This excursion is especially designed for those who want to explore the history of the rustic, central Italy ‘s countryside, on a day through the highlights of the Etruscan villages: Tarquinia, Ceri & Cerveteri.
Your English-speaking tour driver will welcome you at your ship’s pier in Civitavecchia at around 8.00am (suggested time). After a pleasant 30 minutes drive you will reach Tarquinia, a lovely etruscan and medieval town just north of Civitavecchia.
Tarquinia is situated on a small hill, overlooking the beautiful natural landscape of the Alta Tuscia below and immersed amongst the enchanting valleys of the Marta River and the extraordinary territory of Bassa Maremma. Here you will find the greatest Etruscan museum in the world, with well-preserved sarcophagi, paintings, tombs, frescoes from the 6th to 1st centuries B.C. and the largest Etruscan necropolis. After your tour driver has introduced to you the history of this interesting town, you can enjoy an easy and relaxing walk along the streets of the town and visit the Etruscan Museum with his world famous “Winged Horse” and other important artifacts. Tarquinia is custodian of an incredible number of treasures, including very old constructions, ancient palazzi and historic churches; all of which serve as an extraordinary testimony to the past of this town.
A visit of the Tarquinia’s Archeological Museum and the necropolis of Tarquinia is a must for archaeology lovers. The museum has one of Italy’s best collections of Etruscan finds, including a fabulous group of terra-cotta winged horses from the 4th century BC. You’ll also see Etruscan sarcophagi and statues. The necropolis of Tarquinia, also known as Monterozzi, contains 6,000 graves cut in the rock.
It is famous for its 200 painted tombs, the earliest of which date from the 7th century BC.
From Tarquinia we’ll retrace our steps to Ceri, a castle-city also founded by the Etruscans still very well preserved and really fascinating. There your tour driver can recommend a great local restaurant where we could have a traditional lunch, and besides enjoying the food we can go down to the cellar to taste some of the local wines.
After lunch you can spend some time to stroll around Borgo di Ceri where you will admire monument such as the Romanesque Church of the Madonna di Ceri venerated the cult of goddess of Vesta.
Then we will continue to Cerveteri where you can visit the necropolis of Cerveteri, often referred to as a “city of the dead,” is quite large and has been planned with the same organization as a town. The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropolis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 ha, of which 10 ha can be visited, encompassing a total of 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area.
The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing (bando) of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners.
The Tomba dei Rilievi or Tomb of the Reliefs is certainly the most impressive tomb of the whole necropolis of Banditaccia. And ‘one of a kind, with pictures plastered on all the walls that depict the Hypogeum household objects and animals, a true insight into the daily life of a wealthy Etruscan family of the IV-III century BC The tomb, no mound, belonged to the family Matunas and was discovered in the nineteenth century, has a long hallway with staircase descent that gives access to a large room with a gabled ceiling supported by two central pillars along the sides are 13 carved niches for burials. Within eight tombs were created multimedia installations: audio, lighting, three-dimensional reconstructions, which are reviving the ancient sacred place. A unique and engaging walk through archeology and technological innovation.
The museum in Cerveteri is worth a look. It’s in an old castle on the charming central piazza. Here you can admire Etruscan art and artifacts found locally, including the contents of some of the tombs. An innovative design puts the Archaeological Museum of Cerveteri at the first place in the world for technology. It works as a smartphone: you touch a casket and begins an exciting journey into the world of the Etruscans. Cerveteri is also known in the world for the production of good wine, cheese, artichokes, also for the famous boar of Tolfa hills.
At the conclusion of the tour we will drive you back to Civitavecchia in order to arrive in perfect time to re-board your cruise ship.
This tour can be further customized and is conducted by an English-speaking tour driver that will not enter sites, but drive you around and show you places, pointing out things while explaining what they are, as well as stopping at the places that require a visit and helping you access them.
*Upon request, a local archaeology guide can be provided in Tarquinia & Cerveteri.
The price of the guide will be determined based on your specific interests and needs.
• Pick up/drop off directly at your ship gangway
• A fun and informative private English speaking tour driver to lead you through the day
• Private transportation by air-conditioned and fully equipped luxury Mercedes Benz vehicle
• Fresh bottled water on board
• Parking, city passes, fuel & tolls
Meals & entrance fees (unless specified on your confirmation voucher)
Gratuities (entirely at the client’s discretion)