A land and its ancient people
An indelible presence of the Etruscans in Valdicecina
Whether you are looking at a piece of art preserved in the museums of Valdicecina, or crossing the ancient gates of the walls of Volterra you will want to continue on visiting the countless archaeological areas whilst looking out over the Necropolis. This is where you will feel the Etruscan presence which will wrap you in the enchantment of discovery.
In the bright evenings, looking towards the sea, it is easy to understand why the ancient people lived and prospered here:
the poignant beauty pulls you probably in the same way that once impressed the great, unknown artist of The Shadow of the Evening (L’Ombra della Sera)…
Etruscans were an ancient people, lived in an area of Italy called Etruria, stretching from modern Tuscany and Umbria (Perugia and Orvieto, precisely) as far to the river Tiber. They expanded their hold to Campania and Emilia Romagna (Bologna is a city of Etruscan origin).
The name “Etruscans” is of Latin origin, while the Greeks called this people “Tyrrhenians”. They called themselves by the name “Rasna“.
Some ancient authors claim that, after a long journey from the East, they settled along the cost of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other believe that had always lived in Italy.
There were twelve major Etruscan cities, all surrounded by strong stonewalls and administered by a king-judge, called “Zilath“.
But when did the Etruscans live? Their civilization spread across a vast territory, over a long period of time: from the 9th century to the Ist century BC: that is more than eight hundred years! Eventually, all Etruscan cities fell under Roman control.
The Romanization of the Etruscan culture started in 396 BC, after the taking of Veio. Etruscan culture, as we know it ended in 90 BC, when all people two lived in Italy, were granted Roman citizenship by an act of the Senate.
However, the Etruscans had a strong influence on Roman civilization right from the beginning: for instance, the last kings of Rome belonged to the Etruscan dynasty of the Tarquini.