Volterra AD 1398: the Medieval Week
Centro storico Volterra
centro, piazze e luoghi limitrofi
Volterra Tourist Office
Volterra has not only vestiges of its Etruscan and Roman past, which can be admired in its walls and theatre, but also a widespread heritage of churches and parish churches dating back to the Middle Ages.
On the second and third Sunday in August, the whole town takes a step back more than 600 years and turns into ‘Volterra AD 1398’. For 25 years, the streets of the town have been the backdrop for artisan and merchant stalls, parades of commoners and nobles, and juggling shows.
In the Parco di Castello, at the foot of the imposing Medici Fortress, ladies and knights, flag wavers and crossbowmen demonstrate their dexterity, and musicians entertain the crowds. Strolling slowly down steep, uphill streets, the tourists of 2000 mingle with the people of Volterra in 1398. The swarm of crowds moves swaying from one stall to another, dispersing where the narrow streets open into airy squares dominated by churches and palaces. Completing the scenery, around the village, are the Balze, the steep, rugged spurs of rock that dominate the Val di Cecina.
A perfectly reconstructed world: the re-enactment is so faithful that the Euro is replaced by the Grosso, a copper or gold coin available at the Exchange Office. It can be used to buy everything on offer at the banquets, from food and wine delicacies to handicrafts. A medieval dinner is also organised during the festival, with a menu featuring tasty traditional dishes given an original twist.