Whoever goes on holiday in Tuscany will come across them again and again: The Etrushi. Already in the year 1.000 B.C. the mystical people of the Etruscans settled the area of today's Tuscany.

The history of the Etruscian civilization in Tuscany

Historians do not agree whether they were a group of inhabitants or conquered the country and were actually descended from the Greeks.​

They were an intelligent and powerful civilization and their wealth was mainly due to the export of metals – mainly copper and iron – which they mined in the area. They became naval power and ruler of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The coast of Tuscany is still called the Etruscan Riviera.

Around the 8th century B.C., it extended its sphere of influence to the present-day regions of Umbria and Lazio. Only 300 years later Etruria, the land of the Etruscans, was taken over by the Romans and the Etruscans allied themselves with them. 89 B.C. the Etruscan country is integrated into the Roman Republic.

The Etruscian villages Velutonia & Populonia

One of the largest Etruscan settlements is the town of Velutonia, northwest of Grosseto. The Etruscans had once had a direct connection to the sea and traded their goods here. The ruins were not discovered and excavated until the end of the 19th century. The old city wall and the Etruscan tombs extend along the slopes of ancient Velutonia and can be visited. Some finds are exhibited in the local museum, but most of them are in Grosseto and Florence.

The small village of Populonia also dates back to the Etruscan period. Already in pre-Christian times they discovered the enormous quantities of iron ore and mined it. It was not until the 1960s that the ruins of the site were discovered during excavations and collected in an archaeological park. Among them are the ancient blast furnaces they used to smelt ore and parts of the old grave town of San Cerbone. In Via del Ferro, the Iron Road, visitors can admire the remains of Etruscan production sites.

The “Vie Cave” & the Etruscian settlement Vulci

Another highlight from the Etruscan period in Tuscany are the mystical and millennia-old “Vie cave” in the “Area de tufo”. The narrow streets are dug into the rocky foundation of the tuff rock, on which the villages Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano lie. The buildings of the villages are partly carved into the rocks and protrude from them like natural plants. Scientists are still puzzling over the meaning and purpose of the bizarre road system below the villages. The closeness of the Etruscan people to mysticism and astrology suggests that it should be a kind of place of worship: A walk through the paths leads you to numerous necropolises.

The former Etruscan town of Vulci also immerses visitors in past times. During a three-hour walk through the archaeological park you will come across Etruscan, Roman and medieval testimonies. On cobbled Roman streets you will find an Etruscan temple district, the remains of a medieval basilica and the ruins of a private Roman villa! The real wealth of Vulcis, however, lies in the medieval castle “dell’Abbadia”, which houses a museum with the most important finds from the village’s buildings.

Booking and further information

Follow the tracks of the Etruscans and visit the Etruscan villages on a group tour to Tuscany. We will be glad to provide the detailed information regarding the travel schedules and price information upon request. We are looking forward to your no-obligation request via our contact form, e-mail or by phone +49 611 945879-42!

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