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Volterra is known for its alabaster, a soft white stone that is easier to carve than marble. Once considered the stone of the gods, it was a popular material in Etruscan Volterra used to decorate cinerary urns with intricate carvings. Although carved alabaster was rare in Volterra during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the craft’s popularity rose once again in the 17th century. Besides the "Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro", where you can admire an amazing collection of alabaster works from Etruscan pieces to contemporary works, there quite a few shops where alabaster can be purchased.
Editor Points: The Galleria Agostiniane is located in the heart of the city centre in a medieval building that was once a monastery. The Galleria features alabaster carvings, and there is also a video providing visitors with information regarding how the stone is quarried and shaped.
Address: Piazza XX Settembre, 3
Editor Points: The 'Cooperativa Artieri Alabastro', located on the main square of Volterra is the best place to shop for alabaster. Founded in 1895, the cooperative consists of 23 alabaster artisans and two bronze artisans. All of the products sold here – from boxes to ashtrays – have been made using traditional techniques.
Address: Piazza dei Priori
Editor Points:Camillo Rossi is another place to purchase some of the best alabaster in town. Founded in 1912, it offers visitors an opportunity to watch artisans as they work with the alabaster. Housed in three galleries, Camillo Rossi offers contemporary products, traditional sculptures, and artifacts.
Address: Via Lungo le Mura del Mandorlo
Editor Points:Anna Maria Molesini’s workshop and showroom are impossible to miss as visitors walk between the two main squares in Volterra. Here the cruise ship passengers can purchase colorful mohair scarves, shawls, throws, and jackets.
Address: Via Gramsci
Editor Points: For those that enjoy seeing how Italians really live and treat themselves, the 'Mercato' can be an interesting attraction. If cruising in the winter, it takes place at the heart of the city - in the Piazza dei Priori - every Saturday morning between November and April. However, it moves just outside the city walls to the Viale Ferrucci between May and October.
IQCruising strongly advises a visit to the Tourist Information Office on Piazza dei Priori (very centrally located) - open every day between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
The Tourist Information Office can provide adtional information of interest for the cruise ship passenger calling at the Port of Livorno. Besides great maps, it also offers an Audio Guide Tour that is ideal to explore Volterra on your own.
If the cruise traveler is interested in the popular Twilight vampire saga, the Tourist Information Office has info about all major filming sites and tours on offer.
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