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VolterraItaly

Encounter many different eras of history in Volterra, a scenic hilltop town in Tuscany famed for its palaces, museums and archaeological sites.

Experience the enduring charm of rural Tuscany in Volterra, a town of historic burnt-red buildings and ancient archaeological sites. Etruscan, Roman and medieval settlers have all left their mark here. Modern Volterra celebrates this layered history.

Originally, Volterra was a flourishing Etruscan settlement named Velathri, with around 25,000 people from the ancient civilization living here. Romans moved in around the 3rd century B.C. and named it Volaterrae. Explore the town today to see remnants from both of these periods, as well as numerous buildings from its time as a free commune in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Start your exploration of Volterra by surveying its ancient relics. Look for Etruscan architectural sights such as Porta all’Arco, a gateway with faded sculptures of human heads, and the Etruscan Acropolis, the ruins of a religious site.

Learn more about this mysterious civilization in the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum. Browse funerary urns and artistic sculptures carved from alabaster. Read about the town’s connection to the stone in the Ecomuseum of Alabaster.

Move on to Roman times next, seeking out classical architecture in the town. Begin with the Roman Theatre, a sunken arena that once hosted 2,000 spectators. Imagine rich patrons visiting the Roman Baths, where you can still see the remains of the furnace and sauna.

Discover medieval Tuscany in Piazza dei Priori. The main square in the town features some of Volterra’s most impressive landmarks. Admire the frescoes in Palazzo dei Priori and the triple-arched loggia of Palazzo Pretorio. Nearby, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta features striking artwork and monuments to Volterran saints.

Visit Volterra in July and August, the peak season in Tuscany, and witness the modern, lively side of the town during the Volterra Jazz Festival. Catch a train from Rome or Florence, or hop on one of the local buses to get into Volterra. The town is just an hour away from many of Tuscany’s other cultural cities.

Top Hotels in Volterra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel San Lino
Hotel San Lino
4 out of 5
Via San Lino 26, Volterra, PI
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $96 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 30

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rossi Alabastri Volterra, Alabaster Ecomuseum, and Pinacoteca e Museo Civico. Cathedral ...

4.2/5Very Good! (76 reviews)

"Was located within the heart of Volterra with modern amenities."…"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2019

Hotel San Lino
Park Hotel le Fonti
Park Hotel le Fonti
4 out of 5
Via di Fontecorrenti, 2A, Volterra, PI

This family-friendly Volterra hotel is located in the suburbs, within a 10-minute walk of Porta all'Arco and Cathedral of Volterra. Rossi Alabastri Volterra ...

4.2/5Excellent! (217 reviews)

"Beautiful setting with great views. Beds need to be updated."…"

Reviewed on Sep 28, 2019

Park Hotel le Fonti
Agrihotel Il Palagetto
Agrihotel Il Palagetto
3 out of 5
Loc. Cozzano 41-42, Volterra, PI
The price is $96 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 5

Located in the heart of Volterra, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Palazzo Incontri Viti, Roman Theatre, and Pinacoteca e Museo Civico. Alabaster Ecomuseum ...

4.1/5Very Good! (70 reviews)

"A picturesque setting with beautiful sunrises and sunsets.The owners, cleaning and wait staff are friendly and professional. A beautiful quiet location that makes a good central location for day trips. The breakfast is very good and the food in the restaraunt is good but a bit over priced. I thought ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Agrihotel Il Palagetto

Popular places to visit in Volterra

Porta all'Arco
Image for Porta all'Arco

Porta all'Arco

Learn about the ancient Etruscan civilization at this city gate, which marks the historic entrance to Volterra.

Cathedral of Volterra
Image for Cathedral of Volterra

Cathedral of Volterra

Praised for its magnificent interior artworks and colorful chapel, this church is worth a stop if you find yourself in the town of Volterra.

Palazzo dei Priori
Image for Palazzo dei Priori

Palazzo dei Priori

5/5(4 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Volterra when you stop by Palazzo dei Priori. Discover the beautiful countryside while you're in the area.

Etruscan Museum
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Etruscan Museum

Get insight into Tuscany’s ancient history when you explore the collection of antiquities on display in one of the continent’s oldest public museums.

Medici Fortress
Image for Medici Fortress

Medici Fortress

4/5(1 review)

Admire the majestic towers and walls of the ancient castle that rises above Volterra and is now a prison and a restaurant.

Roman Theatre
Image for Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre

4.5/5(59 reviews)

Wander to the north of historic Volterra to discover the remains of an ancient amphitheater, which still bears many of its original features.

Top things to do in Volterra

Small Group Tuscany Countryside & Wine Tasting from Livorno
Image for Small Group Tuscany Countryside & Wine Tasting from Livorno

Small Group Tuscany Countryside & Wine Tasting from Livorno

$123
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Volterra: on the trail of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
Image for Volterra: on the trail of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

Volterra: on the trail of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

$579
Per adult
Volterra and Colle Val d'Elsa Day Trip from Florence
Image for Volterra and Colle Val d'Elsa Day Trip from Florence

Volterra and Colle Val d'Elsa Day Trip from Florence

$203
Per adult
Full-Day Tour of San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti
Image for Full-Day Tour of San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti

Full-Day Tour of San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti

$68
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Highlights of Tuscany: Siena, San Gimignano & Pisa with Lunch
Image for Highlights of Tuscany: Siena, San Gimignano & Pisa with Lunch

Highlights of Tuscany: Siena, San Gimignano & Pisa with Lunch

$77
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Pisa, Volterra and Bolgheri Private Tour from Livorno
Image for Pisa, Volterra and Bolgheri Private Tour from Livorno

Pisa, Volterra and Bolgheri Private Tour from Livorno

$1,009
Per adult

Reviews of Volterra

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
10
5 - Excellent 83.33333333333333%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 16.666666666666668%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
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1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 21, 2019

This is a must see location for the Etruscan artifacts. Wonderful town with fewer tourists.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 29, 2019

Hard to believe the beauty and history of this city and surrounding area. The museums were also amazing.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 11, 2018

Top tier hill town in Tuscany.

Cities near Volterra

Colle di Val d'Elsa

Colle di Val d'Elsa

San Gimignano featuring street scenes and shopping as well as a large group of people

San Gimignano

Photo "Gambassi Terme" by LigaDue (CC BY-SA) / Cropped from original

Gambassi Terme

Montaione

Montaione