(text by V.Piasta)

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holiday flats near Volterra - Real Estate in Tuscany

Today Volterra counts about 11,000 inhabitants, 4,000 of whom live in the historical center, that is in the part of the town enclosed in its mediaeval walls.

The fulcra on which the town economy turns are comparatively few. In Volterra there is a modern Hospital which rose after the dismantlement of the mental hospital; today's hospital is using its structures.

Some more jobs are offered by the prison, built in the Medicean Fortress: it is a painful, questionable inheritance of the 19th century, when the castle was destined to operate as a penal establishment.

A remarkable importance has got the Alabaster Handicraft, recently flourishing again.

Sometimes the activity is carried on in very small or quite tiny workshops, but in other cases it reaches the level of a real industrial production.

At Saline di Volterra, outside the town of Volterra, there are mechanical engineering factories and plants for salt productions (Volterra brines).

Very important for Volterra is the Larderello geothermal power station, where since 1905 the inhabitants of this town have been exploiting underground vapour in order to produce electric current.

In Larderello there are also chemical industries where together with other products, they make boric acid. Practically exhausted are, instead, the copper mines in Montecatini Val di Cecina, where a mining museum will be constructed.

Olives, wine (only some areas) and cereals are the principal agricultural produce. The extravergin olive oil produced on these hills is particularly fragrant and of highest quality.

After the second world war also sheep farming, introduced by Sardinian shepherds, gained importance. The local sheep cheese types (pecorino) are excellent.

Also the volterran white truffels have become famous for their intense fragrance.

In the latest years the charm of the countryside, the location of the town, the temperate climate (not hot even in summer) and chiefly the evidences of a glorious past, still well clear in its architecture and art, made of Volterra a center of appeal for tourists and holiday-makers.

In many restaurants of Volterra and surroundings one can taste the typical tuscan cooking; besides the numerous hotels there are a camping ground and a modern hostel, opened in 1986 and settled in an old building rich in history. It is also possible to rent rooms from private citizens in the town.
The agriturismo (holidays in the countryside in a farmhouse) in the volterran hills is favoured more and more by italian and foreign tourists.

Those who are fond of sport can rely on several tennis courts and other sports plants.

The city's indoor-baths have been opened in 2004.

In the health field there is a general surgery in the hospital, with the emergency ward, and numerous specialists as well as several chemist's shops.

In the shops one does not find only souvenirs or things merely for tourists, because Volterra has always rejected the role of a museum-town, though it has remarkable attractions, and it has always liked to remain a lively industrious center, how the concerned visitor can notice. Of course, the main attraction for shoppers are the many alabaster shops and workshops.

For those who look for the «cultural element» during their holidays, Volterra is the ideal place for a rather long stay.

In fact it offers not only its fascination, but various cultural activities which in summer add to them, moreover it has the great advantage to be practically in the center of the triangle Florence - Siena - Pisa, and it is at a few kilometer's distance from the sea.

Why Volterra is a good place where to live:

·        Tourist attractions – Volterra is a famous tourist centre with a marvellous medieval architecture and lots of attractions like museums, art galleries, churches and roman-etruscan monuments. Thus there is a lot of life in Volterra, not only for tourists.

·        ShoppingVolterra has four supermarkets, some even open on Sundays, and lots of shops of every kind … even two computer shops. And there is the weekly market every Saturday.

·        Banks – there are 4 different banks in Volterra .. no problem to get money even on Sundays.

·        Craftsmen – you need a repair? You find every kind of handicraft in Volterra: plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, builders, gardeners …

·        Medical assistance – there is a big hospital in Volterra with all the main departments, there are several good doctors and dentists, and there are three pharmacies. And there is an ambulance which can reach you in less than 10 minutes.

·        Schools – every type of schools including elementary and gymnasium / lyceum

·        Eat and drink – some of the nicest things in life … dozens of restaurants of every category, ice bars and coffee shops are waiting for you.

·        Sports – Volterra has tennis courts, a sports stadium and a public indoor swimming pool for the period when your own pool is closed. There is also a well equipped private gym.

·        Recreation – Volterra has a theatre (Teatro Persio Flacco), a cinema, a library, a video rental shop. There are international theatre weeks, the “Volterran music spring time”, jazz nights in the piazza, the big medieval festival in the summer …

A bit further you find:

30 minutes - San Gimignano

40 minutes – the beach of Cecina

50 minutes – Pisa airport

55 minutes – Siena

60 minutes – Florence

240 minutes – Rome


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