Have you ever been to Tarquinia, in Italy?

Tarquinia is one of the most famous Etruscan cities and preserves amazing evidences of its glorious past.

The Etruscans inhabited an area in Central Italy since the 9th century B.C. and reached their golden age around the 6th century B.C. before their quick decline.

Their rich culture disappeared at the beginning of the Roman rise to power.


Situated in Central Italy, in Lazio, Tarquinia is a very important archaeological site: it preserves incredible necropolises, above all the “Necropoli dei Monterozzi“.

This necropolis is made of a spectacular group of 6000 painted tombs: a huge underground cemetery which shows the best of the Etruscan painting and date back to the 7th century B.C.

Most of the tombs are carved in the rock and have a burial mounds (tumuli) on top, which nowadays are barely visible.

The series of paintings preserved in this site is considered the first evidence of the ancient Italian painting.

They include scenes that illustrate hunters, fishermen, funeral banquets, athletes, dancers and simbolyse the power and wealth of the deceased.

Their aim was making the deceased live his terrestrial life and help his family put up with the grief.

Since they include scenes taken from the daily life, these paintings are an important testimony of the Etruscan culture.

What to see.

Among the tombs, the most important ones are those of the Warriors, of Hunting and Fishing, of Lionesses, of Augurs, of Jugglers, of Leopards, of Ogre and some more.

Some of the paintings from these tombs are kept in the Museo Nazionale Tarquiniense (National Museum of Tarquinia). Others are still on the original walls, so can be seen where they were created..

These amazing paintings show some features of the Greek painting but, at the same time, overcome it.

Because of its artistic and historical relevance, Tarquinia is part of the UNESCO Heritage since 2004.

Have a look at some lovely pictures of the necropolis and paintings on our Pinterest board.

And now, let’s go and enjoy this Italian treasure!