字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 We're in Volterra which is one of the most attractive of all the Tuscan walled towns. It's amazingly preserved. The town is about a thousand years old and the buildings we see today easily date back to the Middle Ages and the earliest foundations of Volterra go back to the Etruscan days, nearly 3000 years ago. There was an Etruscan town here and it was one of the main dozen Etruscan towns in what is today Tuscany and eventually was conquered by ancient Rome. That was about 300 BC and the Romans ruled for that era until about 500 A.D. and then comes the Middle Ages, and later occupation by Florence. Back in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, 1400s, there was a lot of rivalry between the city states, and Volterra was actually an autonomous city, state. It has a marvelous wall around it, which is beautifully preserved today. It goes for about 3 miles all around the city, preserving the stone historical gem intact. It's mostly pedestrian zone when you're in the old town. The residents live in the old town and they all work here. It's a great tourist center, and yet it's a little bit off the beaten track of tourists. You can't get here by train. You can get here by bus, so it's so for example about a two-hour bus ride away from Florence – direct buses maybe five times a day. So it's certainly feasible if you are staying in Florence for a couple of days or in Siena, you can get over the Volterra, and you would really be delighted to see how beautiful this town is. And of course there's a whole bunch of restaurants, there's pizzerias, snack shops, coffee shops, lots of little stores. One of their specialties here is alabaster, and earlier they had a lot of alabaster mines which are actually still in operation today. And the shops sell this very fine thin white stone alabaster, and they make plates out of it and bowls, lampshades, little figurines. Earlier in the history of Volterra a different mineral was important. It was alum, A-L-U-M alum, and that was used for setting the die in textiles. That was very important in Florence, which was a great textile center and one of the reasons why Florence under the Medici wanted to control Volterra, and so they did, they conquered it. Lorenzo the Magnificent sent the Duke of Urbino over here with his troops and massacred some civilians in Volterra and subdued them, and then paid them a little pittance as a reward to keep them in line and for several hundred years, Florence dominated Volterra. There's a handful of very charming small hotels within the walls of Volterra in the old town. We're staying at one called La Locanda, it is quite nice, and there are three or four other significant hotels and then some tiny ones and some bed-and-breakfasts, pensiones, so you can find places to stay. If you are here during the busy season, of course, you want to be sure to make reservations. We are here in the off-season, it's November, which is really a lovely time to be traveling in Italy. Temperatures are nice and there are very few tourists around. Most attractions are open, some are closed, some restaurants are closed, and attractions to have somewhat limited hours, but November is wonderful to be here. The availability of hotel rooms is no problem. You can get a table in a good restaurant without worrying, and you don't see many crowd. You have the town all to yourself, shared with the locals. Volterra, put that on your map. We'll be taking a look at Volterra with a local guide, Annie, who is quite famous in the area as one of the premier local tour guides in Volterra, and Annie is going to be showing us the town. Volterra is Tuscany's oldest continuously inhabited town. That's why it's such a great place for history lovers, but it's also, it's also a town that has a very vibrant local community. It's not a big town, it's not a big city, it's more than a village. But it's just, it's got so much going for it today as it did in past centuries. Volterra has been inhabited since at least 1500 BC, that time when central Italy was inhabited by a people called the Villanovans. Later in the eighth century BC, they would be more or less replaced by the slightly more famous Etruscans. Now the Etruscans and Tuscans are not the same thing, but Tuscany doesn't get its name from these ancient inhabitants of the region. They were pre-Romans, although they do kind of develop together with Rome, but they're doing some of the world's most magnificent gold jewelry. Not to mention many other cultural productions at a time when Romulus and Remus were basically being suckled by the she-wolf on the banks of the Tiber River. And Volterra would become one the, one of the 12 Etruscan city-states and one of the most powerful and populous. By the fourth century BC, Etruscan Volterra counted a population of about 20,000 people, which is astonishing, I mean it's larger than Rome for almost a century. And it also means that Volterra in the Etruscan period had a lot more people in it than it does today. So today, we're officially 12,000 people, but that counts people like me who live in the countryside, whereas