The name Volterra comes from the Etruscan Velathri. As early as the seventh century BCE, the Etruscans had founded an important settlement, which rose to the size and power of a Locumonia, i.e. a city state, the seat of a Lucumo (the supreme ruler of Etruscan cities), and had a powerful surrounding wall more than seven kilometres long. We can still admire today the Porta all’Arco and the Porta Diana which date from the period. The theatre is from the Roman period. It was later used as a spa and today hosts a summer festival of theatre, music and poetry.
This position, at the meeting of the Era and Cecina rivers, as well as the wealth of mineral resources, led to the city’s rise in the Middle Ages, and to the construction of large buildings and towers and the Piazza dei Priori. It was a period of internal struggles between the bishops and the municipality; the latter emerged victorious, but then had to yield to the Belforti family in the fourteenth century. The Belfortis were driven out in 1361, accused of trying to sell the city to Pisa, which had an interest in Volterra because of its natural resources and strategic position. Florentine domination lasted centuries, as is still well demonstrated by the Medici Fortress, commissioned in 1475 by Lorenzo the Magnificent, and by the palaces of important Volterra families, such as the Ricciarellis, Minuccis and Gherardis, which were transformed taking inspiration from Renaissance architecture.
The hilly territory of Volterra stretches between the valleys of the Era to the north and those of the Cecina to the south, with cliffs, ravines and the Berignone-Tatti nature reserve. Hiking and cycling are excellent ways to discover the natural beauty of these places.

Vedi Volterra in:

Consorzio turistico Volterra, Val di Cecina, Valdera
Piazza dei Priori, 19
56048 Volterra
t. +39 0588 87257 . +39 0588 86099

Geographical area
Val di Cecina

over 11.000

Distance from Pisa
65 km