Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Tuscany’s ‘vampire-safe’ city

Unless you’ve been living in a darkened cave for the last few years, you’ll know all about Twilight, the vampire book and film series that took the world by storm. While writing the New Moon novel in the series, author Stephenie Meyer was researching Tuscany, looking for a suitable gothic town to inspire her. In her novels the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires, live in a gothic, walled city out of public view. To prevent attention being drawn to them, no vampire is allowed to feed on a human within the city itself, making it the safest place in the world from vampire attacks. Originally Meyer was going to create a fictional town for the story, but when she discovered Tuscany’s Volterra, she decided it was perfect.

One of the oldest Etruscan settlements in Italy, with its high walls, clock-tower, cobbled streets and stunning natural views, Volterra has always been popular with tourist visiting Tuscany, but the Twilight effect has drawn even more visitors to its charms. A must-see for fans of Twilight, retracing the steps of Edward and Bella through the streets of Volterra, is the narrow alley off the Piazza dei Priori, where they share an intimate moment beneath a manhole. Fans may feel like they’re living the movie in Volterra, but the irony is, many of the scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Montepulciano.