The Etruscan Acropolis of Volterra

The excavation works in the Acropolis have brought back to light an area dedicated to religious activities: starting from the 6th century BC in this area religious buildings and other structures linked to them, such as houses and warehouses, were built.

The most substantial period of building was that of the Ellenistic period (3rd and 2nd century BC), to which two religious buildings date, they are called temple A and B, and other buildings amongst which a cistern to collect rain water.

On the western side of the area is a building, from the 2nd century BC, inside which has been found a richly coloured fresco: green, red, black, white, yellow and burgundy set in geometric patterns decorating a room of the building. Part of this exceptional find, unparalleled in the Etruscan area, is to be found in the Guarnacci Museum.

Temple A, from the second half of the 2nd century BC, is more recent than Temple B, and its shape is comparable to that of Greek temples. It included a closed cell surrounded by columns on three sides and a front accessible by a flight of steps. The platform covering has survived, grey sandstone decorated with carvings, as have some elements of the architectural decoration. A passage inside the platform gave access to the 8 metre deep cistern, which held the necessary water for the religious ceremonies.

Temple B from the second half of the 3rd century BC is on the northern side of the area. Unfortunately most of its structure is lost due to a quarry underneath. Surrounded by a wall that used to separate as in Temple A- the sacred area from the rest, it was a building in Tuscan style, of pure Etruscan tradition. It was made up of two parts of the same size: a closed cell in the rear, completed in the front by three rows of four columns each. The temple was on a platform, reachable via a flight of steps. The building materials were perishable: wood and clay, while the roofing was of handmade and moulded terracotta tiles, now partly housed in the Guarnacci Museum.
The sanctuary area was built in a way so as to gather rain water. The lack of natural water springs on top of the hill forced the builders to create a perfect system to gather the water needed in the area.

The rain water was canalized from the roofs and the courtyard in front of the temples towards big stone cisterns, to be used during religious ceremonies and as a provision in the event of drought.

Etruscan Acropolis


Parco di Castello

56048 – Volterra (PI)

From 14th March to 1st November: daily open from 10:30 a.m. until 05:30 p.m.
From 2nd November to 24th December: Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10:00 a.m. until 04:30 p.m.
Christmas: closed
From 26th to 31st December: Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10:00 a.m. until 04:30 p.m. (excluding Cisterna)
From 9th January to 13rd March: Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10:00 a.m. until 04:30 p.m.

Tel: +39 0588 86347
5.00 € full
3,00 € reduced (Boys 6-12, over 60, Coop and TCI)
3,00 € Groups (min 15 pax)
Volterra Card rates (valid for 72 hours)
Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, Pinacoteca, Alabaster Ecomuseum, Palazzo dei Priori, Acropolis and Roman Theater

16,00 € full
€ 24.00 Family (2 adults with children)
€ 13.00 reduced (university students with ID, boys 6-18, over 65, Coop members, FAI, TCI and groups of adults min 6 pax)
€ 6.00 Student groups (school students outside the municipal area – min 10 pax)
free for: children up to 6 years old, residents of the Municipality of Volterra, disabled and carers, teachers and companions of school groups, licensed tour guides, journalists, ICOM members

Satellite Coordinates Lat. 43.400881 – Long. 10.860875
Download the Guide Guide of Volterra
Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina Valdera S.c.r.l.
Via Franceschini, 34 - 56048 Volterra (PI) - PIVA 01308340502
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