in centuries past, they'd only count the people living inside the city walls. It would make Volterra today 5000 to 6000, compared to 20,000 back in the fourth century BC. This piazza that we' re in, Volterra's main square, is called Piazza dei Priori. It has been the center of civic life, since as long as anyone can remember. The oldest building in the square is the Tower of the Piglet, the Tore del Porcellino. We don't know exactly when it was built, but we know when it was constructed it was originally used as a residence for a private noble family, like so many of the house towers built in Tuscan towns in that period. So, San Gimignano, Volterra, Florence, Pisa, they all had house towers such as this. What we do know is that in 1226, halfway through the construction of the town hall building, the Palazzo dei Priori, the town government was so fed up with waiting for the construction to finish, that they bought the tower from the family had previously owned it. And it's in that tower that would hold their government meetings, until of course their palace was completed. Now, it's a mystery to us as to why there is a piglet up there. Historians have investigated the old families that have owned, in the research, you know what were their coats of arms? What were their activities? What were their names? Is there some reason why we have a piglet up there. And unfortunately there's no answer. He is the, only thing I can suggest is maybe, at a time when farm raised meat was really just for the wealthy and not for the average folks, perhaps it was a symbol of wealth. The most important building in the square and the second oldest is the building behind me, which is called the Palazzo dei Priori, the Priors Palace. It was constructed between 1209 and 1257, and it has a very important claim to fame, and that is that it's the oldest and the first building constructed for a city-state in Europe. The architect of the Florence town hall, Arnolfo di Camdio, actually stated in his preparatory notes that he intended Florence' s town hall to be a larger and more grandiose version of the Palazzo dei Priori in Volterra. The name, Priors Palace, tells us that the title given to the first rulers of the city-states, they were called priors and they ruled with an oligarchy, and by no means was this pure democracy, but the city-states really did represent an important first step towards democracy in Europe.. Because it was no longer just the Holy Roman Empire or the Pope aand far off lands calling the shots. Now there was greater self and local rule. The prior and his family actually would live inside the building you see. It's where the town Council would meet. It's where governance was was done, but also it was a private residence. The prior actually would be sequestered inside the building for the entire duration of his term. The terms had to be short and because this was a term of suffering, suffering, and it was usually 6 to 12 months. During that period the prior was never allowed to leave the building. Of course he had advisors to be his intermediaries with the outside world so he could actually govern, but that the concern was corruption, bribery, conflict of interest. Of course we surpassed all of this concerns today. But they kept him inside the building and they would never leave him out, and would never let him leave, and would never let anyone else in to try to avoid that corruption. But of course this man is a Christian. He may not be allied with the Pope, but he is still of course a Christian. So how is he to continue his religious life jf he can't leave the building? And they are not to leave, but the priests go up, either. Well, the compromise was found by building the Palazzo dei Priori back-to-back with the Cathedral. So the black and white striping that you see is actually the backside of Volterra's Cathedral, consecrated in 1120 by Pope Callistus II. and there's a wing of the Town Hall building on the opposite side that actually goes on top of the Cathedral, so that from within prior' s quarters he can open wooden shutters and have a clear view straight down onto the altar of the Cathedral. So from there he could kneel on a pew and attend mass, and many people would say, also keep a very tight control on everything that was being said and done inside. Here is the back entrance into the Cathedral. You can see with the black and white striping that this is a holy building, and unlike the other yellow stone buildings in the rest of the square, all of which are civic buildings. If the door's open, you're welcome in. Volterra' s Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Callistus II in 1120. It's built in a very humble version of one of Europe's most magnificent architectural styles, the Pisan Romanesque, which will be one of the most important foundation stones to Renaissance architecture. The Cathedral that we see today built at sometime before 1120, is not the first, but the third version of the Cathedral here in Volterra. Volterra was actually one of the first diocese in Christianity to ever be established, in terms of its geographic limits. Volterra is the birthplace