Albergo Villa Nencini
Borgo Santo Stefano 55, Volterra, 56048, Italy
More about Volterra
Interior (not my pic)
A tranquil bird looking over the walls
Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino (gem of collection)
The della Robbia
Travel Tips for Volterra
Cover charges and tipping
When you are seated at an Italian restaurant, you should anticipate paying "coperto" or a cover charge, assessed on a per person basis. This ranges from something minimal to several euros, presumably depending upon the restaurant although I never analyzed this during our trip. Since the cover charge is intended to compensate the restaurant for the cost of doing business, including the employment of the wait staff, I was told not to apply the American standard of tipping 15% or more of the bill. Rather, the tradition seemed to be to put one's excess change on top of the credit card slip or cash to cover the meal. That sometimes resulted in several euros' "tip" but it would still be a fraction of what I'd pay at home, even if one included the coperto.
Located on the city's northern edge is an unusual sight - a Roman Theatre. Construction began back in the 1st Century BC - pretty old hey! This considered, the remains are pretty well intact, and are some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Italy.
The site was only re-discovered in the 1950's - previously it was being used as a rubbish dump.
You can still see some of the original marble columns, the rows of seats and the tunnels that were used to access the stage and seats. Behind the theatre are the Roman Baths, also well preserved.
The entrance is down on Viale Francesco Ferrucci, but for a great view over the area, head to Via Lungo Le Muro del Mandorlo (just off the bottom end of Via Guarnacci).
Alabaster is the Vogue
Throughout the city are small private shops selling alabaster. It all is very beautiful and a great variety of items. Volterra is the city of stone. Alabaster is calcium carbonate or hydrated calcium sulphate, which is the chalky look. The word is derived from Egypt and named after a town called Alabastron that made vases. The whole city is made of stone, and alabaster was first carved by Etruscans for urns and vases. The trade died out, but revived in late 1600's, so near 1800's there were 60 certified tradesmen in the town. Now there are less, maybe around 10-12 that perform the work for a living, and only 2-3 are open for viewing by the public. They all do sell their wares and invite you to take one home.
Parco Archeologico is Volterra's public park, sitting at the southern part of town. It is called an archaeological park as it is home to some ancient remains, such as some Etruscan tombs and a Roman-era reservoir.
The main attraction of the park however, is that it is a leafy place to relax for a while. It is great for picnicking families and there are some swings etc for the kids. There is also a café and public toilets.
A great place to take a break from Volterra's museums, and to get a closer look at the Fortress next door.
The Roman influence
The last of the Etruscan Lucomons was forced to recognise the supremacy of Rome in the 3rd century B.C. after the battle of Lake Vadimone (283 B.C.) and became part of the Italic Confederacy in 260 B.C. changing its name to Volaterrae.
Relations with Rome were good. The populace expressed their solidarity during the second Punic War, supplying Consul Scipione with wheat and naval equipment and proved their loyalty during the social war which granted them the right to Roman citizenship in 90 B.C.
A few years later, involved in the civil war between Marius and Sulla, Volterra sided with Marius. After a long bitter siege that lasted for two years (82-80 B.C.) Volterra had no choice but to surrender . The city was ferociously sacked, deprived of its citizenship and its territory declared “ager publicus”.
In politics, it pays to back the winning side.
Cicero, a close friend of the influential Caecinae family passionately defended the city and the dictator’s sanctions were greatly reduced. Volterra continued to prosper in the last years of the century evidence of which can be seen in the urban development during this period which included the construction of the theatre and a vast residential area in the neighbourhood of Vallebona.
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Albergo Villa Nencini
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Albergo Villa Nencini Hotel Volterra
Address: Borgo Santo Stefano 55, Volterra, 56048, Italy