Volterra – the heart of Tuscany

A beautiful view from the Archeological park over the centre of the city of Volterra, Tuscany, Italy.

Volterra is a Tuscan town, often described as magical and mysterious. Here, powerful families like the Medici meet with century-old vampires (“Twilight” series). The town has over 30 centuries of history, preserving evidence for all periods and rules.

Rich historical heritage

As you are approaching Volterra you will see a medieval city wall bordering around the whole historic centre. Through Porta all’Arco, an Etruscan heritage, you can enter the town, the world of mythical creatures. Walking down the narrow, meandering cobblestone streets in amidst rows of stone buildings, you can easily imagine something unbelievable happening here.

 

Rally in town

Keep walking and don’t let the steep slope stop you! Many medieval towns in Tuscany were built on top of a hill for strategic purposes. Nowadays this has a few advantages. One of them is the spectacular view in every direction you look at. Another – the town is used for rallies. We watched a rally for veterans. While retired racers roared by us with almost reckless speed, fearless grannies were sitting beside them as navigators.

 

Alabaster and gelato

The historic center is big enough to offer a variety of attractions. Take a relaxing stroll with some gelato in hand while searching for a shop where alabaster handicraft is sold. Volterra is even called the City of alabaster because shaping this mineral has been a tradition here for centuries. As for the ice-cream – try Nutella and mascarpone from gelateria L’isola del gusto, located on the corner of Via Giacomo Matteotti and Via Antonio Gramsci. The real gelato is not frozen, has a creamy texture and is served with a spatula, not a scooper.

If you take your love for ice-cream seriously you might also want to visit Lucca. The Nutella flavoured gelato they offer is possibly the best in the entire region.

Teatro di Vallebona, remains of a Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st century BC in Volterra, Tuscany, Italy.

Maschio - a Medici fortress in Volterra, Tuscany. Nowadays it is used as a prison.

The loveliest sunset

If you’ve reached the heart of Tuscany, visiting Teatro di Vallebona is compulsory. That is the impressive remains of a Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st century BC. The archeological park is also worth a stroll thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and lovely views. To the East is an imposing Medici fortress – Maschio. That, however, is not a tourist attraction but a prison. To the West there is a charming view upon the city and a background of an endless sky. It wouldn’t be too brave to say that: the only thing that beats a sunrise in Tuscany is a sunset in Tuscany. This park and the neighbouring street Viale dei Ponti are both perfect location to watch both.

See you soon

After a sunset in Volterra, you can leave this town with a scent of nostalgia not knowing when you will come back again. There is only one thing that may put you off of this region – the price of real estate. Everything else is truly magical because the local beauty can literally enchant you. You may often see hills, but they surely wouldn’t be covered with green velvet like the hills of Tuscany.

Romantic houses in Volterra, Tuscany outside of the old city walls, overlooking the valley.

Romantic houses in Volterra, Tuscany outside of the old city walls, overlooking the valley.

View to the valley from Volterra, Tuscany, Italy.

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2 Comments

  1. Robert
    June 20, 2015 / 5:26 am

    Hi Eva! Beautifully done website! I can’t wait to visit northern Italy one of these days!

    • June 22, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      Hey, Robert! Thank you so much. The website has not launched yet but I am so happy it has already inspired you! Stay tuned on Facebook or Instagram to get the latest news when the site is official! Have a lovely week 🙂

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