We’ll take you on a trip of discovery of Volterra, the fort city which for millenia has perched, a high hill, closed within its walls, to dominate the surrounding countryside. Passing through its Etruscan gates and traveling along its medieval alleyways somewhere between mystery and legend, we will uncover the history of this place suspended in time, like the light trapped inside its gleaming alabaster relics.
Since the dawn of history Volterra has had its roots in stone. Known in ancient times as Velathri, the Etruscan city was founded between the 6th and 7th century B.C.E. It was one of the twelve city-states which comprised the Etruscan League, a political-religious alliance between cities of this extraordinary and mysterious people, and whom inspired the Romans more than is commonly believed. In fact, Volterra’s historical roots go much deeper, to the very beginnings of Villanoviana civilization circa the 9th century B.C.E. Volterra’s exceptionalism derives not simply from the fact that it has stood for millenia, but that one can still clearly decipher distinct historical periods from its monuments: Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval, and important Renaissance traces remain.
We will guide you through the winding lanes of this city of stone, whose medieval – its walls, Cathedral and Baptistry, the Piazza dei Prior, in which one finds the oldest municipal palace in Tuscany – remain perfectly preserved. Passing under the towering Arch Door (Porta all’Arco), erected by the Etruscans over 2000 years ago, from high on the city walls we will survey the Roman theatre and complex of thermal baths. Volterra’s alabaster industry is particularly remarkable, and many “luminous stones” are displayed view in various artisan workshops in the Ecomuseum of alabaster and in Palazza Viti. Volterra moreover is home to several museums such as the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, the Museum of Sacred art, and the Pinacoteca which house important works of art, among which the Deposizione of the Croce by Rosso Fiorentino is of particular interest.
Length: between 1 hour 30 minutes and 6 hours, approximately*
Cost: 120 € – 230 €**
We offer various kinds of tours in Volterra, from visits of an hour to a maximum of six hours, with entrance to various attractions. Contact us to determine the kind of trip you’re interested in, and to learn more about various costs including museum tickets and other entrance fees.
* Indicates the length of a standard tour, Indicates the duration of a standard tour, which can be shortened or lengthened according to your wishes and compatibility with the type of excursion.
** 120 € is the rate for a tour of less than 3 hours. The rate for a 3-6 hour tour is 230 €.