While much of Volterra preserves the Etruscan, Roman, and medieval past, the town’s worthy painting gallery transports you to the Renaissance. Room 4 has a remarkably intact 1411 polyptych of the “Madonna with Saints” signed by Taddeo di Bartolo. (The fellow in the red cape and beard in the tiny left tondo is the original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas of Bari.) In room 11 is “Christ in Glory with Saints” (1492), the last great work of Florentine master Domenico Ghirlandaio. If you look hard, you can spot a giraffe being led along the road—an exotic animal that had only recently been acquired by the Medici for their menagerie. In Room 12 hangs a remarkably colored “Annunciation” (1491) by Luca Signorelli—note the great rush of feeling as the archangel bursts through the doorway to announce the news to Mary. In the same room is a “Deposition” (1521) by 26-year-old Rosso Fiorentino, a red-headed (and reportedly hot-headed) Florentine painter, who ended up going to France to work at the Chateau Fontainebleau. Painted in his odd color palette of flat grays and reds, it unusually portrays this solemn scene of Christ being taken off the cross as a frantic swirl of action, with sashes flapping in the wind and workers scurrying up and down ladders.
Via del Sarti 1
Our Rating Hours Mid-Mar–Oct daily 9am–7pm; Dec daily 9am–6pm; Nov and Jan–mid-Mar daily 10am–4:30pm Phone 0588/87580 Prices 8€, or included with 16€ Volterra Card
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.