The Balze and Badia Camaldolese
THE BALZE (Cliffs)
Besides the monuments and the numerous testimonies to art and history, Volterra offers the view over the hilly landscape surrounding, that is suddenly arrested by the wild and awesome view over the Balze (cliffs).
One of the most famous areas of Volterra, the Balze are an interesting natural phenomenon of soil erosion. This phenomenon has destroyed the largest necropolis of the town, used since the Villanovian period, the most ancient Christian churches and caused the ruin of the Camaldolite Abbey (Badia) of the 11th century.
Only a few tombs have been found in the ground that remained untouched, around the Camaldolite Abbey or in the surroundings of the plain of Guerruccia, the most western area of the town. Also a large part of the Etruscan walls, together with a number of houses, disappeared in a sudden landslide at the beginning of 1800s.
THE ABBEY (Badia)
Not far from the church of San Giusto, the abbey was founded at the beginning of the 11th century. A religious complex commissioned by the bishop of Volterra.
The monastery, abandoned in the last century due to the ever approaching Balze has been partly restored.
The existing structure dates to the 16th century, built on a design by Leon Battista Alberti. Inside the complex famous artists and painters worked, well-known are the frescoes located in the refectory, created at the end of the 17th century by Fra Arsenio, representing a series of episodes in the life of San Giusto.
|Satellite Coordinates||Lat. 43.415647 – Long. 10.850285|
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