Tarquinia and the Etruscan Necropolis of MonterozziVisit the Etruscan Necropolis of Tarquinia: how to get there, what to see, prices, opening hours and useful information
The Etruscan Necropolis of Monterozzi is located over an upland east of Tarquinia (Viterbo) and counts with approximately 6,000 tombs, most of them spaces digged into the rock and surmounted by tumulus, the oldest of them dating back to the seventh century BC.
Among these, approximately 200 contain a series of frescoes representing the largest pictorial Etruscan art group arrived to our days and, at the same time, the largest proof of the whole Ancient paintings before Roman Imperial Age. This extraordinary series of depicted tombs represents the most prestigious group of the necropolis, absolutely the most important of the Mediterranean, so much that it has been defined by scholar M. Pallottino as the “first chapter of Italian Painting History”.
The usage of decorating with paintings the tombs of aristocratic families has been recorded also in other Etrurian towns, but only in Tarquinia the fenomenon has reached this wide dimension and has been so continuous over time. The burial chambers, moulded inside the spaces, present frescoed walls over a thin layer of plaster, with magical-religious scenes representing funeral feasts, dancers, aulòs players, jugglers, landscapes, all of them with a lively and harmonic movement, portrayed with intense and lively colours.
Everything was aimed to make the dead live the earthly live again and at the same time help the living forget the sorrow for their loss. After the third century BC, the decay of the Etruscan civilization seem irreversible. It's no coincidence, but a consequence, that the subsoil of Tarquinia and the paintings started to be filled with demoniacal figures, monsters and demons.
VISIT THE NECROPOLIS
Among the most interesting graves that you can visit, we underline the tomb of the Lionesses, of the Warrior, of Hunting and Fishing, of the Hunter, of Cardarelli's, of the Lotus, of the Gorgoneion, of the Jugglers, of the Leopards, of the Feasts, of the Flowers, of Maenads, of Bartoccini's, of the Ogre and the Shields and more. Some of the paintings, removed from the tombs in order to preserve them (tomb of the Chariots, of the Triclinium, of the Funeral Bed and of the Ship), are kept in the National Etruscan Museum of Tarquinia as well as other Etruscan finds.
In addition, if you book in advance you can visit the Tomb of the Panthers, of the Bulls, of the Baron, of the Wishes, and the tomb of Anina's in the neighboring necropolis of Scataglini.
This enormous heritage, not only artistic but historic, represents an ouline of the daily live of Etruscans and it was included in 2004 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Read the box at the botton of the article, full of useful information to plan your trip at the best.
Etruscan Necropolis of Monterozzi
- HOW TO GET THERE
From the Museum to the Necropolis with Public Transport- In front of the Museum entrance, you can take a free shuttle directed to the Necropolis. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes from 9.00 to 12.15 and from 16.00 to 19.20 and arrives at about 200 meters from the entrance to the Necropolis.- Line D from Barriera S. Giusto, near the Museum, leads to the necropolis at a cost of € 1 per trip.
From Civitavecchia (Port) to Tarquinia (Barriera S. Giusto)- To reach the museum, from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele (Civitavecchia's Cathedral) you can get a COTRAL bus line bound for Tarquinia (Barriera S.Giusto) that will drop you within walking distance to the Museum.- Otherwise, close to Largo della Pace and Fort Michelangelo you can also take the Eusepi Bus (except on Sundays), stopping at Barriera S.Giusto, close to the Etruscan Museum and at other stops to reach other tourist destinations in Tarquinia. Tickets costs €2 each way. For information about times please refer to the official site.By car- From Rome: take the highway until Civitavecchia and then the main road Aurelia (90 km).- From Grosseto: Main road Aurelia towards south (90 km).- From Viterbo: via Vetralla - Monte Romano or via Tuscania; in both cases, no more than 45 km.
The necropolis is at the door of the city, the Civita (ancient acropolis) is at approximately 7 km, along the road to Monte Romano. Tarquinia is located along the train line Roma - Ventimiglia: station at 3 km with connection to City Buses.
- Winter: Tuesday- Sunday: from 8.30 until one hour before sunset - Monday: ClosedSummer: Tuesday - Sunday: 8.30/19.30 - Monday: ClosedClosing the 1st January and the il 25th December. Ticket offices always close one hour before.
- Full price ticket: €6
Reduced ticket: €2
Combined Necropolis + Museum: €10Reduced combined ticket: €4Free admission to students under 18 and to teachers/couriers (2 per class), previous delivery of a school headed paper stating the names of the students and of the courier.Free admission also to all EU handicapped citizens and a helper that must proof to work as nurses.
First Sunday of the month, admission is free for everyone.