AIA Tours: land

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany

Tour Dates: October 9-20, 2020 (12 days)

Tour Leader(s): Lisa C. Pieraccini ,

Discover the world of the ancient Etruscans, a pre-Roman civilization that flourished in the area between Rome and Florence from at least the 7th century B.C. until they were conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C. The extent of the impact that the Etruscans’ legacy had on the Greeks and Romans, through to our contemporary world, is still coming to light. Join Dr. Pieraccini and a small group of like-minded fellow travelers to explore and further understand the realm of the Etruscans.

Highlights include:

  • The marvelous cities of Rome and Florence, plus journeys through spectacular countryside to lesser-visited medieval and Renaissance towns.
  • Outstanding Etruscan necropolises with brightly-painted scenes of feasting and dancing covering the walls of rock-cut chamber tombs, monumental tumuli, and house tombs. These include the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, as well as Sovana with its Tomba Ildebranda.
  • Important Etruscan towns, including Veii with its impressive, 6th-century B.C. “Portonaccio Temple;” Fiesole, with its ancient walls and necropolis; Volterra, which also boasts a charming historical center; Orvieto, with its striking Etruscan acropolis; and Vulci, whose tombs contain original Etruscan inscriptions.
  • Many splendid museums with unparalleled collections of Etruscan artifacts, such as Etruscan bronze sculptures plus Phoenician gold and Greek vases obtained through extensive trade networks. These include the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia and Vatican City’s Etruscan Gregorian Museum.
  • Lectures, discussions, and the company of our expert AIA lecturer/host, Lisa Pieraccini.
  • Generous comfort at well-located, 4-star hotels, plus fine cuisine and wine. A couple of special events are a home-hosted dinner in Florence, and lunch at a winery in Orvieto.

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

The Legacy of the Etruscans: Latium, Umbria & Tuscany - AIA Tours, Archaeological Institute of America Tours

Itinerary


Friday, October 9, 2020: Fly to Rome, Italy

Saturday, October 10: Arrive in Rome | Private transfer to hotel | Welcome dinner

Sunday, October 11: Rome: AM at leisure, PM National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia

Monday, October 12: Vatican City: Etruscan Gregorian Museum | Veii | High-speed train to Florence

Tuesday, October 13: Florence walking tour | Fiesole | Florence: Home-hosted dinner

Wednesday, October 14: Volterra walking tour, Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, Etruscan acropolis, Roman amphitheater | Cortona

Thursday, October 15: Cortona: Walking tour, Museum of the Etruscan Academy & the Town of Cortona | Sodo | Cortona

Friday, October 16: Perugia: Walking tour, National Archaeological Museum | Chiusi | Cortona

Saturday, October 17: Orvieto | Winery lunch | Vulci | Tarquinia

Sunday, October 18: Necropolises of Tarquinia & Monterozzi | Pitignano | Sovana | Tarquinia

Monday, October 19: Cerveteri | Tarquinia | Farewell dinner

Tuesday, October 20: Private transfer to Rome Airport | Fly home

View Detailed Itinerary

Friday, October 9, 2020: Fly to Rome, Italy
Depart home today on flights to Rome.

Saturday, October 10: Arrive in Rome | Private transfer to hotel | Welcome dinner
Upon arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport (FCO), you are met for a private transfer to our hotel. Enjoy some time to relax after the flight and before an introductory meeting. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the 4-star Luxe Rose Garden Hotel Roma for two nights. (R,D)

Sunday, October 11: Rome: AM at leisure, PM National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia
This morning is at leisure to relax and adjust to the time change, or explore the city on your own. After an independent lunch we gather to visit the National Etruscan Museum, which has housed works from pre-Roman Italian antiquity—especially from the Etruscan civilization—since 1899, within the gorgeous setting of Villa Giulia. Return to our hotel, and enjoy dinner and the evening at leisure. (B)

Monday, October 12: Vatican City: Etruscan Gregorian Museum | Veii | High-speed train to Florence
This morning we visit the Etruscan Gregorian Museum within Vatican City. The museum, founded by Pope Gregory XVI and inaugurated in 1837, was one of the first expressly dedicated to Etruscan antiquities. The museum focuses on artifacts unearthed at some of the most important cities of ancient Etruria, which was originally part of the territory of the Papal State. After lunch at a nearby restaurant we drive to the site of Veii, on a natural peak overlooking the valley. Veii was an important Etruscan town with a number of Etruscan tombs, and we will see the impressive, 6th-century B.C. “Portonaccio Temple” just outside the town. Then return to Rome and board the high-speed Frecciarossa train to Florence, where we check-in to our hotel. Dinner and the evening are at leisure. Overnight at the 4-star Gallery Hotel Art for two nights. (B,L)

