Etruscan Hill Town

Arriving in Volterra, we unloaded and hiked to the La Locanda Hotel.  Much easier to hike with backpacks versus rolling over cobblestones. At the group dinner we dined family style on Tuscan dishes especially Picci pasta.


The highlight of our group walking tour of Volterra was one of our loveliest tour guides – Annie.  Her love and insight of her hilltop village kept my rapt attention all morning from the tales of the conflicts between the evil Florentines and the brave Volterran villagers during World War 2 carrying stones to wall up the city's gates against the Nazis. 


For lunch we ate the most amazing meal at Ristorante il Sacco Fiorentino, another Rick recommendation.   A variety of bruschetta, pear gorgonzola salad, and pasta with truffles complemented with crisp white wine.  We toasted our new Danish friends at the next table, who spoke impeccable English. 


At the Etruscan Museum Annie peeled back time to the ancient civilization before the Romans describing elaborate funerary urns topped with reclining images of happy couples – Urn of the Spouses.  The curious Ombra Della Sera = Shadow of the Evening is a thin bronze stretched young man – this 3rd century BC art treasure was found when a farmer was using it as a fireplace poker. 


From the top of the town walls we viewed a Roman Theater seating over 3000 from the 2nd and 3rd century. In addition, these ruins and the Ancient Roman Baths were uncovered in the 1950’s under the town’s garbage dump. 

At the studio, alabaster artisans carved amazing translucent artwork. Even the churches have windows of beautiful snowy alabaster to bring light in. 


The highlight of the evening was a wine tasting at the la Vena di Vini – an underground wine cellar/Etruscan ruins where we tasted the nectar of Tuscany – Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.  Our Sommelier – Giani (an Italian man easy on the eyes) at the la Vena di Vini described each taste with delectable detail. The wines, cheeses, and prosciutto were divine – an ultimate Italian experience. We loved toasting all our tour mates and comparing all the gourmet tastes. Afterwards we packed an evening picnic and sat on the Volterran wall overlooking the glow of the Ancient Roman Ruins.