Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter trip - Day 1 - Volterra and beyond

Springtime in Tuscany is a perfect time for exploring the area -- it's green and in bloom, usually warm and sunny, but not yet unbearably hot as in summer. So we decided to take advantage of the Easter weekend and rent a car to go to the southern part of Tuscany, which isn't easily reachable in day trips. We also decided to give camping a try, since it's the most economical way of spending the night.
We started out Saturday by driving to Volterra, not quite in southern Tuscany, but on the way. We wanted to see the old town center here, as well as the Etruscan artifacts. After finding a parking spot (not so easy, and we paid some Red Cross people for it, though I don't know if we actually needed to), we started by walking by the Medici fortress (nowadays a jail) and through a pleasant park into the town center. After a quick visit to the Roman amphitheater on the edge of town, we went to the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, which has an overabundance of Etruscan art -- for example, some 600 funerary urns. Some of the rooms were filled floor to ceiling with pottery, which I would call the exhaustive, or 'variations on a theme' style of curating museums. Kristen was quite pleased to be able to see some of the works she had been studying.
After a quick look inside the cathedral and adjacent baptistry, we then headed off towards the coast, stopping twice to buy some supplies which we had forgotten we needed. At around 6 pm, we were still at least an hour's drive away from our destination, so we thought we'd look for a campground a bit further north for this night and then drive the rest of the way the next day. However, the campgrounds we found were not yet open for the season, though we did see some scenic hilltop towns on the way. In the end, we just drove the rest of the way and got to the Voltoncino Camping Village just when it was starting to get dark. We'll talk about camping in Italy some other time... Since Kristen had put so much effort into finding camping fuel back in Florence, we cooked our dinner of pasta with pesto and then engaged in the popular camping activity of sleeping.

1 comment:

dqjkin2000 said...

They had some pottery styles I recognized.