Tuesday, October 13: Florence walking tour | Fiesole | Florence: Home-hosted dinner
We begin the day with a walking tour of Florence. In Piazza della Repubblica, discover the city’s beginnings as a Roman settlement. Wander through narrow streets, past the fortified houses and towers that marked the medieval town, and emerge onto the open Piazza della Signoria, the political center of the city since the Middle Ages. See the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, and enjoy lunch at leisure in one of the many Tuscan trattorias. In the afternoon we drive to Fiesole, which was likely founded between the 9th and 8th centuries B.C. and was an important site of the Etruscan confederacy, as evidenced by the remains of its ancient walls. Explore the Etruscan necropolis and Archaeological Museum. Return to Florence and enjoy some time at leisure before gathering for a dinner at the home of a Florentine family. (B,D)

Wednesday, October 14: Volterra walking tour, Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, Etruscan acropolis, Roman amphitheater | Cortona
This morning we set out on a walking tour of Volterra, viewing the remarkable city walls that go back to Etruscan times as well as the historical and charming town center, including the Palazzo dei Priori and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. After lunch, explore the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, Etruscan acropolis, and Roman amphitheater. We continue on to Cortona, where we check-in to our hotel. Dinner and the evening are at leisure. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel San Michele for three nights. (B,L)

Thursday, October 15: Cortona: Walking tour, Museum of the Etruscan Academy & the Town of Cortona | Sodo | Cortona
Among the many villages of the Val di Chiana, Cortona is particularly fascinating due to its preserved sites, including various palazzi, the cathedral, the Diocesan Museum, and the Church of Saint Francis. Enjoy a walking tour of its city center and discover the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the Town of Cortona (MAEC) with its unique exhibits, including the renowned Etruscan bronze lamp. After an independent lunch and time to explore on your own, we drive a short way to explore the noble Etruscan tomb complex at Sodo. Return to Cortona and gather this evening for a group dinner featuring the local pici pasta dish. (B,D)

Friday, October 16: Perugia: Walking tour, National Archaeological Museum | Chiusi | Cortona
Over the centuries Perugia has been dominated by numerous populations. Evidence of this can be found in the area’s many archaeological remains, starting with those of the Etruscans who likely founded Perugia in the 6th century B.C. Enjoy a walking orientation tour of the city, which includes the Etruscan Arch, the cathedral undergrounds, and the Etruscan water well. Continue on to the National Archaeological Museum, and then break for a lunch featuring Umbrian specialties. On our return to Cortona we stop in Chiusi, famous for its splendid Etruscan remains. Numerous excavations have brought to light unique pieces and precious glimpses back in time that we will see in Chiusi’s National Archaeological Museum. Back in Cortona, dinner and the evening are at leisure. (B,L)

Saturday, October 17: Orvieto | Winery lunch | Vulci | Tarquinia
This morning drive south toward Orvieto to visit its striking Etruscan acropolis. In the city center we step into the iconic Duomo, with its unparalleled façade and wondrous frescoes by Luca Signorelli. After lunch at a winery in the heart of town, we return to the Latium region to visit the important Etruscan city of Vulci. It features a remarkable National Archaeological Museum, housed in a former castle, as well as tombs containing original Etruscan inscriptions. Continue on to Tarquinia, where we check-in to our hotel and then gather for dinner. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel Villa Tirreno for three nights. (B,L,D)

Sunday, October 18: Necropolises of Tarquinia & Monterozzi | Pitignano | Sovana | Tarquinia
The necropolises of Cerveteri (which we visit tomorrow) and Tarquinia, UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2004, constitute a unique and exceptional testimony of the ancient Etruscan civilization, the only urban civilization of the pre-Roman Age. The frescoes found inside the tombs—true-to-life reproductions of Etruscan homes—faithfully depict this disappeared culture’s daily life. These tumuli, or burial mounds, are the only examples remaining anywhere. Today we enjoy an extensive exploration of the necropolises of Tarquinia and Monterozzi, and then delve into the magical fairy-tale village of Pitignano for lunch and a guided stroll in its city center. We end the day in the necropolis of Sovana to visit the Tomba Ildebranda, one of the most important remaining monuments of the Etruscan civilization. Back in Tarquinia, dinner and the evening are at leisure. (B,L)

Monday, October 19: Cerveteri | Tarquinia | Farewell dinner
This morning we explore the vast archaeological site of Cerveteri. The necropolis’ tombs are laid out following an urban plan with streets, piazzas, and quarters (or neighborhoods) and reflect both the historical period in which they were built and the status of the family to whom they belonged. The most significant is the Tomb of Reliefs, completed in the 4th century B.C. and accessed through a long stairway dug into the rock. It showcases a tomb typical of a well-off Etruscan family of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. We return to Tarquinia where the afternoon is at leisure to have lunch, relax, and pack before we gather this evening for a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Tuesday, October 20: Private transfer to Rome Airport | Fly home
You are met at the hotel for a private transfer to Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) for your flights homeward. (B)


For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.