Today we had another day off (to Volterra) ! HAHAHA! And it’s because Marilena had to go look after her granddaughters and tbh there’s nothing much to be gone around the house.
For breakfast, we tried the Cedro jam that we made a few days back and it tasted delicious. I love how sweet it is and then leaves a nice sour and bitter citrus flavour. The consistency is very good as well and everyone loved it! Andrew also tried the instant white coffee that we brought and he liked it heh! =D
Shortly after 9, Bruno drove us to the Capannoli city centre, where we bought our bus tickets and located the bus stop. He was very kind to wait for the bus with us and since we had about 20 minutes of waiting time, we tried to make conversation haha! I asked him how he met Marilena and moved over to their present house.
The bus was 10 minutes late but ateaat it finally came! I was secretly relieved that we didn’t have to make anymore awkward conversations as I really didn’t have anymore Convo topics! T^T
The journey was scenic, just like most of our trips in Tuscany. The views make me determined to return here again someday and gave me a damn good reason to prefer Europe over Asia. The road was super winding and we went up and up until we could get a bird’s eye view of the farms on the hill. The neat arrangement of the plantations and golden/green hues of the landscapes are very memorable. ^^
Upon reaching Volterra, we first visited one of the most well preserved section of the city walls, called porta al arco. It’s a simple gate that greeted us for the start of our exploration.
We then walked up to Piazza del priori, where the palace of the commune of volterra sits. Along the way we went into many specialty shops, most of them selling artsy stuff like papercraft that is made traditionally, acrylic paintings and art prints featuring the scenery of Tuscany. Volterra itself is built on a hill and many of the roads are upward sloping and narrow. The architecture is medieval – the paths were cobble stone and the buildings were mostly made of bricks. The residents didn’t paint their houses and shops so the colour scheme of the whole town is grey and brick red in colour.
The neighbourhood was very cosy and homely. It felt like a community that people actually lived and worked in because there are locals walking about, clothes hanging outside of windows and beautiful potted flowers growing outside the houses. There were many western tourists as well (we’re probably the only Asians) but the whole place wasn’t too crowded. And the weather had just gotten cloudy by late afternoon so the temperatures were copper than usual.
After the piazza, we walked to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The Cathedral used to have a missionary in the medieval times and the brotherhood maintained its anonymity by donning gowns which covered their faces and body in black,which actually made them look like grim reapers instead imo. The Cathedral also displayed the equipments that they used for transporting sick people in the olden days. Near the church, a medical service was on standby and I was pleased by how people continued the work of the brotherhood.
After visiting the baptisery of the Cathedral, we went to the acropolis to admire its ruins and see the underwater cistern from the first century AD. Along the way we saw the medici fortress, which is now a prison.
Next up was the Entruscan Museum, which held a large collection of funeral urns. They’re similar to what we saw in Camposanto, except that in here, the urns here are more consistent in design, shape and size. We couldn’t really understand what the sculpting on the urns meant but some were themselves, works of art. But haha I was more interested in the English guides the gift shop; they have a good summary of Tuscan food, Siena and San Gimignano.
Then it was off for lunch! We didn’t have to walked for long to find a popular trattoria in front of the museum of torture. Yue shan had carbonara pizza (with bacon, eggs and pepper) and I had delicious ravioli in truffle cream sauce, as well as Caffè espresso (very not nice).
Feeling satisfied, we walked around for gelato and we Roman Theatre, which is better preserved than the acropolis as we could still see the ruins of the pillars that supported the majestic structure. YS was very delighted as it is her first time seeing any archaeological remains of the roman empire. Walking via the panoramic view point, we walked to the picture museum, which also houses the alabaster museum. It wasn’t very spectacular and there was almost nobody else save for us. However I feel that I could begin to appreciate paintings because we started to Google the meanings of the image thanks to the availability of mobile data. I’m guessing that there are many paintings of the same scene but being drawn by different artists, there are many works now for us compare and evaluate the skills of the artists.
Quickly, we found our bus stop and Bruno picked us up from the station at 7pm! 🙂 Today’s dinner (the last dinner at our sweet little bnb!) was a salad based on millet seeds, which i didn’t like because it was so bitter… We also had dhal that is cooked with capers so I used it to mix with the salad and hope the bitterness goes away =P Over dinner, I reminded Bruno about his children’s book as I was interested to talk to him about it. I had been trying to find the time to translate the story but I only managed to do so for the first sentence of the author’s description, which says ‘Bruno, 35 years old, lives in Campagna and loves animals more than humans (but even humans are animals).’ Later we spent the next 20-30minutes helping me to understand Italian pronunciation and grammar (at least I tried) while the rest were talking about A and H’s travels and the movie ‘Godfather’ hahaha.
Overall today was a great day because Volterra was a perfect place to visit, especially for half a day. So thankful to our hosts for always being so kind and considerate towards us :>