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Archaeology in the Maremma Laziale
 

Here's a list of all the main ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES in the Maremma Laziale.

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ARLENA DI CASTRO

Arlena di Castro panorama (specific photo not available)

CASTELVECCHIO - Arlena

Once the original Etruscan settlement called Contenebra had been destroyed by the Romans, the survivors founded two new communities, the modern-day Arlena and Civitella di Arlena, just outside.
Ruins of a castle can be found in both places today, plus traces of the old town wall built in the 13th Century. There used to be a drawbridge, too, though this was destroyed by the earthquake that hit this area in 1971 and is now buried under the Tuscania-Canino road.




Detail of the Etruscan tomb in the Piantata area of Arlena di Castro

LA PIANTATA - Arlena

An Etruscan tomb in the area known as La Piantata (on the road from Arlena to Piansano). A painted hypogeum tomb has recently been discovered there.



Arlena di Castro panorama (specific photo not available)

NECROPOLIS OF ARARELLA - Arlena

In the area known as Ararella (on the road leading to Canino), several Etruscan tombs have been found dug out of the tufo stone, originally roofed with tiles.







CANINO

Castellardo, Canino

CASTELLARDO - Canino

Outside of town (signposted), recent efforts have brought to light this fort built in 1175. Now in ruins, in the midst of a wooded outcrop above the River Timone, it was partly excavated from the tufo rock and partly built using hewn blocks of tufo.
Strategically located above the river, it controlled the Via Clodia (an old Roman road used as an alternative to the Aurelia leading from Rome to the North, avoiding the marshes along the coast).
Freely accessible - perfect for a picnic.



Canino, the Castle near Vulci


Canino, the so-called Devil's Bridge

CASTELLO DELLA BADIA - Canino


Grounds freely accessible - perfect for a picnic. The Castle lies on the Canino side of the River Fiora where Latium and Tuscany meet.
Built on the edge of the steep Fiora gorge. Once a Papal customs house in the 18th Century, the Badia Castle has a moat (with drawbridge) on 2 sides fed by a local spring, and today houses the Museum of Vulci (Tel. +39.0761/437787) containing some of the most important finds from the archaeological digs in the city of Vulci.
Next to the Castle is the Devil's Bridge (Ponte dell'Abadia): a fantastic Etruscan/Roman bridge with an interesting outcrop of stalactites below the arch (due to seepage from the old aqueduct) spanning the river way below with its rich ecosystem.

Info: +39.0766/89298

www.vulci.it
EMAIL: info@vulci.it

GETTING THERE:
From Rome (c. 120 km)
Take the A12 to Civitavecchia, then continue north on the SS1 to Montalto di Castro. Follow the brown tourist signs to "Vulci" (10 km).
From Orte (A1) (c. 75 km)
Take the Terni/Viterbo fast road towards Viterbo, following the signs to Tuscania and then Montalto di Castro. Turn right 3 km before Montalto (SS 312 - direction Canino), then left 2.5 km and left again after 6 km (follow the brown tourist signs to "Vulci").
From Lake Bolsena (c. 20 km)
Take the SS 312 (direction Valentano). Turn right 6 km after Canino and follow the brown tourist signs to Vulci (3 km).
From Grosseto (c. 70 km)
Take the SS1 towards Rome, then the first turning for Montalto di Castro/Vulci, a couple of km after the power station on your left. Follow the brown tourist signs to Vulci (10 km).






CELLERE

Cellere, panorama (specific photo not available)

CASTRO - Cellere/Ischia

Due to the woods and difficulty getting there, it gives you a feeling of discovering the ruins for the very first time. Here you can see what's left of the Cathedral, the Piazza with its ducal Mint and Inn, plus the church of Santa Maria intra Muros with a few frescoes just visible.

There are also several Etruscan tombs, such as that called the Crocifisso: a huge tomb containing the skeletons of several horses, now kept in Villa Giulia.



