The traveler who feels alive in him the desire to visit those types of places that allow them to take a step back in time, can not miss a visit to Tarquinia and especially to its Necropolis. Here we had the opportunity to touch the history of an ancient civilization such as the Etruscan one and the experience was very suggestive and exciting.
Tarquinia is a municipality located in the province of Viterbo, a few kilometers away from Rome. Once it represented a crucial place for the Etruscan civilization, of which ample evidence is still visible today. It is precisely the remains of the Etruscans that make Tarquinia one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
As interested and eager tourists, we could not wait to admire all the beauties of this town in Lazio. So, in addition to a lovely walk downtown, we decided to buy a ticket that allows you to visit the Necropolis of Tarquinia and the Museum of Etruscan Civilization.
Necropoli di Monterozzi
The Necropolis of Tarquinia is better known as Necropoli di Monterozzi: this is because it rises on a hill that lies to the east of this small town.
The guide who accompanied us on the tour to discover the necropolis made the visit very exciting, filling his stories with curious details and aphorisms. Which made it possible for us to immerse ourselves completely (and with satisfaction) in the history of Tarquinia.
In the necropolis of Tarquinia there are more than 6000 graves, most of which are dug directly into the rock or surmounted by the typical mounds.
Honestly, at first we felt a bit ‘of fear given the sacredness of the place and the environments not really “airy”, but after this first phase, the visit has become very interesting from the cultural point of view.
The History of the Estruscan
The Etruscan civilization had a great respect for the dead. Hence the need for a necropolis that would become a crucial point for the people who lived in this territory at that time.
What catches everyone’s eye when entering most of the mounds of the Necropolis of Tarquinia, are the marvelous paintings. Some have left us speechless: representations of everyday life, hunting scenes made in the right sequence and other drawings.
At our initial amazement at the beauty of the paintings, the guide replied with a detailed explanation, explaining that the Etruscan civilization held a lot to make the burials a welcoming place for the deceased. It is not only a matter of mere aesthetics but of an authentic ritual of fundamental importance for this glorious people.
In their form of great reverence for the dead, their main objective was to make sure that they could continue to live even in the beyond. Obviously, at the base of the stories that were illustrated there were no stories, but real portraits of the person buried in the mound.
The Etruscans with those paintings, wanted to leave an indelible mark of people’s lives, and fortunately they succeeded, making these incredible testimonies come to the present day.
Our tour to discover the historical beauties of the Necropolis of Tarquinia has continued through all the crucial points of the area and the most characteristic tombs.
The most relevant tomb of Tarquinia
The most relevant in our eyes were the Tomb of the Shields, the tomb of the Lionesses, that of the Warrior and those of the Hunting and Fishing. Authentic wonders!
Although if the word “marvelous” might not be the right term for a burial, this is actually the feeling you get when visiting the necropolis of Tarquinia: a site that can immerse people in the past and amaze them with beautiful paintings that you do not would never expect to find in a grave.
Same sensation for the tombs of Cardarelli, Fior di Loto, Giocolieri, Leopardo. All very special. These also host paintings depicting the deeds of the past of the people who were buried there.
Continuing our walk along the necropolis of Tarquinia, we have been able to notice how the expanse of land reserved for it, was really immense. And this makes it even more beautiful a visit to this place that is a key tourist point for the whole Lazio.
In 2004 UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site.
This recognition did not come by chance, as the necropolis is an uncontaminated historical testimony held with the greatest attention. In fact, at different times of the day, there are people who take care of the site and who are careful so that tourists do not damage it.
In our journey I have also noticed how some mounds were bare of paintings, while living that particular atmosphere of the period. The guide immediately took steps to reassure us because some paintings, found in precarious conditions due to bad weather and atmospheric conditions, were transferred to the National Etruscan Museum which is just a few steps away.
The Necropolis of Tarquinia is a place that we highly recommend to those who are passionate about history, art and photography, or simply those who want to visit a unique place and among the most important archaeological sites in Italy.
Tarquinia: a good idea for a day trip
In our opinion Tarquinia is the ideal place for a “day trip outside Rome“, for those who, even if spending a few days in Rome, want to spend a day to see something extraordinary. The authentic testimony of a people that can be defined as the first evolved civilization of Italy and which has held its own for a long time, even to the ancient Romans.