The Etruscans, indigenous people of Lazio, have influenced Roman civilization from the very beginning: so much so that they contributed to very important urban planning works in the city of Rome: such as the construction of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus & the sewer system of Rome.
Retracing the events of the Roman conquest, we will discover the uses and customs of these people. We will explore Vulci, one of the most important Etruscan city-states, that occupied about 120 hectares, & its rhythms were marked by the flow of the Fiora river.
Devoted to trade due to its position & history, the city had an important development in the 1st century AD. Even today you can see impressive buildings from that period, such as the Domus del Criptoportico, which belonged to the husband of Caligula's sister. Also, surprising is the discovery of the Mithraeum, which testifies to the liveliness of oriental cults, which travelled with goods.
The archaeological park of Vulci has even another beauty to discover: the Abbadia castle, where a superb Etruscan collection of finds from the tombs is preserved. The magnificent bridge, known as the devil's bridge, still preserves intact the charm of the time, & of a stratification that shows the Etruscan persistence.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004, the Necropolis of Cerveteri, called Banditaccia, will amaze you with its important tombs. The burials date from the 9th century B.C., belonging to the Villanovian period, to the 3rd b.C., of the Etruscan age. Not only cities but even Necropolis, are revealing the life of the Etruscans.
The Banditaccia is by far the largest ancient necropolis in the entire Mediterranean area. The tombs are so many & with so many different features that you won’t ever be annoyed, & sometimes, lost in the amenity of this place, surrounded by fragrant herbs &, in the heat of summer, accompanied by the chirping of cicadas you might really feel like Indiana Jones for the day!
The night you will stay at the enchanting Castle of Santa Severa. The castle of the wonders was built in the 14th century in the area formerly occupied by the ancient village of Pyrgi, & it was then surrounded by a few more buildings. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it housed many popes, being considered the ideal place for a moment of relaxation.
The castle started slowly decay till 1943 when it was used by the German soldiers as a military base. Only in the last decades of the 20th century, it started returning to its ancient glory.
Three days of pure relaxation & deep focus on the Etruscan civilization.