Club Italy Vacation 2023 Day 13

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

We began today with a visit to the mountaintop walled town of Volterra. With the clouds, it was quite foggy.

A view of Volterra in the morning fog.

The city had been inhabited since the 8th century BC, first by the Etruscans and later by the Romans. You could see Roman ruins and Etruscan artifacts in the museum.

Volterra had narrow medieval streets, ancient walls and fortress.

The guys dropped us off at one of the entrances to the town and they went to find places to park. At this entrance was a memorial to WWII and the liberation of the city.

Below was the Porta (doors) a Selci which was a rounded arch that was built in the 16th century and it replaced a medieval gate. This gate was located at the boundaries of both the Etruscan and Medieval defensive walls at the east end of Volterra. You could see the round watchtower and the fortress walls.

Porta a Selci

The Porta Fiorentina was located on the north side and this gate exited to the Roman Theater.

Porta Fiorentina

The San Michele Arcangelo’s Church was from the 13th century in a Romanesque-style with marble embellishments.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta was consecrated in the 12th century and then renovated in the 16th century.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
San Pietro in Selci was an ancient church that was first established in 1005! Part of the building is from the 12th century.

The Baptistery of San Giovanni was an octagonal building with green and white marble stripes. It was consecrated in 1120 and was rebuilt in 1493.

Baptistery of San Giovanni

The Palazzo dei Priori dated back to the 13th century and was three stories. It was located on the Piazza with the same name.

Palazzo dei Priori

The Piazza dei Priori was the main square that was located in the old town of Volterra.

Piazza dei Priori

Please scroll through the slideshow to see more of the medieval town, streets, and sites.

We had lunch at a local Tuscan restaurant that was located on a main street in Volterra. The food and wine was delicious.

Since Volterra, like the other towns in Tuscany, sat on a hill the views of the countryside were incredible.

The parking garage in Volterra had very tight parking spaces! Have you ever had to climb between your car and another car to get into your car?

After Volterra, we headed back to Torraccia di Chiusi to get ready for our cooking class at the Montese Cooking Experience. Our class was just down the road from our villa!

Our view as we cooked was awe-inspiring!

Our view

Mauro was our chef for our four-hour cooking class.


There were the ten or us and a newlywed couple from Germany. The twelve of us worked well together and had many laughs.

The twelve of us with Mauro and his assistant Alberto

We were divided up to make the pork loin roast, bread, bolognese sauce and dessert which was a jam tart. We each made dough for our pasta. We made a stuffed pasta, ravioli and long noodles, spaghetti/fettuccine. Dave and I made a gluten free bread and gluten free ravioli and fettuccine noodles.

Mauro had one rule for our cooking class: your wine class couldn’t go empty. Little did he know that our group would take him seriously! He ran out of white wine and most of our group switched to drinking red wine!

Our bread!

Making pasta from our dough!

Some of our prepared food!

Our desserts!

Cooking at the Montese Cooking Experience was definitely a highlight for all of us.

Smiles from all of us! (photo credit: Chris)

The sunset was beautiful as we headed back to our villa.

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