Two Weekends of Medieval Pageantry: Volterra 1398 A.D.

Sunday, 20 & Sunday, 27: VOLTERRRA AD 1398. Volterra. Admission: €9, includes entrance into museums. Children age 10 and under free.

Volterra AD 1398 brings this beautiful Tuscan town back to the Middle Ages thanks to the 20th edition of this medieval reenactment. Encompassing its many palazzo and squares, as well as the Archaeological Park, visitors can embark on a time travel experience.

There will be knights, horses, jesters, musicians, artisans, merchants, and farmers filling the streets. Vibrant performances and musical events will be happening throughout all day, as well as special activities designated for children. Guests will taste traditional medieval dishes and spiced wine.

The entrance also includes access to the Museo d’Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), Palazzo dei Priori and the Etruscan Acropolis, which are usually €5 each.

Volterra’s Museum of Sacred Art is located in the Church of Sant’Agostino.  On display are liturgical objects and paintings from Volterra churches, comprising marble sculptures and altarpieces dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Perhaps the most important is a work by Rosso Fiorentino depicting an “Enthroned Madonna Between Two Saints.”

The central square in Volterra contains Tuscany’s most ancient town hall, Palazzo dei Priori. The façade of the stone palace is ornamented with glazed terracotta plaques that feature many the coat of arms of many 15th century Florentine rulers. The Council room of this towered building is almost completely frescoed, including a 1398 Annunciation by Jacopo di Cione.

The Etruscan Acropolis is the location of a place of worship dating back to the second and third centuries BC, comprising two unearthed temples, one of Greek inspiration.  Another building from the Hellenistic period contains striking frescoes that are arranged in a geometric pattern. The Acropolis’s constructors created a perfect system of water collection and storage that provided water throughout the neighborhood, which was inhabited up to the period of Imperial Rome.  (jennifer klammer)