Among the Etruscans: Tarquinia, Santa Severa, Cerveteri

TarquiniaFrom the port of  Civitavecchia, where a limo will pick you up under the ship,  we’ll drive straight to Tarquinia, where we’ll visit the painted tombs and the museum. The Tarquinian tombs are small, mainly rectangular or square rooms excavated in the rock with stairs that lead down to the entrance. The decorations are  painted on the walls and reproduce those of the houses. The burials belong to a restricted period of time and therefore the style of the tombs is homogeneous. The subjects of their frescoes describe clearly the Etruscan idea of the afterlife as well as the habits and customs that characterized their daily lives. Ceilings are painted with leaves, branches, birds or ornamental patterns. Lions, leopards and other animals are facing each other. On the side walls, are depicted scenes of everyday life, above all: banquets, scenes of hunting and fishing.

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By lunchtime will be reaching Santa Severa. The village includes a small medieval town with a IX century castle S Severafacing the sea, where the ancient Etruscan port of Pyrgi was once located. Renewed and fortified with a massive tower in the XIV century, the Castle belonged for five hundred years to various noble Roman families and was, between the XVI and XVII centuries, an habitual place of residence for several popes including Gregory XIII, Sixtus V and Urban VIII.

After lunch our trip takes us to the Necropolis of Cerveteri. Here the interior of the tombs varies greatly. From the simplest of just one room with stone carved Cerveteri beds, to the most complex formed by two or more rooms with ceilings sculptured  like the beams of the houses. In some tombs the decoration reproduces fine details  of real buildings: doors with sculpted frames, windows, furniture and furnishings,  all perfectly carved into the rock, as well as male and female tools of everyday life,  all contributes to make the appearance of the house of a deceased something alive  and vibrant.