Volterra On a Budget
SightsOne of the most popular sights in town is Porta all'Arco. This is an impressive gate that is built out of large volcanic stones. It dates back to the 4th century BC. The Duomo is another place to check out. It's open daily between the hours of 8:00 am and 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
Interesting museums in town include the Sacred Art Museum and the Etruscan Museum. Pinacoteca is a 14th century palace that has impressive paintings. Combo tickets for it and the Etruscan Museum and Sacred Art Museum can be purchased.
A Roman Theater that was build in 10 BC offers a great view and is worth visiting. For the oldest city hall in Tuscany head to Palazzo dei Priori. Also make your way to Alabaster Workshop which has a beautiful stone display. Finally, the Medici Fortress is unique in that it is actually a prison for mob figures from Sicily.
NeighborhoodsVolterra is a small place that is easily explored on foot. The town is quite compact and most of the main attractions are within an easy walk of each other.
ActivitiesThere are many different activities that you can enjoy in Volterra. Like elsewhere in Tuscany, wine tasting is a popular activity. Check out La Vena di Vino near the Etruscan Museum if you want to visit a good wine bar. Via Matteotti is the main street through the town and it is a great place to wander as it is lined with many palaces and houses. The town's market day is on Saturday which is a fun time to visit as well.
Food and DiningThere are a good handful of great restaurants in Volterra that serve excellent local and traditional cuisine. If you're looking for good pasta head to Ristorante Enoteca del Dua where they atmosphere is enhanced by the wine bottle covered walls. You also have the option to sit outside on the patio. If you're looking for something cheap and quick then La Vecchia Lira is a great option. For good pizza head to Obra della Sera and for local and traditional food go to Ristorante II Sacco Fiorentino. For a quick sandwich you can try Enoteca Scali. Alternatively, a good place to pick up snacks for a picnic is Spar Market on Via Gramsci. This is a great way to soak up the town's atmosphere without spending too much on food.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in Italy can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
Volterra can be reached by bus from San Gimignano. There are four buses a day that make the trip, which takes an average of two hours. You do have to change buses in Colle di Val d'Elsa and buses arrive in Piazza Martiri della Liberta. If you're hoping to drive to the town then it is relatively easy to find free and easy parking. There are many parking lots around the outside edge of the town. The most centrally located lot is at Piazza Martiri della Liberta. This is also the only underground lot but you do have to pay an hourly or dayly rate to park here. There is also a train station in Volterra that is on the Cecina-Volterra Railway.
Once you're in town then it is quite compact and very easy to walk around. This is the easiest way to explore the city and also the most enjoyable as you're able to soak up the wonderful atmosphere.
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