Volterra with Etruscans

etruscans 7etruscans 5Late afternoon visit to the Etruscan museum. They were here before the Romans (and gave Tuscany its name.)

A very Giacometti-like statue with a face that belongs in a Tim Burton movie. Little bronze animals. Sarcophogi and artifacts – mirrors, cooking utensils, jewelry. .jars
Humans evidently have always liked to adorn themselves, unlike the animals who seem content with fur and feathers.vase

Etruscan sarcophogusThe tops of the sarcophagi have stunted little bodies with bold heads. The rarity is an old man and woman; most are single.

There is a display pointing out that the sarcophagi are not portraits – the same face is repeated over and over: a young woman or man. Once you realize it, it’s kinda sad.

The under-panel of the sarcophagi are also interesting – there are themes. The Sirens singing, traveling with a covered wagon (sophisticated), fighting – of course, sunflowers, and chariots which look just like those in Ben Hur.etruscans 3
One shows a siren with a sword and 2 dolphins. The little label says in Italian – I didn’t study for nothing – the images mean the trip is dangerous but the outcome happy. (Although how could we know what the Etruscans thought?) etruscans 2
etruscans 6

I am also taken by a very human painting on a plate of a father talking to a son (or that’s how I interpreted it.)

We hiked down to the Etruscan gate that was saved in WWII by villagers who filled it with cobblestones pulled from the streets so the retreating Germans wouldn’t blow it up.

Finally my hubby wanted to climb the bell tower of the church behind our hotel, which had been a monastery.
della robia
The church was locked but when we knocked, a woman let us in. Climbing is too dangerous but she calls her husband to open the side chapels for us – each has a Della Robbia. Fantastic faces. I’m in love.

A note on the hotel: the biggest bathroom and nicest breakfast in Italy. If you are ever lucky enough to get to Volterra I recommend it – Chiostro Delle Monache.

A final reminder. If you click on a little photo you can see it full size. Be warned, they will take a while to load.

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