One of the most famous Etruscan cities, it still preserves much evidence of the Roman and Medieval period as well. So you can visit the rare Etruscan gate “Porta all’Arco” and the Etruscan acropolis, the Roman theatre, Piazza dei Priori, the Cathedral with the Baptistery and tower-houses. Volterra is also famous for alabaster craft, a knowledge handed down for generations. Once in Volterra, you can’t miss the church of San Francesco and its wonderful frescoes, the Etruscan Museum with its vast collection, and the Pinacoteca with works of art by Ghirlandaio, Signorelli, and Rosso Fiorentino and much more! Volterra was founded on a hill that if once guaranteed safety today allows you to enjoy a vast and evocative panorama.
- Etruscan Museum Guarnacci: the elongated shape of the votive statuette Shadow of the Evening that it looks like a piece of ‘modern art”, the Etruscan melancholy and pride revealed in the eyes of the urne of the Spouses, the skillful mastery of the Etruscans with the gold and alabaster. You’ll find all of them here, in the oldest public museum in Europe.
Ticket: click here
- Art Gallery: The works exhibited here come mostly from churches, monasteries, and companies of Volterra now suppressed. Some admirable examples are the panels by Signorelli, Ghirlandaio, and the Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino. There are also sculptures and an ancient medal collection.
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- Alabaster Workshops: you can’t come to Volterra and not see how expert and knowledgeable hands work alabaster. There are several workshops with craftsmen all over the town who can explain everything about alabaster, from its extraction to its working. It is a precious stone, called “stone of light“, with which they can make different objects and works of art. These workshops smell of ancient knowledge, traditions, and skills that today are not as common as they used to be.
Tickets: Depends on the workshop.
- Cathedral and Baptistery: The Cathedral of Volterra, with its Baptistery, is the artistic and religious centerpiece of the city; both are located in Piazza San Giovanni and are priceless examples of Romanesque art. It was the bishop’s seat for centuries, as well as the religious center of the community as opposed to the nearby Piazza dei Priori, the political center of the ancient medieval commune. Among the various artistic masterpieces housed inside the Cathedral, the following certainly stand out: the polychrome wood-carved sculpture depicting the “Deposition of Christ from the Cross“; the “Annunciation” by Fra’ Bartolomeo Della Porta; “The Offering of the City to the Virgin” by Pieter de Witte; the “Cavalcade of the Magi” by Benozzo Gozzoli; and much more. The Volterra Baptistery is said to have risen on an ancient pagan temple. It dates from before 1000 AD and has a typical black-and-white facade. The interior holds some works of art in its simple and solemn appearance.
Tocket: Full price: € 7,00
Reduced: € 5,00 (Visitors aged 6 to 18, and over 65; Coop, FAI)
FREE: Children up to 6 years of age, Volterra municipality residents, Disabled visitors (+ one carer per visitor), Clerics of both genders, Teachers accompanying classes or groups, Authorised tour guides, Journalists