VOLTERRA, TUSCANY
-SEP. 2012-

ALL PHOTOS © RUUD LEEUW

 

 

We drove non-stop from Fontevivo to Volterra, mainly because the temperature had gone up to well over 30 C degrees. We balked at the high fuelprices: euro 1.94 per liter, while we’d left home with prices hovering around 1.77 euro.
Also the 22 euro toll I had to pay, for a mere 01h30 on the autostrada, made me swallow. But in 10 years time we may well laugh at these prices..
All turned out for the best at Volterra, another highlight of the trip.

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Albergo Etruria was to be our place of stay for 5 nights and much of the feeling of well-being here at
Volterra was caused by this nice hotel.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

The lounge of the hotel was comfortable for book reading. A desktop computer was also available here, but since I carried a notebook with me I had no need for it. Our room was comfortable too, spacious, with chairs for reading or writing. And, as a photo elsewhere on this webpage shows, the garden offered also chairs.
Breakfast each morning was brilliant and the hosts were kind and ever helpful.

ALbergo Etruria
And every morning an excellent breakfast in Albergo Etruria.

Albergo Etruria in Volterra - recommended!

 

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Time to explore the streets of Volterra.
You won’t see many cars here: only with a permit are allowed to drive inside the medieval walls. We had left our car in a carpark nearby, less than a 5 minute walk (11 euro per 24 hours, free parking also available outside the walls).

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
It seems the city council is in session!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Volterra is not a very large town, but it takes a while before you have explored all the
small alleys and narrow streets!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
I don’t think there is any country other than Italy which has managed to capture decay, neglect and low maintenance in a rich, fascinating culture.

Voterra, Tuscany
The adress became a regular stop for an ice-cream, right across the road from our hotel.

 

 

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
As in any other Italian town or city, there are various churches to explore.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Following the wall we came to a hang-out of local youngsters; we felt a little like intruders and continued our way.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Each evening we were treated to a brilliant sunset.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
A spot we returned to several times: because it had breathtaking views when the sun sank low,
but also because there was a wonderful restaurant here!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Le Cantine di Palazzo Viti. And they serve Guinness!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Through winding stairs one gets into the basement of this Palazzo and find ourselves in
catacombs dating back to Roman times!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Each evening we explored Volterra for a nice place to eat. There is plenty of choice.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

 

 

Volterra, known to the ancient Etruscans as Velathri, to the Romans as Volaterrae, is a town and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy.
It became a municipium in the Roman Age. The city was a bishop's residence in the 5th century, and its episcopal power was affirmed during the 12th century. With the decline of the episcopate, Volterra became a place of interest of the Florentines, whose forces conquered Volterra. Florentine rule was not always popular, and opposition occasionally broke into rebellion. These rebellions were put down by Florence.
When the Florentine Republic fell in 1530, Volterra came under the control of the Medici family and later followed the history of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Volterra features in Horatius, the celebrated poem by Lord Macaulay.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volterra

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, with thousands of funeral urns dating back to the Hellenistic and Archaic periods.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Latium. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci.
Their Roman name is the origin of the terms Tuscany, which refers to their heartland, and Etruria, which can refer to their wider region.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. Historians have no literature, no texts of religion or philosophy; therefore much of what is known about this civilization is derived from grave goods and tomb findings.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

The range of Etruscan civilization is marked by its cities. They were entirely assimilated by Italic, Celtic, or Roman ethnic groups, but the names survive from inscriptions and their ruins are of aesthetic and historic interest in most of the cities of central Italy.
Etruscan cities flourished over most of Italy during the Roman Iron Age, marking the farthest extent of Etruscan civilization. They were gradually assimilated first by Italics in the south, then by Celts in the north and finally in Etruria itself by the growing Roman Republic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_civilization

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
All things Etruscan: Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Even without the sunset, the views from the city over the surrounding countryside is quite breathtaking.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Etruscan settlements were frequently built on a hill —the steeper the better— and surrounded by thick walls.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Bank into the back alleys, climbing up and going down, working up an appetite..

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
I took a particular liking to wild boar stew, Cinghiale. It is a traditional in the cuisine of Umbria and
Tuscany and is often eaten over pasta as a sauce or as its own secondo. Gamey and delicious.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Parish Church Cathedral, small but that beautiful ceiling (below) could give you a neck injury!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Lunchbreak at 'Da Paolino'.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Across the street a quick look in the ‘Chiesa di San Francesco’.
Be it large or be it small, most of these churches had magnificent frescoes.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

 

 

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
There was a band playing and the music, albeit in Italian, sounded nice.
But all songs ended prematurely, so we soon moved along. Never got their name.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
A cowboy in Volterra!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Magic in the streets of Volterra!

Volterra, Tuscany

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Roman amphi theater. These ruins pre-date the walls of the city.
Elsewhere in town were excavations showing remains dating back to Etruscan times.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
This Roman Theatre (dating back to 1st century BC), was excavated in the 1950s.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
One of Volterra’s magnificent gates: look at that door!

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Even for pass holders there are restrictions to the use of the car.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
There is a long-standing local tradition of alabaster products made by craftsmen in the Volterra area.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Volterra was the place where the working of alabaster started and the area went on to become the traditional and sole centre of production. I rather buy direct from an artisan, than some ready-made product in a souvenir shop.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
The garden of our hotel Albergo Etruria offered shade and tranquility among the rooftops of Volterra.

 

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Volterra's Chiesa di San Michele, 12th century.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

You’ll find more photos of churches here on my Flickr.com account: Churches of Volterra

 

 

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
The haze and that peculiar orange/red colour cast never looses its beauty.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Back into the cobble stoned backstreets, looking for a nice place to eat.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
Almost time to close shop, another day done.

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy

Volterra, Tuscany - Italy
One last spectacular sunset for us in Volterra. Arrivederci!

 

 

 


Map of Volterra and Albergo Etruria

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Created: 27aug12 - Updated: 1 November, 2012