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Tuscania

About 30 km from Vulci, Tuscania is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscia.

Built in pre-Romanesque times, its birth is shrouded in legend, according to the Roman historian Tito Annio Lusco the city was founded by Ascanio, son of Aeneas, in the place where twelve puppies were found, hence the name Tuscania ( in Latin Tus-cana). Another legend tells that the city was founded by Tusco, son of Araxe and Ercole.

The area surrounding the city of Tuscania was inhabited since the Paleolithic, as evidenced by the numerous finds that have taken place. In the Etruscan era the city experienced a period of great expansion, especially in the VIII BC. until it became one of the most important cities of the lucumonia of Tarquinia. In the 4th century BC the city assumed strategic importance also with regard to maritime trade, taking advantage of the proximity to the Port of Montalto (at the time known as Regas). In Roman times the city was elevated to the role of municipium, with the name of Tuscana. In medieval times it suffered the barbarian invasions and was conquered by the populations of the Heruli, the Goths and the Lombards, in 774 it was conquered by Charlemagne about a decade later, ceded to the State of the Church. In the twelfth century the city became a free municipality.

What to see in Tuscania:

  • Romanesque Church of San Pietro, probably built in the 8th century, the church was restored in 1093. The style is typically medieval, the interior is divided into three naves, the floor shows geometric decorations of exquisite workmanship, among the main works kept, a ciborium of 1200, some fragments of a fresco of the twelfth century (destroyed in the earthquake of 1971) , a painting of the Blessing Christ between two Bishops, and one of the Baptism of Christ. Of particular interest is the hall crypt, consisting of 28 columns and dating back to the 12th century.
  • Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, probably dating back to the 9th century but consecrated only in 1206, the church has a facade with three portals while the interior, divided into three naves, houses some valuable Romanesque capitals, a gothic style ciborium, a baptismal font from 1200, a fresco school, depicting the Twelve Apostles, a 14th century fresco depicting the Last Judgment, made by Gregorio and Donato d’Arezzo, commissioned by Secondiano
  • Cathedral of San Giacomo, of medieval origin, was restored during the sixteenth century and today is in Renaissance style, also following the renovation work that took place in 1781
  • Walls of Cinta, originally built in the Etruscan period, the city walls of Tuscania were modified and enlarged in the following centuries. Today the walls have a polygonal shape and completely surround the medieval town, joining the ancient Etruscan curtain, of which today some precious ruins remain
  • National Archaeological Museum, located in the former Franciscan convent of Tuscania, exhibits artifacts and objects from the necropolis found near Tuscania
  • Archeological area, numerous necropolis of the Etruscan era, the most famous is that of the Madonna dell’Olivo, where the Curunas Tombs, dated IV-II century BC, the Tomb of the Sarcophagus of the Amazons, dating back to the IV century BC, are located. and the Grotta della Regina, dated 4th-2nd century BC. The Necropolis of the Tufo, Carcarello, Piani di Mola and Peschiera areas are also particularly interesting.