Monday, 29 January 2007

Volterra Sightseeing

The Etruscan city of Volterra is situated on a high plateau and thought by many to be one of Tuscany's best hill towns, a place where you capture the real Italian hill town experience. Here you’ll find a small, but rich array of ruins and architecture from different historical periods.

The ruins of the Etruscan walls mark the perimeter of the Parco Archeologico, a garden that occupies the highest point in the city, offering views over the surrounding countryside.

At one end of the Parco Archeologico you’ll find the old Etruscan gate to the city, next to a fortress built by Lorenzo the Magnificent. At the opposite end of the park is Piazza Martiri della Libertà, the best place to take in views of the Cecina Valley.

From the park, take a stroll to Piazza dei Priori and you’ll find one of the finest medieval town squares in Italy. The Square is dominated by the oldest town hall in Tuscany, the Palazzo dei Priori. This dates back to 1208 and is said to have been the model for the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

At the other end of the square is the Porcellino tower, built in the 13th century and named after the pig, which is carved at its base.

A short walk away in the Piazza San Giovanni you’ll find Volterra’s Duomo, open daily.

You’ll usually find that the streets of Volterra are deserted, especially compared to nearby hill towns such as San Gimignano. If you want to linger a little longer than a day, you’ll also find that it offers a very good choice of hotels and restaurants. If you decide to eat out here don’t forget to try the local specialty of salami or pasta made with wild boar.

Be sure to save some time to sit and relax in Volterra and savour its memories and its history – a memory you are unlikely to forget.

Find out more about Volterra Sightseeing.

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