Volterra, situated upon a high hill, dominates
the Era and Cecina valleys in a landscape showing the green,
side by side with the Biancane, a form of erosion and outcrop
of clays dating back to the earliest times. The town is of Etruscan
origins whose traces are still the walls, a gate ( la porta
dell'Arco) and the Guarnacci Museum, one of the most important
museums of the Etruscan Civilization.
In the Museum there is a particularly
interesting work known as "Ombra della Sera",
a charming bronze statuette representing a young man (II Century
BC) in a fantastically elongated shape, with his arms adhering
to the body. You can find its reproduction in many shops in
town. There are also important remains of the Roman times such
as the Theatre with its cavea with the access steps and the
stage with numerous columns.
The Piazza dei Priori surrounded
by austere palaces dates back to the medieval times, the Duomo
with a rich wooden ceiling of the 16th century and many valuable
sculptures and paintings, the house-towers.
On the highest point of Volterra there is
a wonderful park which dominates the town, the fascinating surrounding
landscape and the Fortezza Medicea, now being
used as a house of detention.
La Pinacoteca (Civil Gallery)
presents many works of art: "Cristo in Gloria" by
Ghirlandaio, the "Annunciazione"
by Luca Signorelli and la "Deposizione
dalla Croce" by Rosso Fiorentino.
Just outside Volterra on the road leading to Pisa it is possible
to see the Balze, a spectacular and striking
cliff, made up of limestone, clays and arenaceous strata. This
phenomenon is caused by the erosion which during the centuries
has swallowed up necropolis, churches and buildings. In Volterra
there are some important cultural and oenogastronomic events:
in July "Volterrateatro",
one of the most prestigious experimental shows in the field
of dramaturgy and in August the medieval week with several meetings
among which costume games and parades.