Porta all'Arco 37/41, Volterra, 56048, Italy
More about Volterra
Giovanni Vacca's font
Hard to choose! (website photo)
The courtyard at the Pinacoteca - note well
Ballroom, Palazzo Viti
Travel Tips for Volterra
When in Rome (or Volterra), do as the Romans do
I must have led a charmed life up to this particular venture to Italy, because in all the other countries I visited, English was either one of the standard languages or, in the case of France, I spoke the ambient tongue. I suppose I expected that many, if not most, of the hoteliers and shop keepers and transport personnel in Italy would speak at least a modicum of English. I didn't invest in a phrase-book (although it turned out my companion had brought one along). What arrogance! I have only myself to blame for the multiple times when language barriers led to absurd or disappointing results. (It is hard to ask for directions when you can't articulate where you want to go -- and can't understand when someone tries to help out.)
Probably no one reading this tip would make such a foolish mistake, but just in case...either learn enough Italian to get by, or keep a phrase-book or English-Italian dictionary close at hand. I promise you'll have a more enjoyable visit.
(And as one VT'er says in a very funny motto which I will badly paraphrase, speaking English slowly and very loudly does NOT make it more comprehensible!)
The Volterra area is known for the Balze, a particular geologic phenomenon.
Some hill looks gray because the components of the ground are taken away from the rain and the have a particular aspect!
Palazzo Vescovile and Palazzo Incontri
Palazzo Vescovile was originally the barn of the town. In 1472 it was modified and became the episcopal residence untill 1618.
Palazzo Incontri has got a Renaissance facade which was modified in the years.
Palazzo Incontri - "Casa di Risparmio"
Palazzo Incontri was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, but was radically altered in later years. Today it is occupied by the Casa di Risparmio di Volterra bank. The building is interesting for its windows with a pointed arch and the smaller windows built especially so that children could look through them without the risk of falling.
The Duomo (Cathedral) was built in 1120 and it had widened in the 12th century on a project of Vasari and Nicola Pisano. The facade has got two leseneses and on the tympanum there is a blind loggia. The marble portal has got a lunette with a geometric mosaic. The tower bell was built in 1493.
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