The Etruscans

Volterra
Volterra
Volterra
Volterra
Orvieto Cathedral
Orvieto Cathedral
Tarquinia
Tarquinia
Porta all'Arco, Volterra
Porta all'Arco, Volterra
Etruscan tombs, Cerveteri
Etruscan tombs, Cerveteri
Etruscan tombs, Cerveteri
Etruscan tombs, Cerveteri
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Florence Cathedral
Florence Cathedral
Etruscan Necropolis, Populonia
Etruscan Necropolis, Populonia
Chiusi
Chiusi

Before the rise of Rome, the Etruscans dominated much of central Italy. At the height of their power and prosperity during the 6th century BC, Etruscan influence penetrated south into the Bay of Naples and north into the Po valley. In their heartland of the Tuscan hills and seacoast mighty cities, Tarquinia, Cerveterii, Oriveto, Chiusi and others forged a league which dominated and traded with the other italic peoples, Greek colonists and Phoenician traders.

Their great cities are today either abandoned, or lost beneath the iconic medieval and renaissance towns of central Italy. But the great necropoleis, the veritable cities of the dead that the Etruscans laid out and full of monumental tumuli, house tombs and rock cut chamber tombs. Here is the source of the fantastic artefacts with which the wealthy surrounded themselves, Greek vases, Phoenician gold and glass, cunningly crafted terracotta’s, chariots and the cast bronze sculptures which were the Etruscan’s speciality.

Our guide lecturer introduces hilltop cities, spectacular finds and lavish painted tombs. This is a fascinating and alternative view of Classical Italy.

  • See the remarkable Banditaccia cemetery at Cerveteri
  • Explore the unique painted tombs of Tarquinia
  • Explore the charming medieval city of Orvieto
  • Visit the ancient remains of the Portonaccio Temple
  • Admire the collection of Etruscan artefacts in the amazing Villa Giulia Museum in Rome

Themes

  • Romans
  • Prehistory
  • Historic Churches
  • Ancient Greek

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Arrive in Pisa and transfer to the hotel. Take the time to unwind before having dinner this evening as a group.
Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We spend our first day in Volterra located on windswept, dramatic hills. Here we visit the Guarnacci Museum, famed for its cinerary urns carved from the local alabaster. After lunch, we walk through the town viewing Etruscan temple foundations, the ancient city gate, the Porta all’Arco and a well-preserved Roman theatre.
Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

This morning we drive to Florence, where we will visit the Archaeological Museum before lunch. The afternoon is free to explore or you can join our tour staff who will be exploring the Roman theater.
Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We spend the day at Chiusi, the key inland city of northern Etruria. The collections in the excellent museum are drawn from the area, and include finely carved cinerary chests and tomb markers in local sandstone.

This afternoon we have special access to some of the characteristic Etruscan painted tombs including the Tomb of the Lion and the Tomb of the Pilgrim. The interiors of both are vividly decorated with scenes of animals and humans.
Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We visit Veii this morning. The site was at the southern limit of Etruscan territory, and Rome’s first Etruscan conquest. We explore the remains of the Portonaccio Temple, dedicated to Apollo. This afternoon, we visit the Villa Giulia Museum in Rome, which houses one of the world’s best collections of Etruscan art and artefacts including the masterpiece Apollo of Veii from Portonaccio Temple.
Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We visit Tarquinia to see the Archaeological Museum and exquisitely painted subterranean chamber tombs. The museum has a fine collection of grave goods, including the remarkable terracotta winged horses from the Ara della Regina Temple. Over 6000 tombs have been discovered at the Monterozzi cemetery, which we visit next, making this one of the largest burial grounds of the ancient world. We see a selection, with depictions of banquets and funerary games.
Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Today we have an opportunity to explore Orvieto, or ancient Velzna, which the Etruscans presumably established because of the excellent defensive opportunities offered by the spectacular volcanic citadel. You will have free time to explore in the town including two archaeological museums, ‘underground Orvieto’, and the magnificent Renaissance cathedral. After lunch we visit the Belvedere Temple Podium, and the small Etruscan cemetery of Crocifisso del Tufo, where family names are carved above the entrance to each tomb.
Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8

