Diving into the Etruscan past
The territory between Valdichiana Senese and Val d’Orcia was during Etruscan times a very prosperous area. Around me, passing by La Foce, to Chianciano, Sarteano, up to Chiusi were many testimonies of the rare importance of this civilization that are still partly wrapped in myth. We can admire the remains of the necropolis and the wonderfully set up inside the various dedicated museums.
Among the most ancient and powerful Etruscan cities, we find Chiusi that was one of the main city-states, with the mythical king Porsenna who dominated Rome (it was against him the heroic act of Muzio Scevola). Chiusi preserves the most important finds in the National Etruscan Museum in the heart of the historic center, where you can enter a suggestive underground path between the tunnels of the water supply system built by the Etruscans, known as the Labyrinth of Porsenna. Leaving the town, near Lake Chiusi, a small natural pearl, you can visit by reservation some of the most famous tombs of the necropolis, such as the Tomb of the Pilgrim and the Tomb of the Monkey.
A village whose territory is the watershed between Val d’Orcia and Valdichiana, it can be recognized from afar for the size of its castle that dominates the native town of Pope Pius III, symbol of a more recent history. But the Etruscan origins of the area have left important evidence today preserved in the Civic and Archaeological Museum, such as canòpi, painted ceramics and fetid stone ossuaries. Here we find the painted Tomb of the Infernal Quadriga. One of the last discoveries was found in 2003 and you can still admire the painted cycle dating back to the fourth century BC.
Chianciano has been famous since the time of the Etruscans for the beneficial properties of its thermal waters, whose fame has crossed the centuries. Still today the civic museums of the surroundings present numerous collections of canopi, remains of necropolis and vestiges of the Etruscan civilization. The area of Chianciano housed an important Etruscan center since the fifth century B.C. which stood on a hill overlooking the Valdichiana and its agricultural production, along the road that provided the connection between northern Etruria and the Mediterranean Sea. By virtue of its position and the exploitation of its springs, Chianciano was an Etruscan centre of considerable importance. The Fucoli temple is one of the most important testimonies of this past, whose findings are quite recent and represent one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the Valdichiana. The remains of the temple can be visited at the Museo Civico Archeologico delle Acque di Chianciano Terme.