Detail of the Poggio Conte hermitage, near Cellere/Ischia

EREMO DI POGGIO CONTE - Cellere/Ischia

In the River Fiora valley just south of the Tuscany/Lazio border near a place called Ponte San Pietro. The Eremo di Poggio Conte is a tiny chapel and living quarters dug out of the tuff rock, to the side of a high dripping rock above the river that forms a sort of amphitheatre (sometimes used today for concerts). The Civic Museum in nearby Ischia di Castro contains many of the frescos from the hermitage, though some are still to be seen in situ. The locals will tell you that only a few years ago there was a modern-day hermit here for several years!







FARNESE

Farnese, a view of Nova

LE SORGENTI DELLA NOVA - Farnese

An old Bronze Age settlement in the River Fiora valley, discovered by the archaeologist Ferrante Rittatore Vonwiller. Today most of the artefacts are found in the Civic Museum in Farnese.
Ruins of a mediaeval tower can still be seen plus steps dug out of the tuff rock, called the "Scala Santa".



Farnese, a detail of an old Etruscan/Roman road at Rofalco

ROFALCO - Farnese

Ruins of an Etruscan settlement under the sway of Vulci, dating back to the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC.
By the fantastic woods of the Selva del Lamone.






MONTE ROMANO

A view of Norchia, Monte Romano/Vetralla

NORCHIA - Monte Romano

6 km from the centre of Monte Romano.
Originally a Bronze-Age settlement, it later became an important Etruscan centre (4th Century BC onwards) before being abandoned under the Romans. Later, a small centre and castle were built close-by in the mid 12th Century. The archaeological area also contains several deep gorges, a stretch of the ancient Roman road - the Via Clodia - leading from Rome to Lucca, streams and thick woodland.

The Etruscan tombs seen today fall into two categories: shrines and those dug out of the tufo (lava rock), often on several levels with connecting steps. Worth seeing: the Tre Teste, Smurinas and Ziluse tombs.






TARQUINIA

Tarquinia, the Ara Regina at Civita

LA CIVITA - Tarquinia

About 7 km down the road to Monte Romano is the ancient Etruscan metropolis of Tarchna, the original town of Tarquinia on two plateaus (Pian di Civita and Pian della Regina). Covering an area of about 150 hectares, this site contains the ruins of a large Etruscan temple - the Ara della Regina - dating back to the 4th Century BC. The building was fronted by an impressive set of steps, had three main chambers and was decorated with various statues, such as the Winged Horses (now in the National Museum in Tarquinia), the only extant artefact.
Many archaeological digs are visible, such as the Romanelli Gate. The ruins of the city wall can be seen towards the tip of the limestone plateau (8 km of limestone blocks).
The North-East corner contains a circular fountain from the Augustan period.



Tarquinia, entrances to the underground tombs at Monterozzi

NECROPOLIS OF MONTEROZZI - Tarquinia

A major archaeological area with many Etruscan frescoed tombs. The custom of decorating such chambers was widespread, but the necropolis in Tarquinia is unique: some 200 painted tombs have been found so far, of a quality indicating the nobility of those buried there.
The images depict everyday scenes, as though to stress the common belief of the afterlife, plus myths, traditions, personalities and families. 14 tombs can be visited today: the Tombs of the Hunter, the Jugglers, the Lionesses, the Leopards, the Floggings, the Lotus Flower, the Banquet, Hunting and Fishing and the Pulcella, Cardarelli, Gorgoneion and Caronti Tombs.

Info: +39.0766.856036
Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. - 7.30 p.m. Closed Mondays
Free entry if under 18 / over 65; student ticket 18 - 25; discounted combined ticket Museum & Necropolis

GETTING THERE:
1 km outside town (well sign-posted), in the area known as Monterozzi heading towards the S.S. Aurelia bis along Via Ripagretta.






TUSCANIA

Tuscania, the tombs

ETRUSCAN TOMBS - Tuscania

A large number Etruscan tombs and necropolises, the oldest dating back to the 8th Century BC, have been found to the North and South of Colle San Pietro. Those in the North - Peschiera, Pian di Mola and Castelluccio - are along the Rivers Maschiolo and Marta, whose those to the South include the Ara del Tufo, Madonna dell'Olivo, Scalette, Carcarello and Sasso Pizzuto.
Other tombs have also been found in the areas of San Lazzaro, Guado, San Giusto, Castelluzza, Doganella, Sughereto, San Giuliano, Rosavecchia and Val Vidone.

