A hilltop town with Etruscan tombs near Rome
Tarquinia is an enchanting walled town with an Etruscan necropolis and impressive museum. For cruise passengers visiting Civitavecchia, it’s a delightful alternative to a day in Rome.Transport is easy
From Civitavecchia: catch a local bus from the stop across the road from the San Francesco d’Assisi Cathedral in the town centre. Purchase bus tickets from the nearby kiosk before you board. The bus ride takes 30 minutes through pleasant countryside and passengers are dropped just outside the town wall at the entrance to the old town.
From Rome: catch a train to Tarquinia and then a local bus to the top of the hill.
Tarquinia National Museum
As you first enter the town, the museum is to your left, in a palazzo built in the 1400’s. You can buy a combined museum/necropolis ticket, visit the necropolis and return later to explore the museum. It is filled with treasures of the Etruscan age, including pottery and dozens of stone sarcophagi. The top level has a wonderful vista of the surrounding countryside.
The town is surrounded by mediaeval stone walls. It is delightful to wander the quiet streets and see many significant buildings.
Necropolis di Monterozzi
The Etruscan necopolis is a fifteen minute walk outside the old town. Walk up the main street and follow the signs. You turn right and, outside the wall, walk straight ahead for one kilometre. The necropolis, or cemetery, is an open area with dozens of tombs to visit. Each one has a flight of stairs down to a burial chamber with elaborately painted walls.
The Lazio Region
Tarquinia is in the Lazio region of Italy, the area around Rome. In my novel The Magus Covenant, it’s the region where Jotham Fletcher is taken to a mysterious monastery and later flees through the night.
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