The Etruscan city of Volterra became famous in the Middle Ages for its Balestrieri – crossbowmen – the most ancient and skilled force in defence of the city. The crossbow, a fascinating and powerful weapon, dates back to around 3,000 years ago since its presence is documented from ancient China, to Greece, to the Romans. Certainly, its use became very popular during the Middle Ages, when the crossbow began to be considered a “fearsome weapon” because of its penetrating and explosive force it impressed. Staring from the mid-fourteenth century special city militia were born with soldiers trained to use crossbow: it seems that Volterran crossbowmen had an important role in battles that occurred in Tuscany: in 1107 in the battle to defend the Imperial troops against Matilde di Canossa or in 1328 in support of Lucca’s defence against Pisa.
Individuals and small groups can now enjoy a special welcome ceremony in historical costumes inside the Museum of the Crossbow by the historic headquarters of the Compagnia dei Balestrieri. An exhibition of exceptional quality, in a unique location, opens its doors to those who want to have a closer contact with the world of this extraordinary weapon.
For the first time, you will be invited to try a shot of the verretta (the arrow) feeling the audacity of being a crossbowman for a day. The attention to every single movement, the rustle of a shooting arrow, the excitement of hitting the mark… being a crossbowman for a day is now possible with Medieval Italy!
- 1 visit at the historical Crossbowmen Company seat
- 1 exclusive crossbow shooting test from 1 to 3 people
- Compagnia dei Balestrieri
Seminario di S.Andrea – Cantine Vescovili, Viale Vittorio Veneto, 2, 56048 – Volterra (PI)
- 1-3 hours
- Prices include VAT. The price of 89€ is valid from 1 up to 3 people
- The rates are always calculated on a base of 3 participants
- Children under 15 years are free. Minors must be accompanied by an adult