An extremely appealing presence in Tuscany is yielded by the small town of Volterra (pertaining to the province of Pisa) which, despite its seclusion, manages to amass a huge tourist asset chiefly consisting off historic and religious edifices. Volterra is about 50 kilometers southeastwards from Pisa, and it might not prove to be the ideal destination for tourists who believe bustle is the best indicator for tourist hotspots. Yet, others may consider the seclusion of this Tuscan hill town is the main feature which yields the picturesque dash of Volterra. This Cecina Valley town impresses by its virtually perfectly preserved medieval patrimony dotted with Etruscan and Renaissance vestiges.

A Theatre of Roman origin (1st century BC) and the so called Porta all’Arco and Porta Diana, dating back to oldest times recorded, are the oldest remains substantiating the imprint of Antiquity on this Tuscan town. There are quite a few palaces and adjoining towers to complement the display of historic landmarks, such as Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo Pretorio, Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo Incontri and Palazzo del Monte Pio. In terms of museums, the Diocesan Museum of Religious Art, the Civic Art Gallery and the Guarnacci Museum are the most noteworthy. In terms of religious edifices, visitors should always want to tick off the Volterra Cathedral built in a Romanesque style, the town’s Baptistery and the Badia Camaldolese abbey. The Church of San Giusto is also worth visiting. A trip or a stay in Volterra can be topped with the purchase of some fine pieces of alabaster works, Volterra having been renowned for its art in producing such items since ancient times. Besides its inherent tourist relevance, Volterra is also a fine starting point for exploring other interesting destinations in Tuscany, such as San Gimignano.

Volterra, Italy

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