Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Finally Volterra

We wanted to and should have checked off Volterra when we went to San Gimignano two years ago. By John's measure, it is a hard place to get to.  Even though the rain has stopped, a hilltop at 540m, Volterra was bitterly cold and windy.  We braved the relative coolness of the spring for lesser crowds, but this bone chilling cold was more than I bargained for.  In fact this morning John and I both noticed that our phone batteries were going down at rates unseen before.

In Volterra, the setting for the "Twilight" vampire series books, we didn't hear any American spoken until we were leaving town.  Montepulciano, where the movie was filmed, had quite a few American visitors; it could also be because of their wine fame.  All the non-Italian visitors we saw were Germans, including a German team filming models.

The surrounding country of Volterra is very scenic, in the same league as the Orcia valley, but it was hazy, probably due to burning firewood and olive branch from spring trimming.  The town itself was not as photogenic.  Not that it matters to the town as they were the last Etruscan holdout against the Romans and fought bitterly against the rule of Florence during the 1400s; Volterra does not seem to embrace tourism at the same rate as its neighbors.  Conveniently, the Medici Fortresses built by their last conqueror is currently a maximum security prison, presumably good living for the town.

John adds: With the cold and windy conditions, I had my wind/rain pants on over my regular pants everytime we went outside; and I had my regular pants tucked into my socks to keep the wind out; plus 4 layers on my upper body with everything tucked in, pulled up and tightened. Not to mention my scarf.

Leaving Siena, we changed buses in Colle di Val d'Elsa. With 35 minutes between buses we were able to tour their piazza. Check out the wind blowing the water in the fountain.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

On the bus to Volterra.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Saw a couple of these red rings on the ride. Reminds of the Gyre at NCMA.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

The old Etruscan Gate of Volterra.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Piazza dei Priori
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Walking around town.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

There's a very good view of Volterra's Ancient Roman Theater.
Teatro Romano - Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

We walked a few kilometers west to see the town cliffs. This part of the walk is along/atop the Etruscan City Walls.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

This bike touring group was taking a break after climbing up to almost the top of Volterra.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

We designed the walk to take us by CONAD supermarket to pick up some supplies. We had a superb 2nd floor apartment, four windows across and a kitchen.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Our apartment windows - all four!
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

And a kitchen with an oven means Sun-Ling makes pizza!
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

We head out of the city towards the Etruscan Tombs, passing first through Porta Fiorentina.
Porta Fiorentina - Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Then the Cemetery.
Cemetery - Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

And finally through Porta Diana. The Etruscan City Walls enclosed twice the area of the current city.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Passing the city limits. ;-)
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

With some fine views to the landscape below.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

A few of the tombs are right alongside the road.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

There was a school group visiting the tombs as well.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Etruscan Tomb - Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Etruscan Tombs are way cool!....Finally, as we trudge back up to town through Porta Diana I shed my jacket for the only time while in Volterra.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

The old Medici Fortress is now a maximum security prison.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Just a few more steps to get back to our apartment which was below the prison and above the Museo Etrusco.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

The remnants of the Etruscan Acropolis are next to the prison.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Then back out for some sunset views on the promenade looking towards the Mediterranean which is about 20 miles to the west.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

The under-reconstruction Duomo in the last light of the day.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

And the sun goes down behind the windmills on the opposing ridge.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Some locals are strolling the town in the windy cold.
Volterra, Tuscany, Italy





1 comment:

Kathy said...

Brrr! Have always been interested in the Etruscans, but then am not a big fan of the Romans.