Tour of the Sienese
Through the gentle hills of Siena
- Spoken language:
Schengen Area: ID card or passport
Extra U.E.:short stays (3 months) passport valid at least three months after the departing date and if need be visa
- Power and Sockets:
- 230 V / 50 Hz - F Type Plug (Schuko) and L Type Plug
Isolated, immersed in a landscape of meadows and gullies, hills and valleys, Volterra has a particular charm. It has to be said that it is not exactly at your fingertips, and that before it lets itself be conquered it makes you want it a little bit. But it is enough to reach the top of the hill, on top of a spur that emerges from the Tuscan countryside, and to cast your gaze in a random direction to fall in love with it, and feel the sensation of embracing the whole world at a single glance. As its name reveals, the city was founded in the Etruscan era, even if today the atmosphere is more medieval, starting from the mighty walls that embrace the urban core. Known for the art of working alabaster and its cuisine, the town has maintained an unspoiled purity within its walls.
The defensive enclosure dates back to the 13th century, and is the result of a growth that began two centuries earlier, around the year 1000, when the houses began to gather around the ancient Church of Santa Maria, the cathedral. Next to it at the time the Pratus Episcopatus was already open, today Piazza dei Priori, while other buildings also began to rise outside the walls, as in the case of the village of Santa Maria, which corresponds to Via Ricciarelli today, and the village of the Abbot, then became Via Sarti. Still today, on the sides of Piazza dei Priori stand the so-called Incrociate, a group of towers of imposing size that testify to the desire to strengthen defences in the east, west and north. Worth seeing, on the same square, is the thirteenth-century Palazzo dei Priori, which borders with the external part of the apses of the Duomo. In the nearby Piazza San Giovanni there are all the buildings that had to do with the religious mission of Volterra, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the hospital of Santa Maria, the Opera House and the cemetery. Immediately outside the walls, connected to the ancient centre of the city by a series of uphill roads, there are the four medieval villages of Sant’ Alessandro, on Via delle Saline, San Lazzaro, on the road in the direction of Florence and Siena, Santo Stefano and San Giusto.
Despite its location and quiet nature, Volterra offers a wide variety of traditional and cultural events throughout the year. During the last two weeks of July, for example, the village is the setting of Volterra Teatro, born as an exclusively theatrical exhibition and later transformed into a multiform event, also dedicated to music, dance, poetry and figurative arts. For music lovers, the first weeks of August offer the Volterra Jazz Festival, while in the same month, on the third and fourth Sunday, there is a historical festival of medieval re-enactment, A. D. 1398. On the first Sunday of September, however, Astiludio is repeated every year.
Official website of the city
For general information visit the site:
Tourist Information Office
Ufficio Turistico Comunale di Volterra
Piazza dei Priori, 19 – Volterra
Tel. +39 0588 86150
Fax +39 0588 87257
Fire Department 115
Healthcare Emergency 118
Travel Informed (CCISS) 1518
Due to its internal position but not too far from the sea, the territory of Volterra enjoys a climate between the Mediterranean and Central European type, with rainy autumn and spring months, mild and dry and winters. The winters are not very extensive, while the summers are rather long and warm, with very little rainfall. The best time to stroll through the medieval centre and enjoy the surrounding landscape is probably spring, although you have to prepare yourself for some storms.
Pomarance Km. 22
Casole d’Elsa Km. 24
San Gimignano Km. 30
Cecina Km. 41
Castelfiorentino Km. 42
Siena Km. 53
Pisa Km. 66
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