of five popes, and the first of these five popes was quite an influential figure. He was Peter's successor; his name was Linus. Not much is known about him, but it's widely believed that he gave Volterra such prominence within the early Christian church. And that would remain for many centuries. On the façade of the Cathedral you can find some interesting details and including the Carolingian floral motif along the cornices and also the wreath of pagan Roman stones in the main portal, the main most important entrance into this most important Christian building in town. In fact, the white marble columns and capitals that you see on this main portal came from Volterra's Roman theater, already in disuse for hundreds of years. They thought why not take these beautiful white stones and use them for the Cathedral. But it was also more than that. It was almost as if they were we reclaiming their pagan past as something that Christianity had conquered and was building upon. We're here in Piazza San Giovanni, which is the religious square of Volterra. It holds a Baptistery, which is the building behind me. The Baptistery of Volterra was built in 1285. It was built in the Pisan Romanesque style, which is the same style used for the Pisa Baptistery as well, which was constructed 1153. Other baptisteries in Tuscany will often have this bi-chrome striping and similar styles. It's essential to have a Baptistery if you have a Cathedral because wherever you have a seat of the diocese, one bishop, one Cathedral, one Baptistery. Because in this period it was very important for their religious beliefs that you enter the Cathedral as a Christian. Thus the need for a separate building. But also remember that Christianity hadn't really been establish throughout Europe as the common religion for that many centuries, and so it was all the more important to give something monumental for those who are entering into the Christian faith, to make it a ceremonious occasion with such a magnificent building. Now the Baptistery here in Volterra is octagonal. Almost all baptisteries our octagonal, although some are circular. This too has significance because both the circle and figure-8 are endless figures. They have no beginning or end point – symbols of the infinity and thus of the eternal life gained through baptism in the Christian faith. Now the fact that we have in this religious square four buildings that marked for important moments in the life of a Christian was no coincidence. Now in Volterra, like any other Italian town, where ever you have the seat of the diocese, you have Cathedral, Baptistery, hospital and cemetery. Now we know longer have a functioning hospital here – it moved out in the 1980s to larger buildings outside of town. And also, the cemetery is long gone, because they realized that the new Christian practice of burying the dead inside the city walls was not the hottest idea, especially when plagued with headings, contagion would spread like wildfire, but originally these four buildings signified the cycle of life: birth, with a baptistery; life, in the Cathedral; difficulty and need, in the hospital; and of course, death, the cemetery. That's to remind man of his Vanitas, of his vanity. Or more precisely what they mean is, what are you left with in the end, because there is an end, because this is the natural cycle of life. In the end you have bones, you have a soul, but you don't have your possessions, you don't have your appearance, don't have the power you been trying to amass. All of those will be in vain, vanitas. And so the corollary is, of course, what they are after is, care for your soul during your lifetime because that's what will be of importance in the and. But the conundrum is, artistically, how do you represent the soul? No one has ever come up with a commonly recognized way of representing the human soul. And so, what they often will do is show us bones instead, because that's the other thing you our left with. So, an example this, you can actually see on the façade of the little Chapel of the Misericordia, where you have a skull and V-shaped wings. They show you the bones to remind you, man, care for your soul and the wings, there in the shape of the V to represent the V of vanity of Vanitas. The Misericordia is the volunteer ambulance association. They are volunteers. The full name is actually “Arciconfraternita della Misericordia”, so it's a fraternity of compassion. That's a very old-fashioned name, but understandable considering the Association first appeared in Tuscany in 1348. That's the year Tuscans will never forget, because that's when the Black Death, or the bubonic plague, ravaged the area. When between five months, May to October in one year, between 1/2 to 2/3 of the people you knew died. Well, the Misericordia are the courageous men, most of them the deliverymen of the towns who volunteered to move the sick and dead outside the city walls, otherwise they feared everyone might die. Well it's been around ever since, and it's an association that actually still unique, just to Tuscany. Well Volterra is a town that has many important museums and monuments.