The 12th century was marked by the violent conflicts between the nobility and the bishop’s rule. In this period, many house towers were erected as fortifications to defend the noble families from their frequent and bitter fights for power.

Buonparenti House Towers
One of the most evocative corners of Volterra, the two towers, Buonaguidi and Buonparenti are connected by a brick archway as were the families in marriage. The towers dominate and strategically command the crossroads and delimit the main square of Piazza dei Priori. It is very big, has a rectangular shape and originally had at least four floors. On the ground floor, doors probably gave access to shops. On each side, balconies and structures, one of which supported by two special brackets, long and carved on the underside . The size and shape of the windows and the number of decorations presume that it was an important building, owned by a high-ranking family of Volterra.

Toscano House-Tower
This is a group of towers in Piazza San Michele constructed in 1250 by Giovanni Toscano, treasurer to the King of Sardinia, who had a noble dwelling designed for him by Giroldo from Lugano around the tower in S.Agnolo, as the inscription engraved above the entrance attests. The building was purchased by the Rapucci family, the Cafferecci and then Guarnacci who added the 16th century palazzo descending Via di Sotto .
Baldinotti House Tower 
The palazzo in Via Turazza is adorned with a series of arches surmounted by stone cones which served as hinges for the shop doors which opened out onto the street.

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