Wednesday, May 12, 2010

San Gimignano, Volterra and Volturi

Pilgrimage for a Twilight fan

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini©

San Gimignano

I have to say that my best impression of San Gimignano is from far away. It sits on a hill in the picturesque Tuscan countryside, and as you approach you can see the walls and towers. Once inside the walls you can appreciate why this town has been declared by UNESCO to be a World's Architectural Heritage site, but only if you look up. The small streets are completely invaded by tourists, and every single door or opening in the Medieval walls seem to be have been turned into shops selling souvenirs. So most of my photos were taken with the nose up in the air!

The drive from San Gimignano to Volterra is one of the best drives I had in Tuscany. The scenery is just spectacular, pity that all the photos were taken from my passenger seat (yes, sorry about the bad quality) as, unlike New Zealand, here there aren't designed 'look out points' where you can just stop the car and get out to take a picture.


Here too there are tourists but, as the city is bigger that San Gimignano, you can still find quiet streets to explore. Many of the souvenirs shops sell alabaster goods, since Volterra is renowned for this material.

Volterra has registered a considerable increase in tourism thanks to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series.
The City's tourist office assistant was wearing a New Moon T-shirt,
and gave us a few flyers and info about the film locations
(actually, the main scene was filmed in Montepulciano, with a fake building and fountain)
and told us to come back in the evening for a special Volturi City tour with surprise ending. We couldn't stay for the evening tour, so we had to do with the special New Moon map of Volterra (available in English from the Tourist Office) which followed the yellow Porsche drove by Alice through the city's door, and then Bella's run to save Edward. I have never seen my daughter look at a map so closely!

And if you are not interested in Vampires you can still appreciate Volterra for its Etruscan history (an Etruscan city door is pictured here), Roman history
(beautiful Roman Theatre and Ruins), and its Medieval look. I did :-)!


  1. Wow - so grand! Finger's crossed, I'll be seeing Europe later this this year. By the way, I picked up two boxes of Cuisine magazine at a garage sale, covering the last 15 years or so & I found some articles you'd written for them! Happy travelling to you & your family :)

  2. I am enchanted with your photos, Alessandra. What a beautiful area!

  3. Thank you Barbara :-).
    Nigel, let me know, I may be still here.

  4. 加油-不論如何都期待您的新發表! ........................................

  5. Bellissima San Gimignano, hai mangiato il gelato fra le mura della cittadina..troppo buono!

  6. oh, i don't know when i could visit Italy. i dream to go there so often. have a good trip, Alessandra!

  7. So beautiful! I always enjoy reading about your trips

  8. A wonderful adventure. I'd love to drive through countryside Italy.

  9. What lovely scenery. I'm not much into vampires, but I certainly can appreciate the backgrounds used in the movie. I hope you are having a wonderful day, Alessandra. Blessings...Mary


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