Best Museums and Art
in Volterra for Cruisers to Livorno

Must See Museums and Artworks
in Volterra for Travelers to Livorno Cruise Port
- Etruscan Museum, Sacred Art Museum,
Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, Alabaster Museum, Priori Palace, Palazzo Incontri-Viti.

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1. Museo Etrusco Guarnacci
(Etruscan Museum)

The Museo Etrusco Guarnacci was founded in 1761 when Mario Guarnacci donated his collection of artifacts and library of over 50,000 volumes to “the citizens of the city of Volterra.”

Photo of Museo Etrusco Guarnacci in Volterra

Museo Etrusco Guarnacci in Volterra

Photo by Geobia (Creative Commons)

The museum is one of Europe’s oldest public museums, first housed in the Palazzo Maffei until it was transferred to the Palazzo dei Priori upon Guarnacci’s death in 1785. The collection was transferred yet again in 1877 to the Palazzo Desideri Tangassi where it has been to this day.

Although filled with Etruscan artifacts – particularly funerary urns – dating back to Hellenistic and Archaic times, the main attractions of the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci are a bronze statuette called “Shadow of the Night,” a terracotta effigy of an Etruscan couple, and the funeral stele of Avile Tite.

WHERECity Centre
Open:Mar 16 to Nov 2 - 9:00am to 7:00pm | Nov 3 to Mar 15 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Entrance:€8.00 (euros), includes admission to Museo d'Arte Sacra and Pinacoteca
Address:Via Don Minzoni 15
Phone:0588 86347
Website:Visit Official Site

2. Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra
(Sacred Art Museum)

The Museo d’Arte Sacra was established by the Canon Maurizio Cavallini and officially opened its doors on December 20, 1932. Although it has always been a public museum, it was closed from 1944 until 1956 due to damaged sustained during World War II. It was also closed in the early 1990s for restorations. Housed in the Bishop’s Palace, the Sacred Art Museum is a collection of artistic works from the cathedral and churches of the Volterra diocese. The most notable pieces are holy vestments, ecclesiastical furnishings, gold reliquaries, wooden and fictile sculptures, and the only remaining 14th-century marble sculptures from the Cathedral. The works by Rosso Fiorentino and Andrea Della Robbia are also remarkably impressive.

Where: City Centre
Open:Mar 16 to Nov 2: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Nov 3 to Mar 15: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Entrance:€8.00 (euros), includes admission to Museo d'Arte Sacra and Pinacoteca
Address:Palazzo Vescovile, Via Roma 13
Phone:0588 86290
Website:Visit Official Site

3. Palazzo Minucci-Solaini
(Pinacotheca and Civic Museum)

Photo of Pinacoteca and Civic Museum in Volterra

Pinacotheca and Civic Museum in Volterra

Photo by Geobia (Creative Commons)

Although the Cathedral worker Luigi Fedra Inghirami began collecting the works of art that are now housed in the Pinacoteca e Museo Civico in as early as 1842, it was Corrado Ricci - Superintendent of Antiquities and Fine Arts - who proposed turning the collection into a municipal art gallery. The collection was transferred to the Palazzo dei Priori in 1905 before it was moved to its current and stunning location. Although not a large gallery, the Pinacoteca e Museo Civico houses some of the best works by Volterran artists who lived in the city between the 12th and 17th centuries. These artists include Rosso Fiorentino, Taddeo di Bartolo, Cenni di Francesco, Alvaro Pirez, Francesco Neri and Benvenuto di Giovanni. The collection also includes work by sculptors Francesco di Valdambrino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Luca Signorelli.

WHERECity Centre
Open:Mar 16 to Nov 2 - 9:00am to 7:00pm
Nov 3 to Mar 15 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Entrance:€8.00 (euros), includes admission to Museo d'Arte Sacra and Pinacoteca
Address:Via dei Sarti, 1
Phone: 0588 87580
Website:Visit Official Site

4. Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro
(Alabaster Museum)

Photo of Alabater Museum in Volterra

Alabaster Museum in Volterra

Photo by Geobia (Creative Commons)

The Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro is an art museum that shares space with the Pinacotheca in a former 17th century Augustinian convent. A private collection assembled by the Bruchi family over the course of 30 years, it includes paintings, antiques, and ceramics. The museum is most well-known, however, for its collection of alabaster works. Contemporary works are found on the ground floor, while the upper floors house beautiful Etruscan pieces that include cameos by Luigi Albino Funaioli and busts by Giuseppe Bessi.

Open:Mar 16 to Nov 2 - 11:00am to 5:00pm | Nov 2 to Mar 15 - 9:00am to 1:30pm (Sat. and Sun. ONLY)
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Address:Torri Minucci - Piazzetta Minucci
Phone: 0588 87580
Website:Visit Official Site

5. Palazzo dei Priori
(Priori Palace)

The Palazzo dei Priori was designed by Richard of Como and built between 1208 and 1254. Tuscany’s first town hall, the Palazzo is believed to have served as a model for Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. Although it has been altered quite a few times over the centuries, visitors can appreciate what still remains of the Palazzo dei Priori’s distinctive facade, five-sided tower, and crenelations. The Palazzo’s Sala del Consiglio, where Volterra’s leaders still meet, is open to the public along with the rest of the building.

Open:Mar 16 to Nov 1 - 10:30 am to 5:30 pm | Nov 2 to Mar 15 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Sat. and Sun. ONLY)
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Address:Palazzo dei Priori
Website:Visit Official Site

6. Palazzo Incontri-Viti

The Palazzo Incontri-Viti is considered one of the most beautiful private residences in Italy. It was built in the last 16th century for Attilio Incontri, the minister to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. As it has changed hands over the years, the Palazzo has undergone a variety of renovations – including the addition of a theatre on the ground floor. In 1964, Luchino Visconti used the Palazzo Incontri-Viti as a set while filming 'Vaghe Stelle dell’Orso', which won the Leone d'Oro at the Venice film festival.

Open: Mar 16 to Nov 1 - 10:00am to 1:00pm and 2:30pm to 6:30pm | Nov 2 to Mar 15 - bookings only
Closed:December 25 and January 1
Address:Via dei Sarti, 41
Phone:0588 84047
Website:Visit Official Site

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