TOWN TEL 0588 86050 FAX 0588 80035
ADDRESS Palazzo dei Priori – Piazza dei Priori – 56048
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It was built by the Etruscans on the mountain that separates the large valley of Cecina from the Era, in a position that had already been exploited by humans since the Neolithic period, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds. Volterra was one of twelve lucumonies formed the Confederation of the Etruscans. In the fourth century BC, thanks to its thriving economy, built the great walls, the perimeter of more than seven kilometers. Subdued by Rome circa 260 a. C., it became a municipality, and the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, was Episcopalian. After a period of invasions, from ninth to twelfth century, had the favor of the Carolingian emperors, Saxons and Franks. In the first half of the twelfth century Volterra became a free city, struggling with the bishop for the possession of the riches of the city and its territory. After attempts at rebellion and compromise, the city was besieged and sacked by the Florentines in 1472 over alum quarries. Today Volterra is a town that retains a predominantly medieval appearance, especially in public and private buildings, such as the Palazzo dei Priori, the thirteenth century, the Praetorian Palace, the house-towers and Buomparenti Buonaguidi and the Tuscan Archipelago, in the Piazzetta San Michele Via Guarnacci. The signs of an ancient civilization can be found in religious buildings, including the Cathedral of the twelfth century, the Baptistery, an octagonal dome and an elegant marble portal, the convent church of San Francesco with the adjacent Chapel of the Cross by Day, frescos by Cenni di Francesco in 1410, the church of San Michele "in the hole" from the facade of Pisa and the ancient building of the church of St. Alexander. Volterra also preserved monuments from the Etruscan period, such as the Arch Port of fourth century, with sides formed by large blocks square, the Acropolis of Piano di Castello, the walls of the fourth century, still visible in some areas of the city, and tombs, vases and urns.
The great artistic season occurs during the Etruscan period between the sixth and the first century BC in the copious production of alabaster urns, Volterra was the center of which the main production, which resumed production in the sixteenth century, concentrating on art forms.
In addition to the numerous landmarks and monuments of art and history, Volterra has three museums of great historical and artistic interest: the Museum Guarnacci, without a doubt one of the most important Italian museums for the rich heritage of the Etruscan-Roman urns in alabaster votive bronzes, among which notes the famous Ombra della Sera, the Art Gallery and Civic Museum of Palazzo Minucci-Solaini with the great table of the "Deposition from the Cross" by Rosso Fiorentino and the Diocesan Museum important for the variety of textile , for the fourteenth-century miniatures and sculptures of the Sienese school.