Saturday, June 7, 2008


Volterra is an ancient Etruscan hill town situated between Siena and the west coast which is a little off the more heavily traveled path which we guessed would not have so many visitors. Upon arrival with no available parking spaces, we figured the secret was out. However, when we entered the city, there was a unique quaintness to this town – it did not seemed tainted by tourism in the least – mostly artists and residents filled the parking spaces outside the ancient city walls.

This town preserves its historical charm in a major way dating back almost 3000 years. Its magnificent Porta all’Arco is still one of the main entrances to the city since almost 300 BC made up of massive stones and the remnants of three heads that are believed to be Gods of Greek Origin. The Roman Amphitheatre is one of the best in all of Italy for acoustics built in 10 BC, buried in the 13 century to finally be revealed again in the 1950’s. The sightseeing and shopping were plentiful.

The symbol of Volterra is Alabaster and the month of June was a celebration of the local art of Alabaster sculpting. We happened upon a group of artists carving this soft white rock just outside the Duomo.
An afternoon rainstorm moved us into one of the many beautiful cafes where we joined in on a “happy gelato” festa. Hats, balloons, noisemakers and wonderful gelato – There is always a good reason to celebrate here!

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