Situated on the top of a cliff, the medieval walls and buildings of Volterra can be glimpsed from far off in the distance as you approach. Surrounding the village is a landscape of broad valleys and few trees, revealing the eroded rocks below. Indeed, rock is one of the village’s defining features. As well as holding Volterra up, it also dominates the soil, which is rich in halite and gypsum, including alabaster, a material much loved by the local craftspeople and the focus of an eco-museum in Torre Minucci. Though Volterra is beautiful from afar, it is only when you enter the village itself that you truly discover its charms. Its ancient piazzas and steep alleyways have long bewitched writers, poets, painters and directors, who have been inspired by the unique beauty of the village and introduced it to the world via their art.