A friend once told me that Volterra was her favorite hilltown in Italy. After a recent visit to Italy in April, 2005, I now know why. My friends and I spent only a few hours in Volterra, because we had reservations elsewhere, but it is a place that I hope to return to one day. Only about a half hour or so from Siena, it has lots to see and without the tourist throngs. Volterra is an impressive medieval hill town, with the added attractions of a beautiful stone fortress wall, lovely churches, a large Roman Ampitheater, a very interesting town specialty of alabaster stone carving, lovely narrow stone medieval streets, stately turreted buildings, interesting arched doorways and wonderful architecture, and exquisite food. We ate at a phenomenal restaurant near the town wall, Il Pace. (The 4 of us had delicious and hearty Ribolita soup, and various entrees, such as black truffles on homemade noodles, wild boar pasta, pasta with a pumpkin sauce and pasta made with chestnut flour with a sage butter sauce.) Need I say more??