2. Route. il
The following excursion, which may bc accomplished either by dili-
gence or carriage (carr. from Volterra station to Larderello and back 10,
with two horses 18 fr.), is interesting to geologists. Beyond Pomarance
(1204 ft. ; diligence in 2 hrs., fare l*/2 fr. ; Alb. Burraia), a pleasant little
town, with a large chàteau of Count Larderei, we drive on to (3 hrs.)
Larderello on the Monte Cerboli, the centrai point of the boracic acid
works belonging to the Larderei family. The vapour of the volcanic
gas-springs (soffioni) is passed through water-tanks (lagoni), depositing
its content of borie acid (acido borico) in the water, which is afterwards
evaporated. The entire output of these works is sent to England, where
it is chiefly used in potteries as an ingredient in the production of
glaze. — The excursion may be extended towards the S., via Bagno al
Morbo (with springs, good for gout, known to the Romans as Aquae
Volaterranae), Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina (1860 ft. ; diligence from
Pomarance in 2V2hrs., fare 1V2 fr.), Sasso, and Monterotondo, to Massa
Marittima (p. 4), a drive of 3 hrs. more. Near Sasso and Monterotondo
in particular the country is covered with clouds of steam and the hot
surface of the earth with incrustations of sulphur, sulphate of iron, etc.
Near Monterotondo is the hot Lago Zolforeo, with evaporation-works
belonging to a French firm.
The road from the station to (7 M.) Volterra ascends (diligence
and carriages, see p. 10). The country, owing to the barren clay
soil, worn into channels by the rain, presents a peculiarly bleak
Volterra. — Station, see p. 10. — Hotels. Albergo Nazionale
(PI. a; C, 4), Piazza dei Ponti 1, R. lV2-2 fr., very fair; La Stella, with
view, R. 1 fr. — Caffè Bardola, Piazza Maggiore. — Post & Telegraph
Office, in the Palazzo Pretorio (PI. C, 3).
The celebrated Alabaster Works of Volterra employ about one-third
of the population. The ordinary kinds of alabaster are found in the
vicinity, the more valuable in the mines of Castellina Marittima (p. 3).
The traveller should visit the interesting workshops, where the prices
are lower than at Florence.
Volterra (1784 ft.), an episcopal see with 5522 inhab., is one
of the most ancient Etruscan cities, containing much that is inter¬
esting and commanding charming prospeets as far as the heights
of Pisa, the Apennines, and the sea with the islands of Gorgona,
Elba, Capraia, and Corsica.
Volterra (the Etruscan Vélathri, the Volaterrae of the Romans) was
one of the twelve ancient confederate cities of Etruria, and was so
strongly fortified that during the civil wars it withstood a siege by Sulla's
troops for two years. It afterwards became a Roman municipium, but
gradually fell to decay and was totally destroyed in the lOth century.
It was re-erected under the Othos, but does not now cover one-third of
its ancient area. In the middle ages it was a free town, and from this
period date the best buildings; but it became subject to Florence in 1361.
The last revolt of the inhabitants against the Florentines terminated in
1472, when the town was taken and ruthlessly pillaged. It is the birth-
place of the satirist Persius (A.D. 34-62) and of the painter Daniele da
Volterra (p. 12).
Among the antiquities the ancient *Town Walls, 5y2 M. in
circumference, and nearly three times as extensive as those of Fiesole
and Cortona, are especially worthy of notice. Their dimensions
(40 ft. in height, 13 ft. in thickness) and construction in horizontal
courses of rectangular yellow sandstone blocks ('panchina') are best