Throwing it back to Volterra today–another beautiful town in Tuscany that we got to visit towards the end of our trip to Italy. We got here early in the morning and took a wonderful tour of the town. The tour was actually free and I’m pretty sure they’re run all day long–leaving from the shopping area on top of the hill. Our tour guide was super friendly and shared so many interesting historical facts about this ancient city.
That stone arch a couple of pictures above is actually the oldest standing Etruscan gate–built in the 4th century B.C. The city-hall pictured above is also apparently the oldest in Tuscany.
Volterra is also known for a special stone that is native to the area called alabaster. It’s a very soft, translucent mineral, and the shops at the top of the hill in town are filled with arts and crafts made from alabaster. There’s actually an existing alabaster workshop in town where you can watch the artists work with the stone and sculpt them into magnificent pieces.
Volterra is surrounded by so much beautiful scenery. It’s a town that’s so far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern city life. I personally found it quite refreshing. Volterra’s not a super popular tourist town (even though I think it should be), so it feels very REAL. I’m kind of happy it’s not, though, since that means no big crowds/lines, and you can really experience the culture and people in an authentic way. I can’t wait to go back someday.