After a relaxing day spent at the pool and not doing much after that, we were off to some sightseeing. Volterra is one town that we can see from the distance, perched on top of a hill. The strange thing about driving in Italy is that while we can see Volterra from our place and seems so nearby, to get there through those circuitous roads through the hills takes a lot longer. In a straight line, I guess Volterra is just about 7 kilometers.

Volterra is an Etruscan town and many artifacts from that period had survived to this day. The town was very nice but we took it easy because of Francesca. It was just fun to look at the shops and see Italian goodies. One thing that Volterra is known for is its alabaster so a lot of shops sell souvenir items made of it. I bought some small stuffs (a jewelry box and a pendant in the form of a lady bug for Francesca) and Mam Sil got for herself a small ash tray.

We went inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which was pretty cool, a great respite from the sweltering Tuscan heat. Francesca wanted to linger there but the caretaker of the church has asked everyone to leave – the church was closing for the day. Francesca was furious!

It was then time for lunch. We found an Italian version of the Pinoy “turo-turo” where there was an incredible choice of Italian specialties. Me and my mom-in-law Mam opted for something vegetarian which turned out to be so yummy that I ended up asking for the recipe to give it a try back home. Aubergine and courgette hallowed and filled with carrots, peas, potatoes sautéed in olive oil, garlic, ginger and a bit of basil leaves topped with parmesan cheese and egg then baked in the oven. With bread on the side, the dish was just perfect.

My husband opted for the simple spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and basil leaves. So simple yet very delish! For Francesca we ordered a pasta with white sauce (she doesn’t like the red sauce) but she did not have the appetite for it, spoiled by the Italian gelato which she had earlier. My father-in-law had his fried quartered potatoes and sautéed string beans to be on the safe side (no garlic please!) yet there was plenty of finely chopped garlic in those beans! It tasted so well that he finished it nonetheless. We were so hungry though that I forgot to take pictures of those lovely dishes. ;-)

For dessert, we went to a small patisserie and had the typical Italian tiramisu and some cake.


Facade of an old church

Town square of Volterra

Palazzo dei Priori

Palazzo dei Priori

A closer look at the walls of the Palazzo show these emblems

Palazzo dei Priori

Old buildings

A street name that gives men the creeps ;-)

Souvenir shops

Outside a souvenir shop

Inside a souvenir shop

Home-made soaps

Inside the souvenir shop

Italian delis – wine, olive oil, bread, pasta, etc.

Italian delis

Open air restaurants

Amazing choices of gelato at a typical Gelateria or “ice cream parlor”

The little girl enjoying her strawberry gelato

Inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Lighted candles inside the cathedral

An altar inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

A gallery selling Tuscan landscape paintings

Torture museum ;-)


Narrow medieval street

Old door

Green door

The way to the Palazzo

A small chapel


Italian tiramisu

Piece of cake

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

93 Responses to Volterra

  1. sillyliss says:

    This whole post was amazing, but man oh man, I wish I could visit just for the gelato!

  2. Thanks you for the wonderful tour in pictures!
    I especially love the pictures of the doors…something about old rustic doors that I just love.

  3. avian101 says:

    Great post Malou, you’re a good narrator, and pick your pictures well for the story. Lovely old places! :)

  4. Desi Chick says:

    You’re making me want to go on a vacation….NOW!

  5. Michael Zoll says:

    Sehr schön!

    Grüße aus Berlin!

  6. polly says:

    beautiful shots,

  7. Sharlea says:

    Beautiful. Makes me want to go on a very long vacation and just wander the streets. Oh, and eat gelato!

  8. Lovely post once again. I wish I can visit Italy one day!

  9. wvfarm2u says:

    I can get gelato here…I’ll take the tiramasu!

  10. Theadora says:

    Dear Malou, What a beautiful postl! Beautiful shots!! Volterra is where I spent a portion of my honeymoon. Oh, sigh. I still have the memories and the little alabaster jewelry boxes. Don’t ask me how many I purchased on that sunny Monday morning! Theadora (Love your gelato shot!!))

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Theadora! Wow, so Volterra is personally special to you! I went back to Volterra and bought 2 pairs of shoes. ;-)

  11. Such a haunting and beautiful city :) Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. boktrollet says:

    Beautiful Pictures! :D

  13. So beautiful – I love it! Thank you Malou :-)

  14. Wonderful post. Wish I was there. It’s nice to be able to visit vicariously through your blog.

  15. locogorilla says:

    Nice pictures you had… I wish I had more time to travel…. Great job

  16. Christine says:

    Great pictures Malou! It’s as if I was taking a tour with you!

  17. Don says:

    Thanks for the tour through Volterra. I find the architecture so beautiful.

  18. soumyav says:

    Amazing pictures ! the castles and chapels relived …

  19. Amazing pics. I had to laugh at the street name, LOL!

  20. viveka says:

    Italy always comes out so good on photo – you have some stunning photos here. The open green door is “mine” and little girl with ice cream. Really lovely photos.

  21. Amy says:

    Your beautiful photos made me think of Frances Mayes said in “Under the Tuscan Sun, “The language, history, art, places in Italy are endless—two lifetimes wouldn’t be enough.”

  22. A few years ago we were driving from Pisa to Siena, and found Volterra by accident. What a nice surprise! We had one of our best meals there!

  23. John says:

    Such beautiful photos, thank you for the great tour once again!

  24. Oh man Malou…Great pictures! Now I REALLY want to go…My partner and I have been talking about going to Italy again and now we have yet ANOTHER reason…:-D

  25. EllaDee says:

    Looks like a fabulous way to spend & day. Thank you for sharing not only what you saw but what you ate, a must have for the vicarious tourist.

