Concierge.com's insider take:
One of the largest alabaster deposits in Italy is found near Volterra, and the semi-translucent stone has been quarried and carved here since Etruscan times. Shops all over the city sell lamp stands, paperweights, and other objects, some very beautiful. At the Cooperativa Artieri Alabastro, right in Piazza dei Priori, about 30 artisans show their wares (39-0588-87-590; www.artierialabastro.it). At Rossi Alabastri in Piazza della Pescheria, you can see the craftsmen carving in the adjacent workshop (39-0588-86-133; www.rossialabastri.com).