u San Gimignano, less than an hour away, is a small walled medieval hill town whose 14 towers can be seen from several kilometres away. The town is also famous for its white wine.
u Siena, an hour from Volterra, is home to the bareback horse race known as Palio. Held in July and August every year, it sees people racing horses around the cobbled streets of the town and the stunning square, the Piazza del Campo. Alternatively, just find a chair in the ‘piazza’ to enjoy some nice wine and cheese, or perhaps a slice of pizza.
u Pisa, a little over an hour away, has the Leaning Tower, of course, but it is also an utterly pretty town dotted with peaceful streets, medieval palaces and university buildings.
u Lucca, 90 minutes away, is a determinedly university town that makes for some lovely strolls along the old walls with students and residents.
u Cinque Terre, the Italian Riviera, is a conglomeration of five villages noted for their breathtaking natural beauty. Houses cling to the hillsides along the blue-green Ligurian sea, and the walking trail winds through vineyards and olive groves. No cars are allowed here: La Spezia, where you must leave your vehicle, is 2 hours from Volterra.
u Florence, 90 minutes away, can also be done as a day trip if you aren’t enamoured of art (the Uffizi Gallery itself can account for many days of touring). Masterpieces of sculpture are everywhere in this city, but don’t give Florence’s gelatos a miss: They are supposed to be the best in Italy.