The pillars of Italian history
An ancient lot that lived in between the 9th and the 1st Century b.C. primarily in the central regions of Italy, between Southern Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, the so called “Etruria region”.
It is in this particular area that one can find the carbon footprint of this civilization. Specifically in the towns of Tarquinia, Cerveteri and Ceri.
Three towns in the Etruscan Roman side that are World famous for the significant amount of relics from that era, not just objects but also architectural and artistic digests. Along with their traditions, their connections with the earth, the Gods and their families.
A quaint, rustic town. With Etruscan origins, it is one of the most important establishments. It’s relations to the neighboring city Rome were not only ancient but incredibly important. Being Tarquinia a favorable runway for commerce and military advantages. That’s why the Eternal city founded the establishment of Etruscan Kings in Tarquinia, creating an incredibly important relationship with this Etruscan citadel. A way to reinforce the coalition the Romans had built with the neighbors to serve and protect the nation. The most famous Etruscan Kings in Rome are Tarquinio Prisco, Servio Tullio and Tarquinio il Superbo. Then comes the Republic. But the city of Tarquinia continued to flourish under the Greek and Etruscans merchants and the watchful eyes of the Romans, who were seeking protection of the Carthaginians, to oversee provisions. How do we know all this today?
The Pyrgi tables hold the answers! Tablets made of a thin sheet of gold, with inscriptions in Etruscan and Phoenecian that were used to describe any given event in Etruscan times. A sort of Newspaper if you will. Made entirely of Gold.
A must see in Tarquinia is the Etruscan Museum. Filled with so many artifacts, objects, etc. And art workds like the World famous Winged Horses, a sculpture dating the 4th century bC, made entirely of Terracotta clay. Another place to visit is Tarquinia’s Necropolis. A big piece of landscape, which hosts a system of over 6000 tombs, carved in solid tuff rock, this land is so rich of.
Another stronghold in the Etruscan landmark, Cerveteri is Incredibly in-tune with Nature. It may appear as a tranquil place to live today, surrounded by crops and gentle hills to contemplate. When in fact, this citadel was a busy town, one of the most important Etruscan cities, and it was 15 times bigger than what it is today. A trading town, in a favorable position, only 7 kilometers away from the seaside, it possessed three ports, being its extension so wide. Some of the most important sites in Cerveteri today are certainly the Necropolis of the Banditaccia. Declared World Heritage site by UNESCO. An epitome of this ancient civilization’s ways, traditions, relationship between life and death. An interesting system of tombs, the Necropolis covers an area 400 hectars wide. Impossible unveil them entirely, in just a life time. Only ten hectars of the Necropolis have been unearthed. The rest are well preserved, all around, to honor and respect this people’s customs, in-sync with nature, undisturbed.
One of the tombs you can visit is called the Tomb of the Reliefs, incredibly overwhelming. It was discovered in 1847 and it’s dated back to the 4th century bC. It belonged to a family, that decorated it beautifully for their journey in the afterlife. You can see incredibly well preserved, colorful reliefs all over the walls and columns and niches. Which is very interesting, as you’ll discover, since this civilization was particularly inclined to frescos as a decorative pattern, so to find reliefs on these walls is quite interesting.
Another mandatory stop is the National Archeological Museum of Cerveteri in the Ruspoli Castle. You can find an outstanding variety of artifacts from different times in the Etruscan era.
Cerveteri is in general a very nice town. With monumental buildings and a rustic atmosphere. You are going to love it!
As if the above mentioned historical marvels weren’t enough, Ceri is another marvelous location. A beautiful Hamlet, fortified on a Tuff rock formation, adjacent to Cerveteri. Fortified walls built and carved in stone, a citadel laying on a plateau. Beautiful landscapes will take your breath away. It is a very old commune. It dates back to the 7th Century bC. And archeological finds along with the different techniques used to build Ceri, have lead to discover that this settlement was used for centuries, from Etruscans to Romans and more recent establishments. Until the 14th Century aD, when it became a fundamental property for one of the most important families in the area, the Anguillara.
So, as you can tell, this private limo tour from Rome is certainly something different. But we very much recommend it, not only to explore the surroundings of Rome, but to understand and appreciate more the history of such incredible civilizations in Italy. History, art, local traditions, architecture, this tour has it all!