Discover Tarquina The necrolises of Tarquina masterpiece of creative genius. Tarquinia's large-scale wall paintings are exceptional both for their formal qualities and for their content, which reveal aspects of life, death, and religious beliefs of the ancient Etruscans. Also Cerveteri shows in a funerary context the same town planning and architectural schemes used in an ancient city.
The two necropolises constitute a unique and exceptional testimony to the ancient Etruscan civilisation, the only urban type of civilisation in pre-Roman Italy. Moreover, the depiction of daily life in the frescoed tombs, many of which are replicas of Etruscan houses, is a unique testimony to this vanished culture.
Many of the tombs of Tarquinia and Cerveteri represent types of buildings which no longer exist in any other form. The cemeteries, replicas of Etruscan town planning schemes, are some of the earliest existing in the region.
Signs of human settlements date back to the prehistoric era but it was between the 10th and 11th centuries that true settlements were established. The ancient town of Tarcxuna (Tarquinia) took its roots on a low limestone hill and its main industry was agriculture. Things changed around the 8th century with a move in the direction of manufacturing and commerce over farming and these factors were fundamental in the subsequent development of the town’s wealth. The town’s good fortune continued until the 5th century when the increasing power of the Roman Empire began to create severe problems. During the entire 4th century, wars raged interspersed with periods of peace until when in 308, the town was overthrown by the Roman army.
Real decay set in from this moment. The Romans appropriated all the properties facing the sea and Tarquinia lost its age-old esteem. Inevitably, the same happened to other surrounding areas that had been sources of income due to levies paid.
Tarquinia sat 130 metres above sea level and due to its uncluttered centre presents many signs of various times in history from the very oldest (thanks to archæological digs) to Mediæval times. There are some wonderful landscapes to be seen like Mounts Tolfa and Cimini, the coast and the Maremma countryside (to mention but a few). This place is without any doubt the ideal destination for visitors who truly love nature.
The Etruscan Necropolises of Tarquinia
These necropolises extend for 750 metres and contain about two hundred burial tombs. Their uniqueness is due to both the grandeur of scale and the pictorial decorations. The use of decorations is not unique per se in this area but here, the presence of paintings is so wide as to make them exceptional. This is particularly so as they let us see Etruscan evolution over a wide period spanning from the 7th to the 3rd centuries BC.
The paintings often depict moments in the life of the deceased.
Of the fourteen that are currently open to the public, we suggest that of the Caccia e della Pesca (hunting and fishing) that depict a seascape thriving with fish and birds and youngsters intent on hunting.
The Tomba dei Giocolieri that dates back to the 6th century BC features a lion, a panther, a juggler and an old man.
The Tomba dei Tori is made up of varying rooms. It can be dated back to between 540 and 530 BC. Don’t miss, in the main chamber, the depiction of a scene from the Trojan War featuring Achilles and the son of Priam. There is a depiction of a bull on another wall.
The ancient Metropoli etrusca is to be found near Monte Romano where lie the ruins of a temple dating back to the 6th BC century.+ Read all +