Volterra is one of the not-to-be-missed Tuscan jewels, a hill town surrounded by well-preserved Etruscan walls. It’s easy to understand why Volterra is so fascinating: you can really feel a medieval atmosphere walking through the narrow streets of the centre. Maybe there are few things that you don’t know about the town: here are 5 tips and photos to better enjoy your visit.
1. The Volterra Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and seat of the bishop of Volterra. In 1117 an earthquake destroyed most of the town, so the Cathedral was rebuilt on the remains of the earlier church. Nicola Pisano is said to have been involved in some reconstruction works in the 13th century. Don’t stop outside: inside the cathedral you can admire many valuable works like the pulpit with three reliefs and the 12th-century lions at the base of the columns, a polychrome wooden framework of 1128 with the Deposition and a Cavalcade of the Magi by Benozzo Gozzoli. Don’t stop at the Cathedral and visit also the Baptistery of San Giovanni, an octagonal 13th century religious building standing right in front of it.
2. Palazzo dei Priori is located in the historic centre of Volterra, in the square with the same name. Dating back to 1208, it is the oldest municipal building of Tuscany. The façade has been changed several times throughout the centuries and today you can see coats of arms, two lions symbol of Florentine rule and a clock added after centuries. Inside there is a fresco of the Crucifixion by Pier Francesco Fiorentino (15th century), frescoes and paintings. The ticket is 1,50€, but it’s free for disabled people, kids under 6, residents and guides of Pisa province.
3. Do you know that there is a pig in Piazza dei Priori square? The tower of Palazzo Pretorio, one of the most ancient of the town, is called “Torre del Porcellino” (Tower of the little pig), because on a shelf there is a stone with a young pig!
4. Volterra is home of 15 museums and 4 archaeological sites. Here you can find a comprehensive list from archaeology to historical buildings. There is a single ticket for visiting all the cultural sites of the city of Volterra and they are valid for 72 hours. Prices: 14€ Discounts: students, groups of over 20 people, People over sixty years, COOP members, Italian Touring Club members (12€); school trips (6€); families of 4 people (20€); disabled people, kids under 6, residents, students from Volterra, journalists and guides of Pisa province (free).
5. The alabaster is a noble tradition in Volterra, a handicraft activity of the highest level, which exports works of art in the world. To know more about this, follow our itineraries.
Read also: "Things you can't miss in Volterra"