Looking for a great day outside of Rome? Visit Cerveteri, were the Etruscan civilization lived more than 3000 years ago. Look at the tombs and treasures they found and end the day with a delicious wine tasting and lunch. Curious? Read about my experience here.
I arrived at the meeting place and the tour guide was already there waiting for me and some others. He called the driver of our bus that would take us to Cerveteri and the bus arrived within a couple of minutes. The total ride was about one hour and it was beautiful to see the greenery outside Rome. Our tour leader Davide is a friendly young men who organised this trip perfectly. He speaks really good English and was able to answer all of our questions. He was really interested and asked questions like what we had seen in Rome so far. In the end he even gave us some tips and advice on things not to mis in Rome.
When we arrived at Cerveteri our tour guide Isa was waiting for us at the Museo di Cerveteri where she gives us a tour and tells us a lot of information on how the civilisation is originated and how they evolved through the years. After the museum we walked around the Necropoli and went inside a couple of tombs. Isa is a really good guide who can keep you interested during the whole duration of the tour. Before I went on this trip I didn’t know much about this civilization of ancient Italy at all. I learned that the Etruscan civilization was a powerful and wealthy population of ancient Italy and they lived in between Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Lazio. The civilisation had their own language and endured from before the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions (c. 700BC) until its assimilation int the Roman republic, beginning in the late 4th century BC with the Roman-Etruscan wars.
In the city Cerveteri, just one hour drive from Rome you’ll find the Necropoli della Banditaccia, declared UNESCO world heritage of Humanity. The necropolis consists mostly of burial mounds or tumuli that have been carved out of soft tuff. The tombs usually consist of several rooms with beds, on which the dead were buried. The bed with a triangle at the beginning of the bed suggest that there was a woman lying there. When there is no symbol its most likely that the place was reserved for a man. The most famous tomb is the Tomb of the Reliefs, in which the walls and pillars are decorated with painted stucco reliefs, representing weapons, kitchen utensils, hunting horns, Cerberus and much more. Many things that they have found from the tombs from Cerveteri can now be seen in the Etruscan museum Villa Giulia in Rome. One of the most famous things they found is the ‘Sarcophagus of the husbands’.
Since a couple of years the Necropoli have used new techniques such as a 3D cinema inside a couple of the tombs. By watching the video you’ll see you the Etruscan people have lived here, how they builded the tombs and for a moment it seems you are back in time. Did you even know that some words in the Italian language are from the Etruscan? For example the word auguri, that Italian use to congratulate you. In the Etruscan time auguri meant that you could tell the future in the sky. This could mean something good or something bad, but the Italians only use the word in a positive way now.
After the tour we said goodbye to Isa and went to Castello di Torre in Pietra. Salesmanager Christian, originally from Copenhagen, was already waiting for us. He told us about the history of the winery and the different grapes he uses to make the wines. Did you know that they produce around 250.000 bottles a year?! We’re sitting down at a table for the wine tasting. I’ll see fresh bread, salami, mortadella, parmaham and cheeses. First we try a white wine, the Vermentino, that immediately becomes my favourite. We also try another dry white wine, and two red ones. All really good and tasteful, but eventually i’m going home with two bottles of the Vermentino. It was really nice to know more about the wines in this region and Christian is a great wine specialist.
For a moment I thought that this day trip had come to an end but then I forgot that we were also getting lunch at La Viola, the restaurant that is next to the Castelli di Torre in Pietra. When we walked in it was very busy with mostly locals who were having their Sunday lunch here. We ordered a bottle of one of the wines we just tasted and I had an amazing Italian dish, pappardelle with some kind of sausage in tomato sauce. And of course we ended the lunch with a dolci, for me the tiramisu which was perfect! Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and it started to rain when we drove back to the centre.
I had an amazing day on this tour and enjoyed every part of it. I would really recommend it when you’re interested in the history of the region and love the Italian culture and food as well. If you would like to have more information about this tour please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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