Dating back to the 7th century BC Volterra is one of Italy’s most beautiful walled cities. With history from the Etruscan, Roman and Medieval periods holds important history and architecture for any intrepid traveller. The city has acted as a bishop’s residence, been occupied by the Florentine’s and been under the control of the Medici family. With such a varied history there are a lot of must do’s in Volterra, here’s our list of the top 5.
Palazzo dei Priori
The Priori Palace in Volterra is a definitely one of the must do’s in Volterra. Construction started in 1208 but wasn’t completed until the 1300’s. With vaulted ceilings and beautiful fresco’s it’s one of the most amazing palaces in the city.
Entrance is open year round but do check the opening hours as they do change depending on the time of year. The entrance price for adults is six euro.
Villa di Spedaletto
In nearby Spedaletto you’ll find the the Medici villa of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Born in the 14th century Lorenzo was a statesman and one of the most enthusiastic patrons of renaissance art. His most famous acts were perhaps his sponsorship of works by Botticelli and Michelangelo.
Fortezza Medicea restaurant
The Fortezza Medicea restaurant is one of the most unique restaurants in the world. It operates in the beautiful fortress over looking the town. But the thing that makes it one of the must do’s in Volterra is that the fortress is still actively used as a maximum security prison.
Diners much pass background checks and food is served on plastic plates for safety. Despite this it is still booked out weeks in advance.
Volterra Baptistery of San Giovanni
Set up in front of the Cathedral of Volterra the octagon shaped portal was built on the site of a Roman temple for the worship of the sun. It’s one of the pieces in the city that shows the layers of history that this city holds.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the layered history of Volterra you can check out our guide to the best historical spots in Volterra.
The massive Volterra Cathedral belongs on the list of must do’s in Volterra. Stepping inside this stunning Cathedral will open up centuries of history. The 22 granite columns lead inside and open out into a number of chapels. Each chapel has it’s own art pieces.
You’ll find some unique wooden statues as well as canvas’s and fresco’s of the life of St. Paul. You’ll also find work of unknown Tuscan masters whose names have been forgotten centuries ago. This truly is a beautiful cathedral.
Want to see more with a Volterra tour guide?
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