Volterra is the second most important city in the province of Pisa in Tuscany. The city, which has slightly over 11,000 inhabitants is located at the edge of an area called Maremma. Volterra is considered one of Tuscany’s most beautiful smaller cities and is an extremely popular tourist destination.
Volterra city guide
ZIP code: 56048. Area code: 0588. Town hall: Piazza dei Priori, 1 – 56048 Volterra. The tourist office is located at Piazza dei Priori, 19/20 (tel. 0588 87257; opening hours: From 09.30 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00). Due to its remote location, there is no train station in Volterra. The nearest stations are those of Cecina and Pontedera. For interlocal bus connections, contact the company Compagnia Pisana Trasporti S.p.a.
Tourist tax Volterra
On January 1, 2021, the city of Volterra started charging a tourist tax. Tourists staying in the city pay between 1.00 and 2.50 Euro per night, depending on the category of accommodation. Children under 13 are exempt.
|2,50 Euro||4- and 5-star hotels|
|2,00 Euro||3-star hotels, residences, holiday homes, B&B, affittacamere, agriturismo|
|1,50 Euro||1- and 2-star hotels|
|1,00 Euro||religious accommodation, camping ground, youth hostel|
The tariffs are per person, per night.
Volterra Card (Museum card)
Like almost every large or medium-sized Italian city, Volterra has a museum card. After purchasing the Volterra Card, you can visit the city’s six museums and archaeological sites for free. The card is valid for 72 hours and costs 14 Euro for adults. There is also a special family card which is extremely advantageous.
The territory of Volterra is largely of a hilly nature, with some lowland around the River Era. Nature lovers will be impressed by the sandstone heights, intersected by canyon-like corridors.
Since the town is relatively isolated, the center is less affected by modern life than is the case with comparable borghi. Even the more modern part of the city is largely enclosed within the 13th century city walls.
Volterra’s coat of arms refers to both the Etruscan and medieval history of the city. The griffin is a typical Etruscan symbol and the defeated dragon represents the Ghibellines.
Volterra was founded by the Etruscans and was an important trading town mainly because of its strategic location. After it was taken over by the Romans, it remained an important municipality.
After the Lombard rule, the city came under episcopal power in the 11th century. From the 12th century until 1340, when Volterra became a county under the Belforti family, it was an independent municipality. After several conflicts with other cities in the area, the city finally came under the control of the Florentines in 1361.
Volterra Tourist attractions
The central square is the Piazza dei Priori. The most striking building in this square is the 13th century Palazzo Pretorio. A second important square is Piazza San Giovanni, with the Duomo, the Baptistry and the bell tower. The main street, and main shopping street, is Via Antonio Gramsci.
The main ancient tourist attractions are the Etruscan Walls, the Roman Theater and an archaeological park.
The most important medieval sights are the Medici Castle and the 12th century Cathedral. Other beautiful churches include the San Francesco Church, the San Michele Church and the Sant’Alessandro Church.
Necropolises dating back to the Etruscan era have been excavated near several of the city’s suburbs.
In terms of nature, north of the city is an area called the Balze. This was created by erosion and is characterized by strangely shaped cliffs. This did however come at the expense of some Etruscan necropolises and the Badia Camaldolese Abbey.