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TOWN TEL FAX 0588 86050 0588 80035
ADDRESS Palazzo dei Priori - Piazza dei Priori - 56048
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It was built by the Etruscans on the hill which 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 the twelve lucumonies comprising the Etruscan confederation. In the fourth century BC, thanks to its thriving economy, the great walls were built, 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 a bishopric. After a period of invasions, from ninth to twelfth century, had the benefit 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 city and the wealth of its territory. After attempts at rebellion and compromise, the city was besieged and sacked by the Florentines in 1472 for the issue of alum quarries. Today Volterra is a town that retains a predominantly medieval appearance, especially in public and private buildings, such as the thirteenth century Palazzo dei Priori, the Praetorian Palace, the house-towers and Buomparenti Buonaguidi and the Toscano, in Piazzetta di San Michele Via Guarnacci. Signs of 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 monastery church of San Francesco with the adjoining chapel of the Cross 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 preserves artifacts from the Etruscan period, such as Porta Arch of the 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 of Volterra which was the main production facility, whose processing times in the sixteenth century, moving toward 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 consists of Etruscan and Roman urns in alabaster votive bronzes, including one notes the famous Ombra della Sera, the Art Gallery and Museo Civico di 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 materials , for the thumbnails and the fourteenth-century sculpture of the Sienese school.
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