According to the legend, Tuscania was founded by Aeneas’ son, Ascanius, where he had found twelve dog pups (hence the Etruscan name Tus-Cana, Cana being similar to the Latin canis for “dog”).
This story has no legs to stand on in modern days, but it does go a long way to proving just how old Tuscania is.
This town in the province of Viterbo boasts roots that go as far back as the Neolithic Age and a golden era that began in the 5th century when it became one of the first bishopric seats in Italy.
The town’s main sight is a Lombard-Romanesque monument that was started in the 8th century. You very rarely see churches that are this old, so it’s a real treat to explore such a beautifully preserved one.
Just don’t expect walls of frescoes and gold-flecked paintings. Those came after. In this church, the atmosphere is austere and harshened by bare rock walls.