Our tour culminates at the remarkable Banditaccia cemetery at Cerveteri, a truly extraordinary Etruscan site. This is a real ‘city of the dead’ with rock-cut tombs under tumuli and arranged in rows along streets. Many interiors are carved to imitate houses and temples. One tomb even has painted relief depictions of armor, household goods, furniture, and the family dog. After, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Upon arrival in Pisa, transfer to our hotel.

Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We spend our first day in ancient Velathri Volterra located on windswept, dramatic hills. Here we visit the Guarnacci Museum, famed for its cinerary urns carved from the local alabaster. We proceed to walk through the town and proceed to the Acropolis where we explore Etruscan temple foundations. After lunch, we visit the ancient city gate, the Porta all’Arco and a well-preserved Roman theatre.

Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

This morning we drive to Florence, where we will visit the Archaeological Museum before lunch. The collections of the Grand Dukes of Florence include some of the finest Etruscan bronze sculpture known, as well as a host of other striking material found in funerary contexts. The afternoon is free to explore or you can join our tour staff who will be exploring the Roman theatre.

Hotel: Palazzo Pacini
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner included

Day 4

We spend the day at Chiusi, the key inland city of northern Etruria. The collections in the excellent museum are drawn from the area, and include finely carved cinerary chests and tomb markers in local sandstone.

This afternoon we have private access to some of the characteristic Etruscan painted tombs including the Tomb of the Lion and the Tomb of the Pilgrim. The interiors of both are vividly decorated with scenes of animals and humans.

Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We visit Veii this morning. The site was at the southern limit of Etruscan territory, and Rome’s first Etruscan conquest. We explore the remains of the Portonaccio Temple, dedicated to Apollo. This afternoon, we visit the Villa Giulia Museum in Rome, which houses one of the world’s best collections of Etruscan art and artefacts including the masterpiece Apollo of Veii from Portonaccio Temple.

Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We visit Tarquinia to see the Archaeological Museum and exquisitely painted subterranean chamber tombs. The museum has a fine collection of grave goods, including the remarkable terracotta winged horses from the Ara della Regina Temple. Over 6000 tombs have been discovered at the Monterozzi cemetery, which we visit next, making this one of the largest burial grounds of the ancient world. We see a selection, with depictions of banquets and funerary games.

Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 7

Today we have an opportunity to explore Orvieto, or ancient Velzna, which the Etruscans presumably established because of the excellent defensive opportunities offered by the spectacular volcanic citadel. You will have free time to explore in the town including two archaeological museums, ‘underground Orvieto’, and the magnificent Renaissance cathedral. After lunch we visit the Belvedere Temple Podium, and the small Etruscan cemetery of Crocifisso del Tufo, where family names are carved above the entrance to each tomb.

Hotel: Hotel Relais Falisco
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8

Our tour culminates at the remarkable Banditaccia cemetery at Cerveteri, a truly extraordinary Etruscan site. This is a real ‘city of the dead’ with rock-cut tombs under tumuli or arranged in rows along streets. Many interiors are carved to imitate houses and temples. One tomb even has painted relief depictions of armour, household goods, furniture, and the family dog. Later, we transfer to Rome Fiuimicino airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2019 Tour Details

Mon 16th September - Mon 23rd September

Available

Guaranteed Departure

$3,545

without flights

sgl supp: $745

ETR19B

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

2020 Tour Details

Sun 26th April - Sun 3rd May

Available

$2,995

without flights

sgl supp: $485

ETR20A

Led By:

Sun 20th September - Sun 27th September

Available

$2,995

without flights

sgl supp: $485

ETR20B

Led By:

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