  26. Beautiful images of La Bella Toscana, malou! Oh…how I miss Italy!

  27. What a gorgeous town! It just looks so old and full of history.

    A history that evidently includes castrati and torture . . . but that doesn’t detract from how lovely it is now!

  28. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Volterra. I think I have been there, or maybe you just made me feel like I was there. Seriously, I need to go back and look at my pictures!

  29. Oh my! How beautiful….I LOVED those homemade soaps that were sort of like a Hawaiian Lei. I bet they smelled wonderful!!

  30. marneymcnall says:

    Wonderful, wonderful photos!

  31. flyfishbrat says:

    I am addicted to your blog. I love it!

  32. janinevasta says:

    I love it all Malou. But you knew that! ;-) The green doors are my special favourite… Jxx

  33. Love the photos! Old buildings are awesome! The gelato… wow. I want some now! :)

  34. What a great vacation…oh, how I miss really good gelato :)

  35. elainekamari says:

    These is an inspiring trip, I love your pictures.

  36. machisan says:

    what a wonderful vacation, i am so glad to read your post.

  37. chrisstov says:

    Great photos. I especially liked the shots of the wonderful old buildings.

  38. TBM says:

    What a lovely place to visit. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  39. ladyfi says:

    A wonderful set of pictures. Italy is divine!

  40. taylorpowell says:

    I could really use some gelato! I enjoyed time in Volterra especially with it buzzing with ‘Twilight’ activity around the movie.

  41. DG MARYOGA says:

    Great write up Malou and a wonderful string of images filled with local colour and tempting delights !
    Italy has so many places of interest history wise and plenty of natural beauties.
    I have visited many cities apart from Rome but those smaller cities and towns have so much charm !

  42. Beautiful! I am jealous, I have wanted to see Italy for many years – maybe some day.

  43. What a wonderful town! I love all the old buildings. They would have my hand prints all over them if I was there! I’m with Francesca on the gelato. I am definitely a dessert before meal kind of girl, too :)

  44. pixilated2 says:

    This is beautiful! I have always wanted to visit Europe. Anywhere in Europe. I love the old architecture. Thanks for visiting me today! ~ Lynda

  45. scroungelady says:

    Please do print your lunch recipe. All of it sounds delicious!

  46. Sheila Hurst says:

    I loved Volterra! We were there a few years ago in August during the festival season and your pictures bring it all back – thank you. The eggplant dish sounds wonderful too.

  47. kyle78234 says:

    Thank you so much for liking my “Avatar State of Mind” post. Thank you also for following me here on WordPress! That means so much from someone so popular on WordPress.

    On a better note, however, I love these photographs of your time in Volterra. I love to see architecture and to photograph it, however I live in the middle of nowhere in Indiana, so there’s hardly much architecture.

    But, anyway, thank you for your pictures of this beautiful place!

  48. Hi Malou, Welcome in Italy, benvenuta! I envy yor gelato, because I still hadn’t one this season and I’m starting to look for it! I hope you’re enjoying yor journey, la Toscana is a beautiful place, there’s so much history you can breath in there.. Good night and thank you for beeing the first visit! See you soon,

  49. Thanks for sharing this! I loved the photos.

  50. Pat says:

    Beautiful old buildings!

  51. dcwisdom says:

    I’ve never crossed the big pond, so thank you for posting the wonderful pictures of Tuscany and Holland. Gorgeous! Makes me want to visit there. Thanks for visiting me in my little corner of Texas. :)

  52. tmtjr says:

    Wonderful information and fantastic photos. You have a good eye. I will have to start a list a new places I want to go visit after browsing your posts!

  53. camc1105 says:

    This is amazing! I can’t believe how beautiful it is there. Keep up the great work.

  54. jbcamera says:

    Beautiful place and beautiful photos. Love the post.

  55. wittymistee says:

    Inspires me more to go to Europe someday. I love the pictures especially the gelato.

  56. mondrak says:

    Brilliant photos. And thanks for following my blog

  57. What a lovely place to explore.

  58. Adora says:

    The little girl enjoying her strawberry gelato is very cute

  59. Michi says:

    What a beautiful city to visit, and a wonderful family vacation! Italy is so magical. Definitely one of the places I’d love to return to.

  60. olgastorace says:

    I loved Volterra, certainly include it in my next trip to Italy

  61. what an amazing place! thanks for sharing!

  62. Louis says:

    You have really captured the atmosphere and conveyed it quite beautifully in your pictures.

  63. Debra Kolkka says:

    Volterra is one of our favourite towns in Tuscany. It is often overlooked in favour of San Gimignano, but I don’t know why. It has such a lot to offer, without the crowds.

  64. Wonderful post! My family and I visited Volterra in the 90s and it remains a highlight of our travels. Thanks for sharing.

  65. So enjoyed the photos and your reflections!

  66. Wonderful pictures and story. Our younger daughter was studying in Florence for a semester about 15 years ago and my wife and I spent a week visiting her there. We rented a car one day and traveled to Volterra and I vividly recall the fantastic drive up that hell to the town. The surrounding countryside made me better appreciate the renaissance paintings by the Tuscan masters. Thanks for the memories!

  67. c. dunn says:

    Yes,it is a wonderful and enchanting to the eye but Volterra had to go though many transformations to get to that point in society and architecture;yes Italy is a place of the sun the cosmos and creativity.

  68. galuhanjani says:

    Wonderful and beautiful pics and story. Thank you for sharing especially the souvenir shop and the gelato ..:)

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