Leaving the Civitavecchia dock at the prearranged time, you will drive northeast through the countryside to reach after approximately half hour Tarquinia, the greatest Etruscan museum in the world, with well-preserved sarcophagi, paintings, tombs, frescoes from the 6th to 1st centuries B.C. and the largest Etruscan necropolis.
The Etruscans were mysterious people who populated central Italy long before the days of Rome's greatness. People far advanced in civilization, the Etruscans (apparently they called themselves Tyrrhenians) rose to prosperity and power then almost disappeared from history, leaving behind unsolved questions about their origin and culture. A common theory is that they came from Asia Minor and they would be the Lydians described by the Greek historian Herodotus who left Asia because of famine and colonized northern and central Italy. The Etruscans were obviously influenced by the Phoenician and Egyptian cultures.
They tried to overrule the Romans by merging with them rather than trying to conquer them; the last three of the “seven kings of Rome” were in fact Etruscan. It seems that the Romans changed from kingdom to democracy just to get rid of the Etruscan kings. The heart of Southern Etruria, Etruscan capital, mediaeval township, archaeological site of international fame and an intense cultural life, rises 133m above sea-level on a plateau from which it scenically overlooks the Marta River valley and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Visit the aristocratic Palazzo Vitelleschi, in itself a masterpiece of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, now housing the National Museum. Proceed the visit to the Etruscan necropolis, just outside the town that includes the most beautiful and well-preserved tombs of the ancient world, which bear witness to the cult of the dead of a fascinating and enigmatic people. They are unique in themselves and only comparable with the Egyptian tombs. Enjoy lunch in a typical trattoria in Tuscania. Tuscania was a powerful Etruscan town. Near the town, particularly along rivers, there are many Etruscan and Roman necropoli, with Etruscan tombs that has unearthed many relics of Curunas family (IV- II cent. B.C.), now on display with furnishings inside Archaeological National Museum of S.Maria del Riposo (XV cent.). In the Medieval historical center, the beautiful Roman basilica of San Pietro (VIII-XI-XIII cent.) stands on the old Etruscan acropolis, and has a 13th century façade with symbols of the Evangelists.
The interior has massive 11th century columns with beautiful capitals and decorative paving. A second church, Santa Maria Maggiore (VIII-XII cent.), now out of the inhabited area, is also worth seeing.
In the afternoon return to comfortably to the Civitavecchia pier. less >>
The proposed itineraries are only examples of possible tours. For different pick up / drop off locations or customized itineraries we invite our clients to contact one of our tour coordinators to help them design their own tour.