Did you know that the Etruscans were the first important civilization to populate the Italian peninsula? And that most of what we know about their way of life comes from the exceptional murals and ancient artifacts found in their burial grounds, the necropolis? One of the best places to encounter the Etruscans is Tarquinia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site one-hour northwest of Rome that boasts an unrivaled collection of painted tombs, dating from the 6th to 2nd centuries BC.
Departing from and returning to your Rome hotel, you will start off your privately guided tour by visiting the Duomo with frescoes from 1508. Then you will continue to the Palazzo Vitelleschi, home to the Tarquinia's National Archeological Museum. The museum displays one of Italy's best collections of Etruscan finds, including a fabulous group of terracotta winged horses from the 4th century BC. From the palace's second-floor porch, there is a magnificent view of the green and tranquil countryside (Tarquinia is only three miles from the sea).
On a hilltop just outside town is the Monterozzi Necropolis where you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Etruscan way of life. Colorful, well-preserved wall paintings depict the deceased as they go about their everyday activities: Hunting, fishing, dancing, and reclining on couches to dine. Afterwards, you will see the Etruscan temple of Ara della Regina, one of the most important archeological finds in Tarquinia.
A well-deserved lunch break at the Osteria Chicche e Pepe comes next. The osteria offers typical local home-style dishes made with organic products. After lunch, your driver will take you to the UNESCO-listed Cerveteri Necropolis. Although the entire necropolis spans almost 1,000 acres, you will be able to visit only a part of it; enough, however, to discover that entire homes were reproduced in meticulous detail in the tombs.
|# of People||Price|
|2 people||$533.00 per person|
|3 people||$372.00 per person|
|4 people||$293.00 per person|
|5 people||$245.00 per person|
|6 people||$214.00 per person|
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If you have an extra day while visiting Rome and appreciate history, this tour deserves your serious consideration. I and my travel group of nine found it fantastic! Through the tombs, the paintings on their walls and the artifacts recovered from them, you will learn much about life in southern Italy prior to the Roman era. This was an absolutely fascinating experience enhanced by a most knowledgeable guide. And the lunch, accompanied by local wine if you desire, was simply spectacular. My highest recommendation!
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