with several lookout towers, including several corner towers and those from which watchmen kept guard.
(Source: Pisa Tourist Information Office)