Volterra

According to schedule, I should’ve had my day-off on Sunday, but AnnaLisa made the good point that buses don’t run on Sunday.  So, I pushed my day-off to Monday.  I wandered around for a bit and then took the bus back to WWOOF#5.

Volterra is like every other Tuscan province capital.  That isn’t to say it isn’t impressive, but I’m beginning to notice repeating patterns.

For starters, it’s on a hill, at least the old part is.  Tuscany’s glory days really took place during the 13th and even 14th Century, during the Middle Ages.  This is why Arezzo, Siena, Volterra and probably Grossetto too are all Medieval towns: walled cities (the ones mentioned are capital cities of the provinces) built way up on a hilltop, completely surrounded by Tuscan countryside.  This was done for defensive reasons, not aesthetic, obviously.  In the middle of the old town, the City Hall with its bell tower and clock overlook the main square around which most of the tourist life is centred.

il Teatro Romano. Like Arezzo, there are some traces of the Romans’ rule that remain.   Also like Arezzo, when they were building the walled city during the Middle Ages, they didn’t bother to include the Roman ruins in the walled city.

Volterra is great little city to get lost in.  Plug in your iPod, play some Grizzly Bear and go for a stroll.

The Palace.  As per uze, I can’t seem to fit the whole thing in one shot.  Still impressive though.

What almost killed Volterra for me was the fact that Stephanie Meyer refers to Volterra as the vampiric epicentre of the world in her Twilight series.  I’m guessing Meyer has been to Volterra; the way she described Volterra was waaaayy off.  Take the Da Vinci Code for example: the details are extremely specific, so some churches in Paris are either trying to cash in on the fame or avoid it.   Fans of the Code also know exactly where to go and what to look for.  For Twilight, this isn’t the case.  Souvenir shops and the city of Volterra aren’t trying to cash in on the publicity or marketing opportunity because there isn’t one.  Meyer  only mentioned Volterra without actually knowing it all.   Consequently, Volterra ignores this opportunity to shamefully exploit itself.  Instead, Volterra embraces its Medieval and Etruscan roots which I find are far more fascinating.  Still though, you see tourists taking pictures of each other biting one another.  As the Italians would say: “bo.”

Walking down one of the main streets in Volterra.  Pedestrians only.  YES!  The gelato lady screwed up my order and didn’t want to take responsibility for who screwed up…totally ruined my afternoon.  Mint and chocolate makes way more sense than hazelnut and chocolate.  I mean, come on!

And then it started to rain…a lot.  This is the main cathedral.  I wish I knew more about the different periods in Italy’s history so I could talk about the architecture.   It isn’t of the gothic style, though; I can tell you that!

And then it was sunny again!  Looking outwards from the old Volterra down onto the new Volterra and the Tuscan countryside. Like in Croatia, taking the bus to Volterra is part of the experience because you see what the landscape is like.  And like Croatia, it’s absolutely stunning.

Walking from the bus stop back to WWOOF#5.  Again, beautiful countryside.

LOVE IT!

Tonight, there are no guests in the villa so we’re going to have a pool party!  So excited!!! Most of the rules enforced at WWOOF#5 only apply when guests are eating or staying in the villa.  When no one’s around, everyone gives in to their inner-hippie.  Woooo!

🙂 Julie

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