Guide To The 10 Best Things To Do In Volterra, Italy

things to do in Volterra

A beautiful and charming town located in the province of Pisa, Volterra is renowned for its Etruscan origins and has many sites in the area. Meander through the walled town with its medieval, Renaissance and Roman buildings and enjoy the timeless atmosphere that it ignites. There are plenty of opportunities to see the town from up high, and some from underground too! Use this guide and explore the best things to do in Volterra, Italy. Start planning your vacation now!

1. Palazzo Viti

A partire da lunedì 12 giugno fino al 5 novembre, cambierà l'orario di apertura di Palazzo Viti: da lunedì al sabato 10-17,30, la domenica 10-13 14,30-18,30.

Posted by Palazzo Viti on Tuesday, 6 June 2017

This residential home provides a fascinating insight into the Viti’s family heritage and possessions. The palace houses beautiful furnishings and furniture acquired over the centuries and also includes hand painted wallpaper, tapestries, and portraits. Take your time to admire the amazing painted ceilings and collections of rare and precious items brought back by Giuseppe Viti (1850) from his travels.

Palazzo Viti

Address: Via Dei Sarti 41, 56048, Volterra, Italy

Website: Palazzo Viti (Italian)

2. Museo Etrusco Guarnacci

Museo guarnacci, ricostruzione di tomba etrusca
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user sailko used under CC BY 2.5

If you like Etruscan burial tombs and have a keen interest in history then a visit to the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci is a must visit. From the end of the 18th-century, hundreds of Etruscan artifacts have been cataloged for display, including vases, coins, mosaics, tombs, and ceramics, some of which date back to the 4th-century BC.

Museo Etrusco Guarnacci

Address: Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 15, 56048, Volterra, Italy

Website: Museo Etrusco Guarnacci (Italian)

3. Cathedral of Volterra (Duomo)

Duomo di Volterra
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Cathedral of Volterra is centered within the heart of the Volterra community and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Don’t be put off by the seemingly plain exterior of the building because once you enter the inside, the details, particularly in the ceilings, medieval fresco paintings and paintings on wood, won’t fail to impress.

Cathedral of Volterra

Address: Piazza San Giovanni, Volterra, Italy

Website: Cathedral of Volterra (Italian)

4. Chiesa di San Lino

La chiesa di San Lino fu eretta sopra la dimora del secondo papa della storia. Si dice che sotto le fondamenta ci sia ancora una sua ciabatta!

Posted by Volterracity on Wednesday, 11 January 2017

San Lino is an ancient church in Volterra. The interior is lavished with frescoes and there is a memorial bust of Maffei (1522) as well as statues. The centerpiece of the altar is a wood panel with a Virgin and San Lino painted by Francesco Curradi.

Chiesa di San Lino

Address: Volterra, Italy

Website: Chiesa di San Lino

5. Teatro Romano (Roman Theater & Baths)

Volterra teatro romano panorama
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ccnicholls used under CC BY 3.0

For a real taste of history, visit the well-preserved site of Teatro Romano, a truly ancient heritage of Italian past. It’s located right in the middle of old Volterra, adjacent to the medieval city walls. Walk to the side of it and take in the amazing views of this Roman theater from above for quite an experience and a great opportunity for taking photos.

Teatro Romano

Address: Viale Francesco Ferrucci, Volterra, Italy

Website: Teatro Romano (Italian)

6. Palazzo dei Priori

The majestic Palazzo dei Priori in Volterra. #photo credit @discovertuscany on Instagram

Posted by Discover Tuscany on Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Located in the historic center of Volterra, The Palazzo dei Priori is the oldest Tuscan municipal building and some of the building is still in use as a city hall. In addition to being able to wander through rooms with beautiful ceiling murals and family crests, each one telling of its own history, there’s also the opportunity to travel upwards to the bell tower and appreciate the fabulous views over the city and its surroundings.

Palazzo dei Priori

Address: Piazza dei Priori, Volterra, Italy

Website: Palazzo dei Priori

7. The Baptistery of St. John

Battistero di San Giovanni, Volterra-8305
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Raimond Spekking used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate this unique little baptistery which dates back to 989 AD and can be found in front of the Cathedral. Hexagon in shape, its interior has an altar from the 16th-century and an 18th-century Baptismal Font. It’s exterior is slightly more colorful by way of green and white marble decoration. At the top of the walls, you can get a fantastic view of the area.

Baptistery of St. John

Address: Piazza San Giovanni, Volterra, Italy

Website: Baptistery (Italian)

8. Medici Fortress

Medici Fortress - Volterra

Posted by Tuscan Muse on Saturday, 18 July 2015

From its commanding hilltop position, the enormous Medici Fortress looks out over Volterra and can be seen from miles away around the area so it’s worth the visit just for the views! Built in 1474, it comprises of two smaller fortresses which later joined together so that a double curtain-wall was also built between the Mastio and the Rocca Vecchia.

Medici Fortress

Address: Via di Castello, 56048 Volterra, Italy

Website: Medici Fortress

9. Cisterna Romana Di Volterra

Posted by Paolo Kenshin on Thursday, 8 June 2017

If you don’t mind walking down a tiny spiral staircase, then you might be pleasantly surprised by the well preserved Roman cistern that awaits you down the bottom. Very much a working archaeological site, the foundations of ruined Roman and Etruscan buildings can be observed. For those who prefer the high end, take a steep climb to see beautiful views of the old town.

Cisterna Romana Di Volterra

Address: Viale Wunsiedel, 56048 Volterra, Italy

Website: Cisterna Romana Di Volterra

10. Balze Cliffs

Posted by Antonio Breschi-Arte on Sunday, 4 October 2015

These stunning cliff formations of eroded soft rock not only provide a unique view of Volterra but also help us to understand the Etruscan history of the area. To see the cliffs in their full view, walk to the track opposite rather than from above them, and if you want a place to watch the sunset, head here for a prime location to see it.

Balze Cliffs

Address: Borgo S. Giusto, 56048 Volterra PI, Italy

Website: Balze Cliffs

View the impressive sights of Volterra

You might have to endure some climbing, but the hill top town of Volterra will give you some of the most amazing views from all different kinds of angles; it is well worth the climbing to experience them. If this isn’t enough for you, the culture and atmosphere of Volterra will surely win your heart when you head to Italy.

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