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The relics preserved in the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum allow visitors to relive the history of Volterra. It was already important 2,400 years ago, Umbrians, Etruscans, Florentines, etc, alternately dwelled in this area. Volterra (555 m), "town of the wind and rock" (D'Annunzio), with its simple medieval appearance, dominates the Era and Cecina valleys. It also overlooks the unique view of the "Balze", a vast stretch of highly eroded chalk landscape furrowed by gully erosion, which over the years has engulfed necroplises, churches and cyclopean walls.
On the edge of a precipice, there are ruins of Etruscan walls and the Badia Church. It is a true monumental town, steeped in urban and artistic evidence. Piazza dei Prior is surrounded by austere palaces with portals adorned with pointed arches and "case-torri". The massive Palazzo dei Priori (art gallery) with its 15C and 16C glazed shields, is one of the finest medieval squares in Italy. The Romanesque cathedral was remodelled in Pisan style, in front of it stands the octagonal Baptistery (the font of baptisms and Sansovino, 1502). Furthermore, there is the Casa-torre with its connecting arch (13C), the Fortress, one of the largest medieval strongholds, put to use as a prison and the Renaissance Minucci-Solaini Palazzo attributed to Sangallo. The remains of the Etruscan walls with the Porta dell'Arco are impressive.
Volterra has numerous alabaster workshops. Wholesome ewe's milk cheese, cottage cheese, mutton, cured meats and hams are produced in this area, which is also rich in truffles.
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