The Etruscan Empire
1. Sovana: Sovana can trace its roots back to between the 7th and 6th century BC.
In the Bronze Age, Sovana was called Suana and was considered to be a capital of art and culture.
Its patrimony was so vast that it was one of the few Etruscan cities to be allowed to keep its language after the Roman Empire invasion.
In subsequent centuries, Sovana’s population dwindled.
There is no sign of the Etruscans left in Sovana except for a few gorgeous bits and pieces found in the free museum located in the Palazzo Pretorio.
The real treat is in the nearby Parco Archeologico, where you can find monumental tombs and frightening siren-headed grave stones.
2.Pitigliano: The largest of the Citta del Tufo (Tufa Rock Cities) is the legendary home of two Roman bandits who fled the capital after stealing the golden crown of the Giove Statore.
Outlaws, they gathered the mountain communities to found Petiliano.
Modern day Pitigliano has no Etruscan relics outside of its archaeological museum.
For a true taste of Etruscan Pitigliano, you have to visit the Museo Archeologico All’Aperto, where you can see scale models of an Etruscan village and real tombs and Vie Cave (the Etruscan superhighways).
3.Saturnia: Once called, Aurina or the City of Gold, Saturnia is believed by many to be the first Italian city.
When it was a prefecture of Rome in 183 BC, the city had more than 25,000 residents making it the New York of the ancient world.
Saturnia wasn’t as lucky as Sovana.
It was destroyed by the invading Roman army, then again in WWII.
What remains of Etruscan Saturnia is a stone column in Via degli Aldobrandeschi, which some historians believe dates back to the 7th century BC, while others insist is actually Roman.
For more ancient relics, head to the incredibly satisfying museum, which collects all the area’s most beautiful treasures.
4. Vulci: Central Italy’s most important Etruscan site, Vulci was a metropolis in the 7th century BC, controlling a vast territory that flowed into the Maremma.
Unlike other cities, Vulci wasn’t destroyed by the Romans, but continued to flourish.
Today the site is vast and you’re free to explore the roads, homes and tombs that have stood for hundreds of years.
The site also has a museum that is a must if you want to get a complete picture of ancient Vulci.
5. Tarquinia: Tarquinia’s archaeological museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful ancient sites in the world.
Both the city and necropolis are open to visitors with a history that spans from the 9th century to the third century BC.
Tarquinia’s tombs stand out for their frescoes with scenes depicting magical-religious funeral banquets, dancers, musicians, juggling and animated and harmonious portrait of landscapes with rich, vivid colours.