Piazza Martiri della LibertÃ?Â 8, Volterra, 56048
More about Volterra
The studio where alabaster art is crafted
A view of the Roman theater
Volterra glistens on the hilltop
An Etruscan cinerary urn
Travel Tips for Volterra
Laundry facilities are hard to find
Given the paucity of laundromats -- I never found one -- it is probably wise to bring along a small bottle of laundry detergent (though shampoo will do in a pinch), clothes pins and laundry line. You can wash out your "smalls" each night in the sink, and periodically launder larger items when you have access to a bathtub.
Fort and archeological park
CAlled Fortessa Medicea. There are two different periods of this fort being built, and called the old and new Rocca. It is connected by a curtain of corbels and the four corner towers are round. The old was built in 1342 by the Duke of Athens. The new add-on was 1472 by Lorenzo the Magnificent. There is one main central tower in the middle of the fortress. A decorative, but defensive arch form around the top pinnacle keeps the attackers from climbing the top. No admittance because it really is a prison now that houses guess who. Toward the back part of the fort/castle is a path and it leads to a grotto; dark inside. You also can walk down the back path to the bottom of the city and end up on the main highway.
An outstanding collection of alabaster: Ecomuseo
The Ecomuseo dell'Alabastro was an unexpected treat. You enter from the courtyard of the Palazzo Minucci-Solaini (home of the Pinacoteca Civico), and pay an additional fee of 3 euros. The space has been beautifully remodeled -- it was once part of the city wall -- so as to best display the art within. Now, prepare to be amazed. I'd seen some pretty fabulous alabaster in my perusals of several shops and artisans in Volterra, but this museum really took my breath away. It starts by giving you a short course on the substance itself, which can be divided into these four main categories:
Scaglione: a translucent alabaster
Pietra a marmo: a white, opaque alabaster that looks a bit like white marble
Bardiglio: an alabaster characterized by the presence of dark veins, whose color varies based on the type of impurities present in the stone
Agata or Agate: an alabaster whose color ranges between red and brown due to the presence of iron and magnesium oxides
Mastered that? Now take a look at the reconstructed alabaaster workshop so you have an idea of how the mineral would be carved. Then you're ready to see what can be done by the experts. A number of the artisans in town have examples of their work on display, for example, Oasi's replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Personally, I loved the classical sculptures -- the pictured one is by alab'Arte.
There is also a small gift shop with prints and books. An elevator provides access for the mobility-challenged to the museum's four levels.
Palazzo dei Priori: interior
The interior of Palazzo dei Priori is very interesting. There you can see many coats of arms of podestaes and Florentine commissioners. Very beautiful is the Sala Del Consiglio with decoration of the 1300.
Porta dell'Arco Etrusco (Etruscan Arch) is one of the symbol of the town of Volterra. It made part of the surrounded walls of the fourth century B.C. The external stipidis are original, while the archivolt in full center (6 meters tall) was referred by the Romans and they put there three heads (protecting divinity of the entry). The piedrittis of the interior arc and the two interior walls are etruscan and they were made of enormous rocks of limestone of tufo.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Camere Renzi Volterra
Address: Piazza Martiri della LibertÃ?Â 8, Volterra, 56048