In 15th Century Italian Dance a mezavolta is a half turn in place to end up facing the opposite direction. A mezavolta left is a half turn over the left shoulder, and a mezavolta right is a half turn over the right shoulder. It usually lasts one tempo, or the time taken to do one doppio.
It is often described as being made up of steps that last one tempo, for instance a choreography may call for two sempi performed as a mezavolta. One doppio or one continentia may also be used for a mezavolta.
A full turn is called a voltatonda.