VOLTERRA - PORTA ALL'ARCO
The Porta all'Arco is the most famous Italian testimony of Etruscan arch and part of the walls of Volterra made in "panchino", a typical stone.
It was built between the fourth and second centuries BC and was then inserted into the medieval walls of the thirteenth century, fortunately without suffering too many changes. For this reason it is still stately as typical in the Etruscan style.
The construction of the arch has been made with large tufa blocks stacked dry.
On the external front stand out three heads carved in stone. The assumptions about their meaning are different, they could be simply lion heads or maybe they could represent Jupiter and the two Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, or the three protectors of the city. Other assumptions are that represent sacrifices of human lives in the preservation of new construction or that the three heads are connectable to the eastern custom of exposing the severed heads of enemy commanders on the walls of the cities as warning to anyone with hostile intentions towards the city.