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We have been to Volterra a couple of time, although each time as a day's outting from staying in another location. Each time, the magnitude of the buildings is what struck us. It must have been one heck of a centre in its heyday.

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Located about 80 km from Florence this is one impressive town. It is located high in the hills and is also known as the city of wind.

You'll find yourself asking: how did they get the amount of stone used to build the town up here anyway? It is a town of narrow streets and large impressive stone buildings. If you are into photographing doors you will think you have hit pay-dirt with this town. The window ornaments are likewise very interesting.

If you have any interest in alabaster then you find more than enough stores selling alabaster carvings and the like.

The piazza dei Priori represents one of the finest medieval piazzas in Italy. Dating from the 1200s the three-story building has a façade that is adorned with trilobed, double arched windows. The Della Robbia glazed terra cotta coats of arms are of the various Florentine magistrates from the 15th and 16th centuries. The building also bears, engraved between the banner and torch holders, the canna volterrana, which is the the medieval standard measurement of the commune.

You will find Volterra to be one of those towns to talk, to enjoy. It has some fine museums, however, we have been taken with the feel of the place.

On a recent trip to Volterra, in 2003, we had dinner at Da Beppino at via delle Prigioni 15/19 and found our meal to be great. Pasta with mushrooms, roast pork with roasted potatoes. The slivers of fresh Rosemary in the pork gave it a great taste. A litre of vino de cassa was just fine. The meal for two including dessert was very reasonable.

Just outside the Porta Florentina there is large Roman theatre and if you walk the road from the Porta S. Francesco you will pass along an Estruscan wall that extends for over 5 km. The cavea, of the Roman Theatre, served as a seating area for the audience. Nineteen rows of the central and lower cavea are still visible.

We stayed just outside of town at the Villa Nencini. It was fine and the villa had a pool which was a plus in the heat of the summer.