Articles, tips, reviews, links and resources about Tuscany, Italy

Volterra, a wonder to tie the knot

Volterra is one the most beautiful villages in Tuscany.

Volterra can be found in many guides, but all of them will drive you to other more famous places. And it is a pity: Volterra is a locations where to have a wonderful wedding celebration and party. Pictures will tell you much more than any words. So here is a little trip among Volterra’s streets.

And some history: Starting the Neolithic Age Volterra sees its first settlement. Etruscan began to spread out from 8th century BC and built huge defensive walls in the 4th Century BC. You can today see them all with their famous doors. Walls were critical, together with the position of the village (on top of a hill) to have this people growing. With the original name of Velathri, Volterra was one of the most important of the 12 city states of Etruria.

In the 3rd Century BC Volterra had to resign to Romans domination. Relationships with Roma were alternatively good and factious. The city experienced good and bad of the Roman empire, and yet you can see reminescence of it in the Roman Theatre ruins dated 1st century BC.

In the middle ages (from the 5th century AD) Volterra became the diocese of a vast area. In the folowing centuries Bishops of Volterra earned more and more power, with great political influence and authonomy. In the 9th century AD the Carolingian emperors conceded Volterra 4 markets and as many religious feast days and markets were exempted from taxes!

After the last Hungarian invasion in the 12th century AD the first medieval quarters of the city were created. and the so violent century saw the conflict between nobility and bishop’s rule. This reached the climax in 1150 when Galgano dei Pannocchieschi became bishop. As a symbol of free Comune in 1208 the construction of Palazzo dei Priori started, to end in 1257. This fabulous building is still today one of the centers of the Comune di Volterra, and civil weddings can take place here.

In the later years even Volterra was involved in the war with Florence between Guelfs and Ghibelline, and in 1472 Volterra resigned to the Florence of Lorenzo De’ Medici.

Since then many families increased their power and thanks to the empowered defensive walls Volterra did not undergo many changes in the renaissance. But yet many private houses were enriched and still today they can be visited and in Palazzo Viti we can organize wedding ceremonies (unfortunately without children)

After a new rebellion against Florence and the Medici in 1530 Volterra lost definitively and became completely dependant to the Duchy and then to the grand Duchy of Tuscany and began its decline to the 18th century AD.

Alabastro became the artistic strength of the city and we suggest to buy some as a lembrance of this magnificent and yet no famous village.

A wedding in Tuscany cannot but consider this amazing city to celebrate in an unique way.