VOLTERRA, a proud city on the crest of hills made steep by landslips. This was one of the most powerful of the Etruscan Lucomoniae known as Felathri: it became Roman in the 3rd century BC.
We go up under the Fortress along Viale dei Ponti, which gives a superb view over the valley, enter through the castle keep at Porta all'Arco, of the Etruscan period making at once for the Cachedral, a severe Romanesque building with a majestic interior, the octagonal Baptistery and the Bishop's Palace and adjoining Diocesan Museum.
From here, it is only a short walk to Piazza dei Priori, yet another picturesque medieval square, with the tall Palazzo Pretoria and the austere Palazzo dei Priori, of the 13° century, with a slim tower and facade decorated with coats-of-arms. 3rd century BC.
The line of the Etruscan Walls follows the contour of the hills and dips into the valley only to include the water sources-essential during the long sieges of ancient times. Inside there is an interesting Picture Gallery with works by Signorelli, Rosso Fiorentino, Ghirlandaio etc.
In Via Don Minzoni there is an important Etruscan Museum (The "Guarnacci") with fine cinerary urns. One might lunch at Volterra, before turning bat for 16 km. (10 mi.) and branching off left for a further 13 m. (8 mi.) for the last stop on our journey SAN GIMIGNANO.