Volterra / Волтера

The new episode of “Tuscan landscapes” takes us to Volterra! Did you know that the city is more ancient than Rome? And that it is a refuge for the Volturi, the most powerful vampire clan of the “Twilight” series? That the famous Palazzo Vecchio in Florence was made as a model of this Palazzo dei Priori? Well, welcome to Volterra..

How to get to Volterra?

Let’s start with the location… The city is located about 60 km from Siena, 70 km from Pisa and 80 km from Florence. It is most convenient to reach It by car. In many places you will read that there is no much point in wasting time trying to find a free parking space because there are none… Well… I will debunk this myth and show you where you can leave your car for free! First paid places… There are 3 larger parking lots in the northern part of the city – Parcheggio Vallebona, Parcheggio Giaconovo and Parcheggio Bastione. The price for 1 hour there is 2 euro. Our place is Parcheggio Docciola of Viale dei Filosofi. No one will charge you for parking, but you are at the same distance from the center. Just go through the gate and climb the stairs. It takes about 2-3 hours to see everything and enjoy the city. So… it’s time to go down the streets with over 3000 years of history!

The history of the city and the landmarks

The Volterra is situated on a hill in the Tuscany area. Its history began with the Villanovan Culture of the VIII-VII century BC. It later became one of the most influential Etruscan cities, then known as the Velathri. The city has passed through different possessions and each has left something of its own. This uniqueness makes it a magnet for tourists. One of the biggest attractions is Piazza dei Priori, the main square of the Volterra. Here you will find the most beautiful buildings of the ancient city – the typical Tuscan architecture in Its full brilliance. Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo Pretorio with the Torre del Porcellino and the undisputed symbol of the city – Palazzo dei Priori! As I mentioned at the beginning, it is said that the last  one was used as an architectural model for the construction of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. And certainly there are a lot of similarities in the facades of the two buildings…

Another landmark is the Roman Theater, dating back to the I century of the new era. Once upon a time, this magnificent place seated about 2,000 people. Today it is used as a stage for various concerts and festivals that take place in the city. You can walk to Via Lungo le Mura del Mandorlo, from where you can see a great view of the entire theater. The cathedral, Santa Maria Assunta, is also a must visit. Against it is the Baptistery, both of them are built in the typical Piazzano-Romanesque style. The Archaeological Park is the green center of the small town. It is huge and is a preferred place for a local walk or picnic. Here the crowds of tourists are missing. Just past the park is the former Medici fortress. It is a symbol of Italian military construction! Today it serves as a prison for prisoners with extremely severe sentences.

And in conclusion…

Volterra is a city with a character! Stroll through the great architecture and narrow streets. Look at the small shops with articles from alabaster, here it is honored. Dine delicious gelato, go through the ancient arches of the city, and take a stroll along the streets that reveal magnificent views of the Tuscan fields. Maybe Stephanie Meyer has inspired herself so, just this to be the home of the most powerful vampire clan in the series “Twilight”…