While the Madonna dell'Olivo complex is the most famous, the Necropolis of Peschiera (6th Century BC) is a rare example of unusual realism: a rectangular block almost 10 metres long with a pitched roof and cornice, giving it the appearance of a house. Even rafters. Inside there are three rooms, a hall and funeral beds. Tombs for a noble family.
In 1979 another important complex was found: the so-called Tomba Dore, though the tomb robbers ("tombaroli") had already stripped it of most items, though some were still found (bronzes, pottery and glassware). This tomb consists of two rooms opening onto a corridor.

The Pian di Mola necropolis contains a row of rock-tombs, some of which again represent homes with pitched roofs.
The Ara del Tufo site, next to the Madonna dell'Olivo complex, also contains such a structure and tumuli.
The Carcarello necropolis is home to the Vipinana tomb which contained roughly 24 sarcophagi. These can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum in town, along with artefacts from all the local tombs.
Contact the Archaeological Museum to arrange visits to these tombs: tel. 0761.436209.



Tuscania, a typical tomb

NECROPOLIS OF MADONNA DELL'OLIVO - Tuscania

Spread over the hills overlooking the River Marta. A collection of tombs from the Ancient Greek era (4th - 2nd Centuries BC). The most important is the Tomba della Regina (Queen's Tomb), with small tunnels running several metres underground. This tomb gained its name from the face of the legendary queen Hosa originally (but no longer) painted on the two rock pillars in the central chamber.
Other tombs include the Sarcofago delle Amazzoni, depicting Amazon battles and fighting animals; the Curunas tombs depicting the deceased enjoying a banquet (now in the Archaeological Museum in town).

Info: +39.0761.436209
Opening hours (contact Museum first!): 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

GETTING THERE:
About 2 km from town. Take Via dell'Olivo, off the main roundabout by Porta di Poggio. Well signposted. Free entry.






VULCI

Vulci

Vulci, detail of the Tomba Francois

Vulci, the Lake Pellicone

VULCI NATURE PARK & ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE - Vulci

Vulci was one of the greatest Etruscan city-states, in an area that had been intensely populated during the Palaeolithic Age. Small villages already existed in the Bronze Age and as these grew they formed what was to become the city of Vulci. By the end of the 6th Century B.C. the city's dominion reached inland to the Lake Bolsena area, to Grosseto and Monte Amiata in the North and Cerveteri in the South. Such was its importance politically, that Vulci even influenced the decisions of the kings down in Rome.
Today several tombs can be visited, including the "Tomba Francois". Guided visits (phone ahead for guides in your language) & special events. Check with the Vulci website: www.vulci.it.


Downstream from the Badia Castle and Devil's Bridge, the River Fiora forms a lake - Lake Pellicone - immediately below a spectacular waterfall with sandy beaches. Nature lovers will enjoy the path that takes you through meadows (look out for the Maremma cattle, a rare breed famous for its veal, and grazing horses).
There are information signs along the trails leading to the lake with details of the plants and their special meanings for the mythology, art and culture in past times.

Info: +39.0766.89298 www.vulci.it
Email: info@vulci.it
Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. - sunset

GETTING THERE:
From Rome (c. 120 km)
Take the A12 to Civitavecchia, then continue north on the SS1 to Montalto di Castro. Follow the brown tourist signs to "Vulci" (10 km).
From Orte (A1) (c. 75 km)
Take the Terni/Viterbo fast road towards Viterbo, following the signs to Tuscania and then Montalto di Castro. Turn right 3 km before Montalto (SS 312 - direction Canino), then left 2.5 km and left again after 6 km (follow the brown tourist signs to "Vulci").
From Lake Bolsena (c. 20 km)
Take the SS 312 (direction Valentano). Turn right 6 km after Canino and follow the brown tourist signs to Vulci (3 km).
From Grosseto (c. 70 km)
Take the SS1 towards Rome, then the first turning for Montalto di Castro/Vulci, a couple of km after the power station on your left. Follow the brown tourist signs to Vulci (10 km).