Like San Gimignano, Volterra started as an Estruscan settlement, Velathri, and because of its location on a high, barren ridge, resisted the Romans much longer than other places, finally succumbing in 260 BC. There is apparently a very good museum with locally found Etruscan artefacts, though we didn’t visit it, as we arrived late in the day.
The present town of Volterra dates largely from the 12th and 13th centuries. In the centre are the impressive Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo Pretorio and the inevitable Duomo and Battistero. And everywhere there were delightful medieval mansions.
The views from Volterra over the surrounding countryside are breathtaking.