Once upon a time… in Volterra
Smooth, rolling hills dotted with deep green rows of cypresses, secluded farmsteads, picturesque little villages, unique art treasures, an excellent cuisine and renowned wines – all this is Tuscany. The greatest cities of Italian art can be found here. Aside from Florence, there is Siena, with its beautiful square, the Piazza del Campo, on which the famous “Palio” horse race takes place every summer. Montepulciano and Pienza are splendid gems of the Renaissance and San Gimignano impresses with its famous towers and Middle Age “skyscrapers”. Pisa’s leaning tower is fantastic sight as is Carrara’s Cathedral, clothed in noble marble. Lucca, Pistoia and Arezzo, with their churches and monuments, are also of great architectural and artistic significance.
And then there is Volterra, the city of alabaster and a former Etruscan settlement, which rises above the rolling Tuscan hills offering splendid views of the surroundings. Once a year, on the third and fourth Sunday in August, the city transports itself back in time to the year 1398. Two remarkable areas form the backdrop for this spectacle, the town centre, with its imposing Palazzi and Squares, and the Archaeological Park, over which the Medici Fortress reigns.
Live demonstrations of military skills, handicrafts and ancient trades transform the archeological park into a realistic depiction of village life in the Middle Ages, whilst the town centre is alive with rich and spectacular medieval pageantry and music.
This Medieval Festival in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany gives visitors the chance to experience life back in the Middle Ages as Volterrra is transformed by tradesmen, artisans, musicians, jugglers, commoners and nobles alike dressed in period costume and by a series of performances and events.
During the festival the town reverts back to its former currency, the “Grosso”, and the “Grosso Volterrano” will be the only currency accepted. Crafts, food and wine may only be purchased with this currency which will be available at “ Ye Olde Exchange Office”.