City of Volterra

Photograph : Guiseppe Milo


The area around the ancient Etruscan hilltop town of Volterra is noted for its spectacular scenery and unspoilt beauty. The Riserva is idyllically located between Volterra and San Gimignano, close to the protected Berignone National Park and is situated in a very private peaceful location. The geologically nature of the terrain (mostly sand and clay) has significantly influenced the features of the surrounding landscape. The elevated hills have abundant forests and woodlands, with a wide variety of trees including species of oak and chestnut. Arable land is interspersed with vineyards and numerous olive groves, and the iconic tall cypress trees punctuate the exquisite Tuscan landscape.


The river Fosci, which forms part of the border of the Riserva, meanders on down to the Cecina river.


This beautiful area of Western Tuscany offers a wide variety of opportunities for the discerning visitor. Apart from the spectacular unspoilt beauty of the landscape, the area is richly endowed with a strong cultural heritage, dating all the way back to the Etruscan era.


During this historical period, the ancient fortified town of Volterra achieved great significance as a strategically important hilltop settlement. To this day, much of the historical architectural evidence remains and can be seen within the old walls. Many valuable and interesting artefacts have been found & preserved for future generations, displayed where they can be seen and appreciated within the three main museums in Volterra. The Guarnacci museum is one of the earliest public museums in Europe, and the curators have preserved and documented an extensive collection of Etruscan, Roman Medieval and renaissance art from across the centuries. Today, Volterra thrives as a vibrant and important cultural centre in this area and has much to offer both residents and visitors to this region. Not least, the fascinating and historically important Alabaster industry, and the ancient extraction of mineral waters, copper and salt.

There are many natural springs and rivers in the region, feeding invaluable nutrients to the many farms which provide a rich and varied selection of produce including: Pecorino and Ricotta cheeses, wines from the famous Bolgheri region, olive oils, fresh pastas, fruits and vegetables, and not least local wild boar and deer. Such a variety of delicious food products provide the local restaurants with an abundance of wonderful ingredients, and it is possible to sample and enjoy a wide selection of local produce in the numerous restaurants and cafes throughout the area. From the ancient walls of the town it is possible to see the sea and on a clear day, the island of Corsica.

The most famous Art and cultural centres in Tuscany are within easy reach from Volterra, with the ancient cities of Florence and Siena and Lucca being just over an hour’s drive, and San Gimignano only twenty five minutes.. The coast is approximately an hour away, and the International Airport at Pisa is very accessible in just one hour’s drive from the Riserva.


During the summer months there are numerous musical festivals, open air concerts, dramas and operas, which are presented in the little piazzas and churches and Grand Villas throughout the region, providing an abundance of variety and choice. Not least, the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli, who performs an annual open air concert every year in his home town of Lajatico (approximately 30 minutes drive from the Riserva)…..for many, this is the highlight of the summer festival calendar.


Email: info@reservadipicchena.co.uk

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