This original Etruscan hilltop settlement, sitting atop an enormous bluff and surrounded by strong walls is a jewel of Roman, Etruscan, medieval, and Renaissance art. It is a city of magnificent vistas from farmlands to mountain views. Writer D. H. Lawrence once described Volterra as a city that sits, "on a towering great bluff that gets all the winds and sees all the world."
A city of importance during the Etruscan era and one of the largest centers in Etruria's 12-city confederation in 4 BC, the Etruscans left beautiful bronzes and a large collection of alabaster funerary urns depicting their impeccable skill in carving the translucent and exquisite white alabaster. The art continues to flourish in artisan workshops throughout Volterra.
Rich in alabaster, an important industry of the city, and in mineral waters, such as those of S. Felice and the Moie, or salt springs, even more important are the Soffioni of Larderello, from which boric acid is extracted, the sulphur lake of Monterotondo, the copper springs of Caporciano, and the baths of Montecatini.
A stroll along the streets of the historic center or a visit to the three city museums, the Etruscan Museum, City Art Gallery and Museum of Sacred Art, validates that history has left its marks on Volterra. And in concert with its ancient treasures is the city's natural beauty that can be enjoyed on foot, horseback or bicycle.