Volterra: romantic town in Tuscany
When I made a call on Instagram for the most beautiful places in Tuscany, Volterra was mentioned by almost everyone.And now that we have visited the town ourselves, we understand very well why Volterra is so loved. It breathes Tuscany! Walking through the charming Tuscan alleys, the magnificent monumental buildings and nature the EATING! Man oh man how terribly good you can eat in Tuscany.
The drive into town is also an experience in itself. Volterra can only be reached by a winding road uphill. The town magnificent from the Cecina valley lonely at the top. In this article, we share the best tips for Voleterra.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Volterra
Like all other charming Tuscan towns in Italy, we recommend wandering around a lot and, above all, eating a lot. If you vacation with the dog, you are somewhat limited in your options. Unfortunately, visiting a museum or cathedral is often not in the cards. Sometimes Leroy stays on a terrace somewhere while I explore the area a bit more. But we spend most of it tasting in the city. Hopping from one terrace to another. One thing is for sure, we really tasted the Tuscan life.
Besides wine tasting, hiking and eating, of course, we’ve also collected some other tips for you:
Admiring the Roman Theater from above
In Volterra you will find a Roman theater. The theater was built by Etruscans during the time of Emperor Augustus. You can find the theater just outside the city, but from the city it is possible to admire the old theater from above. Near the amphitheater, you can also admire ruins of Roman thermal baths from the 3rd or 4th century AD.
How to get there. Just turn on your google maps or follow the road signs around town. Not to be missed.
Charming churches and imposing cathedrals
In Volterra you will find numerous churches and cathedrals. The most famous church is Duomo di Volterra. Not to be missed, as you will find the church in the grand Piazza San Giovann. Personally, I always enjoy visiting the little churches. Also fun to visit are San Lino, Oratorio di Sant’Antonio Abate and Oratorio di San Cristoforo.
ICE, ICE, ICE Baby
Yes you had me at ICE! I really am a dessert monster with ice cream being my favorite. And cake, cookies, cupcakes and brownies for that matter ;p. In Volterra, you can get one of the most delicious gelattos in the country at L’isola del Gusto Gelateria. You recognize the place immediately, as there is a sizeable line of people almost daily. But believe me it’s worth the wait!
Also fun to do:
- Learn to make the best pasta with a cooking workshop
- Book a cheese & wine tour of the city
- Book a wine tasting at Volaterra
- Discover one of the largest collections in terms of objects from the Etruscan civilization at the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci: in fact, here you will find
- The Urban Museum of Volterra, the Museum of Alabaster and Painting Museum can all be found in the Palazzo Minucci Solaini
- Also, climb the Palazzo dei Priori for the best view in TOscane
- Admire the work of Giorgio Finazzo and Roberto Chiti at atelier alab’Arte. Volterra is the only place in Italy where alblast is extracted. You can admire the working process in the studio and buy the most beautiful items.
- Visit Fortezza Medicea, one of the most famous attractions. A fortress that has been used as a prison for centuries.
- Also visit the cathedral Duomo Santa Maria Assunta. Inside it beautifully.
- Walk through the Porta all’Arco: a gate from the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.
- Climb the Torre Toscano for stunning views.
Hotspots & food in
Best time to travel to Volterra
The best travel time for Volterra is in spring or early summer. That’s when Tuscany is at its most beautiful. All the fields are then in beautiful bloom. In high season, Tuscany gets very hot and quite crowded. We recommend that you avoid this period whenever possible.
We visited Volterra at the end of September, still beautiful, but all the greenery had already disappeared.This again had the advantage that everywhere was nice and quiet and the temperatures were still lovely.
Which budget do i need in Volterra?
- RV spot: 13 euros per night (Fat tip! See accommodations)
- Hotels: on average 50 – 100 euros (from basic – luxury)
- Food and drink:15 -20 per meal for 2 people
- Activities: for a museum you pay about 8 – 10 euros and most churches and cathedrals are free
- Groceries are similar to the Netherlands.
- Gasoline prices are also similar to the Netherlands.
- Public transportation: about 2 euros per person for a one-way ticket (30 minutes)
On average, we spent about 50 – 75 euros per day. Largest portion went out to Vino and Pasta.
Practical information about Volterra
- Parking at Volterra is quite pricey. You often pay per part of the day. So if you go then, come either very early or later in the afternoon. If you really want to save money, it’s best to take the bus.
- The drive to the town is quite steep with a nice lot of turns. Not the most fun drive to do with a large RV. With a van and car, you’ll be fine.
- With an ACSI discount card, you often get discounts at campsites in the off-season.
- If you take the dog with you, you are required to carry a muzzle. Dogs must wear this in public places. Yet we almost never saw dogs with a muzzle and never did it with our dog. Although we do have a stick old pug with epilepsy who was in backpack most of the time so expect most people were understanding of this. With a larger dog, this may be different anyway.
- For the nicest camping spot, we always use the app Park4night & camper contact
- On narrow mountain roads, ascending traffic always has the right of way over descending traffic unless the ascending vehicle is closer to a lay-by.
- In the mountains, don’t use your brakes too much, but try to slow down on your bike.
- The same obligations apply in the car as in the Netherlands. So bring safety jacket and warning triangle!
- In Italy, many stores, restaurants and supermarkets are often closed at noon. Something we forgot almost every day.
What are nice places to stay in Voltera?
Near Volterra, we found one of the most beautiful campsites in Italy – THE COLONO campsite. Definitely a We Wander Why favorite. The campground is from an older Italian and and really doesn’t cost a dime while the location is really beautiful. In fact, the sites are huge and you are in the middle of the olive fields. In low season, we paid about 15 euros per night. Volterra is about a half-hour drive from the campground. By the way, the ride is truly breathtaking, so those 30 minutes fly by.
Near the campsite, about 4 km away, you will find the small village of Pomarance where, among other things, you will find several supermarkets for groceries.
Hotels in Volterra
Not so into camping? No Worries! In Volterra you will find several nice hotels to stay in.
Hotels in Volterra
Not so into camping? No Worries! In the city itself and in the surrounding area, you can stay really beautifully. We’ve gathered the best tips for you.
How to get to Volterra?
In Tuscany, we visited several places, including Siena and Montelpunciano. Before visiting VOlterra, we spent 2 nights camping near Siena. From Siena, it is about an hour’s drive to Volterra. We did not like the campsites in Siena, in retrospect we might have been better off using Camping Colono as a base.
From the Netherlands, it is about a 14-hour drive to Tuscany, without stopping. Most people combine the drive with a stop in France, Germany or Switzerland. It is also possible to fly to Florence or Pisa. From both places it is about a 1.5 drive. We definitely recommend you to rent a car so you can properly explore the surroundings of Tuscany.
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