Volterra

Volterra dominates the valley from the top of a hill with its imposing wall that protects it counts. As evidence of its Etruscan origins have come to us numerous archaeological finds.
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Volterra, or rather Velathri in her Etruscan name, was one of the most important cities of the Etruscan civilization. The walls were build at the end of the IV century BC and were 7300 meters long, designed to protect not only the town and the city center, but also the sources, the cultivated lands and the pastures, often subject to incursions by enemies. After the supremacy of the Franks and then the Lombards, Volterra became a Roman domain, changing its name in Volaterrae. It was then subjected to the domination of Florence, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and then voted, almost unanimously, for the Unification of Italy in 1860. Today a large part of the walls can still be visited, with its two gates of the town, Porta Diana and Porta dell’Arco, as well as the old Acropolis which houses various buildings and the foundations of two ancient temples. As evidence of the Roman “transition” remains the fascinating Roman theater, built on a hillside that naturally resembles the shape of an amphitheater. Another monument that is worth visiting is certainly the Medici Fortress: his Rocca Nuova, built by order of Lorenzo the Magnificent, now is a maximum security prison, whose inmates participating in an interesting project of rehabilitation and social reintegration, which involved them in the management of a restaurant, where are successfully organized several initiatives. Worthy of note is also the Romanesque Cathedral, as so is the front of San Giovanni Baptistery, where there are works of art of great value, created by artists such as Andrea della Robbia, Mino da Fiesole and Benozzo Gozzoli, the latter author of a most valuable fresco of the Three Wise Men. Fascinating for the visitor is then the Piazza and the Palazzo dei Priori built in the thirteenth century and the Pinacoteca, housed in the Palazzo Minucci Solaini. Inside the Pinacoteca, or Civic Museum of Volterra, there are important works of art, including the Deposition of Rosso Fiorentino. Not far from the Pinacoteca it is another museum that is worth a visit: the Alabaster Museum which houses over 300 works of art in alabaster, built between the 18th and the 19th century. Finally, it really worth to take a walk through the streets of downtown, drifting from the timeless magic that surrounds the city and, why not, taste the typical products and snoop inside the characteristic workshops. Larderello and the geothermal The Larderello area is less than ten minutes from our farmhouse and is particularly attractive for the exploitation of geothermal resources, a renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy, which satisfies a quarter of the energy needs of the region of Tuscany. Thus, in addition to natural events such as putizze and lagoni, the territory is characterized by the intertwining of the pipelines that harness the steam given off by the soffioni and convey it to the geothermal power plants. The sight is impressive: white columns of steam are emanated from cracks in the ground, from old soffioni and towers of geothermal power plants, and the landscape looks like hell, so for that reason the area is called “Valley of the Devil.” Do not miss a visit to the two Geothermal Museums: the Geothermal Museum of Larderello illustrating the birth of a unique experience in the world and the new Museum of the Territory and Energy of Radicondoli, emblem of the subsequent development of geothermal energy.

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