Draped over the rising hillsides in central Tuscany, Volterra is a stone-clad town topped with gorgeous medieval towers, and littered with winding alleyways where swinging washing lines give way to blooming hanging baskets of rose flowers. Thanks to its high-perched position over the rolling plains, sweeping panoramas of Central Italy are available from most all of the flagstone-covered "piazzas".
Last weekend, I revisited Pisa to see my Italian friend Gabriele and we decided to make a road trip to Volterra. After the sudden train strike and bus delay, we finally made it to the Etruscan hill town in late afternoon. The moment we stood by the panoramic view point overlooking the Roman theater, all efforts seemed worthwhile.
Volterra is a particular town built and razed by the Romans, the grand Tuscan dukes and the formidable Medici family alike. Its historic centre plays host to ubiquitous basilicas, cobblestone streets, cred-tiled roofs, while its sporadic piazzas filled with the scent of intensively-flavored olive oils sourced straight from the hills. Hope my photos of Volterra could give you a hint of the town's irresistible, timelessly charm.
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<p>Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish, English and currently perfecting her Italian, it's clear why Jiaqi chooses her next adventure in the dynamic capital of Milan! An art lover and a free spirit, Jiaqi is now majoring in Art History and Latin American Studies at the University of Richmond. During high school, a month of staying with a host family in Helsinki, Finland opened the doors to a world of exotic saunas, lake kayaking, and inspired her wanderlust. A self-proclaimed travel sensualist, her favorite way of seeing the world is experiencing the culture through its people: she's volunteered in rural Nepal, conducted Holocaust research in Poland, and has lived with seniors in Spain.</p>