Vampire trips in Volterra
Why are young people [and some of their mothers] flocking to the small Tuscan town of Volterra?
Ah, romance is far from dead in the twenty-first century and these particular pilgrims have set out for the “shrine” where Stephanie Meyer, the author of “Twilight” and “New Moon”, set a particularly important scene between her heroine Bella and Edward, the vampire she loves.
Volterra is also where the elite vampire coven, the Volturi, reside in the books and films of the “Twilight Saga”.
The film version of ”New Moon”, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward, is due to be released on November 20th in the USA and Italy and on November 27th in the UK. Despite a vigorous online campaign for filming in Volterra the Italian scenes were actually shot in nearby Montepulciano but that has not stopped the townsfolk of Volterra from making the most of the tourism opportunity which has come their way: you can book Vampire Tours, New Moon weekends and a tour called “Hot on the trail of Bella and Edward”. You can buy “New Moon” mugs, calendars and even soaps.
Should you be in the town and suffer from “New Moon fatigue”, you can always explore the walled city itself, with its Roman Theatre, palaces, Museo Etrusco Guarnacci and twelfth century Duomo. And should you need a complete change of scene, you can escape to the medieval hill town of San Gimignano.
“New Moon” is not Volterra’s only claim to literary fame as the Italian novel “Chimaira” by Valerio Massimo Manfredi is set there and the town is mentioned in Dudley Pope’s “Captain Nicholas Ramage” series. In real life the French author Stendhal had a disastrous encounter with his unrequited love there.