Volterra, the town of Alabaster between the Etruscans and the Middle Ages
Alabaster is like the Botticelli’s Venus: it was born in the sea. A million-year-old ancient sea that has safeguarded a precious gift in its sedimentations, a very precious product. Very similar to wax in all respects, for its translucent look and its malleability, Alabaster is perfect for small size works: it allows in fact to mold small objects with rich decorations and meticulous details. The Etruscans considered it the stone of the Gods and used it to build urns and funerary statuettes. Alabaster’s success grew over the centuries until reaching an entrepreneurial character in the area of Pisa. At the end of the 1700’s a school of specialization was created in Volterra where artists and maestros from all over Europe, the most skilled in the art of decoration, produced true masterpieces of international fame.
In this medieval town in the province of Pisa the cult for the alabaster objects still continues today. The spell does not vanish, but it intensifies amongst the streets and the monuments of Volterra: a fortified town built with ochre stones, mysterious and dotted with fountains, tower-houses, doors that open along the city walls. Do not miss visiting the Eco-museum where you can learn about the tradition that links this town to alabaster, its manufacture and marketing.
The artisans and the secrets of this towns are waiting for you!