Volterra

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Volterra becomes one of the twelve Lucumos of the Etruscan nation in the second half of the 3rd century B.C. and is later taken by the Romans becoming an important Municipium. At the rise of Christianity, Volterra is soon to follow the new faith and at the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. it is already the centre of a vast diocese. After the Barbaric domination and the Bishops' rule, the free "commune" is affirmed and from the first half of the 12th century Volterra begins to formulate its own laws.
But this autonomy is not to last for lang. Freed from the rule of the Bishop-Count and the Belforti family (1361), Volterra then has to fight against the hegemonie politics of Florence. Open to rebellion (1429), shrewd endurance, compromise and apparent friendship only serve to delay the ultimate defeat which comes about in 1472 over the issue of the alum quarries within the Volterran territory.
Volterra is not yet touched by the stress of contemporary life and visitors who come to Volterra have the immediate impression of stepping into the past, of being in a particular place with its narrow Medieval streets and the enigma of its Etruscan origins.