- During a trip to Florence, Italy, I spent nearly three hours trekking to a remote town that’s famous in the “Twilight” franchise.
- Volterra, Italy, is a small town with a lot of history and it is also the home of the fictional royal vampires in “Twilight: New Moon.”
- It took me a few hours, two trains, and a bus to get to the town.
- Even though the movie wasn’t actually filmed in Volterra, the city had a lot of merchandise dedicated to the “Twilight” franchise.
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Anyone who knew me when I was a teenager knew that I was obsessed with “Twilight.”
I had a full-sized movie poster for every film, I had magazine cut-outs of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson all over my walls, and I had an Edward Cullen throw blanket and pillow.
Clearly, I had my unofficial “Twihard” badge and I was not afraid of anyone knowing.
And that’s why during a trip to Florence, Italy, I spent nearly three hours trekking to a remote town that has major connections to the iconic vampire series – Volterra, where the fictitious vampire royalty the Volturi reside.
The place inspired much of the series, even though the scenes in the movies that were set in Volterra were filmed in a different part of Italy.
Here’s what it was like to visit the famous place that’s mentioned so often in the “Twilight” franchise.
I was pretty excited when I learned that visiting Volterra would be pretty affordable, even though it might take a while.
As soon as I reached Italy, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to travel to different towns in the area – especially if I was staying within the Tuscany region.
It was only going to cost about 14 euros, or $15, for a trip to Volterra from where I was staying – at this point, I convinced my roommate to come with me.
It was going to take us two trains and a bus, but it seemed doable, with each train taking 50 minutes.
The Volterra station was pretty tiny and not very crowded.
The trip should have been simple: We had to take the train from Firenze to Cecina, then one from Cecina to the Volterra-Saline-Pomarance station, followed by a bus up to Volterra.
The second train ended up being noticeably older and smaller than regular trains, and as we approached our stop, there were fewer and fewer people getting off, until we were one of a handful to get off at Volterra.
The station consisted of a small, manicured building in a nearly deserted part of the countryside. I later learned this station was actually a “railway halt,” a small stop along a railway that’s commonly used when not many people regularly disembark at a certain area.
We missed the first bus to Volterra and ended up waiting two hours to get to the top of the massive hill.
As soon as we got off of the second train, we missed our bus.
We were told by a local store owner that there were no taxis in the area so, we ended up waiting two hours for the next bus.
In order to reduce the steepness of the hill’s incline, the roads were zig-zagged upward, much like how it’s described in “New Moon.”
I think “hill” is putting it modestly – the incline was intense and it almost felt like we were going up a mountain.
As we rode up the hill, I remembered the books and how Bella was nearly going to have a panic attack because it was taking so long for Alice to drive up to this very city – I didn’t feel so great during my ride to the top either. As you can imagine, the zig-zagging isn’t great for motion sickness.
The ride took us about 20 minutes.
Our first task was finding the famous clock tower.
When we finally got off of the bus, we entered an archway into the town and then walked along the steepest street I’d ever seen.
It was nearly ladder-like with how steep it was – just the thought of someone clumsy like Bella Swan running through these streets to find Edward Cullen seemed highly implausible.
I mean, Bella Swan gave herself the most famous paper cut of all time and has tripped on thin air. But “Twilight” is a book about vampires and werewolves, so I let it slide as one does when it comes to the iconic series.
Luckily it wasn’t hard to find the piazza where the clock tower is. This was, of course, a big moment for a “Twilight” fan like myself.
The clock tower was pretty magnificent, even though it didn’t look exactly like the one in the movies.
For me, the clock tower was one of the most important parts of the whole trip.
In the books, this clock tower is where Edward went when he thought Bella was dead. As the clock struck noon, he meant to step into the sunlight and force the Volturi to kill him.
Dramatic, yes, but it was definitely fun to see the tower that was referenced in the book.
Unlike the tower in the movie, this one did not have a fountain inside of it. I wasn’t too surprised since this scene was filmed in Montepulciano and not Volterra – but I did notice that the door on the clock tower building was very similar to the one in the film.
The area seemed to fully cater to “Twilight” fans.
The tourist-information office was placed right next to the clock tower and it was all decked out in “New Moon” memorabilia.
This wasn’t too surprising since that’s the Stephenie Meyer book that really hones in on the Volturi and their mission.
Even some actors from the movie were featured in the city.
In the town I also saw posters showing actual actors who played different Volturi members – Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius), Cameron Bright (Alec), and Charlie Bewley (Demitri).
Basically, it felt like Volterra really leaned into its newfound vampy fame, which comforted me as a fan.
Of course, I had to pick up some merchandise.
I, of course, bought one of their merchandise packages, which included an “I heart Volterra” pin, bookmark, and a map of the city that pinpoints where events from the book would have taken place.
For me, being able to set foot in an actual spot I read about and visualized in my mind, was almost surreal.
Aside from my sheer excitement of knowing that this is where Stephenie Meyer envisioned Edward Cullen sacrificing himself to the Volturi, Volterra was beautiful and I wanted to keep exploring it.
I quickly learned there was much more to this historic Italian town than just the “Twilight” stuff.
Like many countryside towns in the Tuscan area, Volterra had plenty of famous landmarks and historic spots.
Unfortunately, since we missed our bus and had less time than originally planned, we couldn’t go to the famous ruins of a Roman theater that had been built hundreds of years ago.
We were able to stop by a few shops.
Since we also didn’t want to shell out the money for one of the many Twilight tours, we wandered around to take in the views and see what we could do until our bus left.
As we walked, we came across a few streets filled with shops and statues.
Some of the shops sold a variety of souvenirs dedicated to local landmarks.
Of course, not every souvenir was dedicated to fictional vampires. There were also plenty of beautiful postcards depicting Volterra landmarks.
We also came across the Volterra Museum of Torture, one of the many torture museums in Italy.
During our walk, we came across the Museo della Tortura di Volterra, or Volterra Museum of Torture. It was sandwiched between a gorgeous overlook of the land below Volterra and a quaint coffee shop.
This spot is one of the many museums in Italy that exhibits torture instruments from the past and we spent about an hour inside – no photos were allowed.
After a long day, I learned there’s so much more to Volterra than its ties to fictional vampires — but as a “Twilight” fan I still think that’s one of the coolest parts.
After we finished looking through the museum, we headed back to our stop since the schedule said there were only two more buses running for the rest of the day.
We then spent another few hours getting home, but I think the long day of traveling was entirely worth it.
Sure, I only made my trek to Volterra because I am a “Twilight” superfan, but ultimately I ended up finding a breathtaking town that I will always remember – and I would likely have never found it if it wasn’t for my favorite series.