Tour itinerary

Tour Itinerary

The route proposed hereafter takes into account the chronology, so it will be easier to understand the architectural _ artistic evolution of each monument. Since 2012, thanks to a financial contribution from the Lazio Region, the tour itinerary has been enriched by a NEW MULTIMEDIA ROUTE, multimedia equipment able to create light animation, audio and videos has been installed within eight tombs. The narrative voice is that of Piero Angela.  


Mengarelli Room.

The visit to the archaeological site can start with the projection of a 3D video on Etruscan Cerveteri. The video lasts approximately 15 minutes. The multimedia room is located at the Banditaccia refreshment point.


Tombe Villanoviane (Villanoviane Tombs) 9th _ 8th century BC.

These tombs, known as “wells”, come from the Necropolis of Cava della Pozzolana, the oldest and first nucleus of the Necropolis of Banditaccia. An impasto pottery vase, called biconical, containing the ashes of the deceased was housed within these tufa enclosures, the whole thing was then buried.


Tomba della Capanna (Tomb of the Hut).

It is one of the most ancient of the Banditaccia, dating back to the beginning of the 7th century BC,  a long dromos (corridor) leads to two rooms on the same axis, within which the architecture evokes that of a hut. The two deceased were laid on the floor of the second chamber, while all the personal objects belonging to the funeral were placed in the first.

Multimedia route, light animation and audio.


Tomba dei Doli e degli Alari (Tomb of the Doli and the Firedogs).

It is about 60 years more recent than the “Tomba della Capanna”. Entering the tomb it is interesting to observe how the walls of the corridor, excavated in the rock, are regularized at the top by a curtain of overhanging blocks which were to prevent the earth from falling into the chamber below. 11 large red impasto vessels decorated with white paint, known as Doli, destined to contain food, were found.

Multimedia route, light animation and audio.                                                                             


Tomba dei Vasi Greci (Tomb of the Greek Vases). 

It dates back to mid 6th century BC and is the most recent of the four tombs excavated within Tumulus II. Its layout is different from the previous ones. A small corridor flanked by two lateral cells leads to a large rectangular hall (vestibule), the funerary beds are arranged along the walls of this chamber: some of the beds, topped with a triangular-shaped pediment, are sarcophagi or cassoni (large chests), probably intended for the deceased females, others with column-shaped carved legs, known as klinai, were to accommodate male burials. Along the wall opposite the entrance there are three doors embellished with Doric cornices, followed by the same number of rooms each containing two funerary beds. This environment faithfully reproduces the distribution of rooms in the Etruscan aristocratic house of the Archaic period. 

Multimedia route, light animation and audio.


Tomba dei Capitelli (Tomb of the Capitals).

It dates from the first half of the 6th century BC and  presents an identical layout as that of the “Vasi Greci”, the vestibule is graced by the presence of two columns, each decorated by a capital, in Aeolian style, probably of Phoenician _ Cypriot origin. Furthermore, a typical wooden lacunar is reproduced on the ceiling.

Multimedia route, light animation and audio.


Tomba della Cornice (Tomb of the Moulding).

Another example of a tomb dating from the beginning of the 6th century BC. Entering into the vestibule, on the sides of the door, there are two thrones excavated in the tufa, with disk-shaped footrests and backs, a less common variant of the cylindrical seats with curved backrest, a decorative element linked to the last stage of the Orientalizing period.

Multimedia route, light animation, audio and video.


Tomba della Casetta (Tomb of the House).

An interesting variant of the funeral layout of the 6th century BC, a cross-shaped plan, with open chambers on the three sides of the vestibule.

Multimedia route, light animation, audio and video.


Tombe a Dado (Cube Tombs).

Coming out of the “Tomba della Casetta”, continue along the main road for about three hundred metres, until you reach Via dei Monti della Tolfa _ Via dei Monti Ceriti, you will then see whole blocks of tombs arranged along parallel axes with their entrances facing east, which give us an image of a city street in the late 6th century BC.


Tumolo Maroi (Maroi Tumulus).

It dates from the 7th century BC and comprises three tombs, two of which were found intact. The most ancient, Maroi Tomb 1, reproduces a typical floor plan of the second half of the 7th century BC, many chambers lead from a circular vestibule, assuming a cruciform. Traces of painted decorations are still visible on the ceiling of the vestibule and on the walls of the main chamber. The Maroi Tomb 2 has been completely rebuilt with its original furnishings inside the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Roma.


Tumulo Policromo (Polychrome Tumulus).

The characteristic of this tumulus is how the tambour (lower part of the tumulus) is finished, with red tufa, whitish macco and grey peperino. It dates back to mid 6th century BC. A short corridor, which opens to two lateral cells, leads to a large chamber, with four klinai excavated along the side walls. Two central pillars divide the chamber into two areas, the ceiling of the first is decorated by a slope, while the ceiling of the second features parallel beams. There are still traces of striped painted decoration on the ceiling of the latter. 


Tumulo Mengarelli (Mengarelli Tumulus).

In spite of the size of the tumulus, it houses a single tomb, that dates back to the Middle Orientalizing period. The plan is highly articulated, as is the case of tombs of the same period (“Leoni Dipinti” (Painted Lions), “Animali Dipinti” (Painted Animals), “Nave” (Ship)). A long monumental corridor leads to a circular vestibule, geometric paintings are still visible between the beams of the ceiling, there are three doors, the central one leads to the two main chambers, in line with the dromos; in the first, the two pillars that support a slope are a clear reference to domestic architecture in use in this chronological stage.


Tumulo del Colonnello (Tumulus of the Colonel).

For its size it is the most grandiose of all the tumuli in the fenced area. The decoration of the crowning of the tambour is made up of eight projecting cornices. It houses four tombs, the most ancient (Tomb 1) dates from the beginning of the 7th century, with a structure that is very similar to the vestibule of the “Tomba della Capanna”. The artefacts found within 2 and 4 are exhibited in the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome.


Tomba del Pilastro (Tomb of the Pillar).

This hypogeum dates back to the 4th century BC and shows how, using the layer of virgin tufa subsoil, it was possible to resolve the problem of lack of space  for the construction of new tombs. A short corridor with drain (vertical opening on the roof of the dromos), leads to a large chamber dominated by a central pillar that “supports” the gabled roof. A tufa ledge runs along the perimetral walls of the chamber, on the right it is divided into 19 funerary beds separated by ridges, to accommodate as many deceased, the funerary objects were laid to the left.

Multimedia route, light animation, audio and video.


Tomba dei Rilievi (Tomb of the Reliefs).

It is the most famous among the tombs in the necropolis and is the unique example of the heritage of figurative Etruscan art. It dates from the last quarter of the 4th century BC and was discovered in 1851. The large burial chamber, reached by descending a long staircase, has the particularity of being totally covered in plaster decorated with polychrome stucco reliefs. The ceiling, gabled, is supported by two pillars, also plastered and covered in reliefs. The left one represents objects which refer to the sphere of a man's daily life, from top to bottom, a pitcher, a stick, a large knife, an axe, a rope and a weasel. The right pillar reproduces objects mainly related to the female world, from top to bottom, a circular whitish object (the shape of a cheese or a basket), a ladle, a knife rack with knives, seven skewers, a container on a tripod. On the back wall, under the central niche, figures evoking the journey to the other world are represented: an anguiped demon with an oar on his left, Cerberus, the three-headed dog, and a snake on the right. Two sandals are represented below one of Cerberus' heads, which are resting on a stool. There are 13 double niches along the walls, below, along the ledge that runs all round the walls, ridges divide the 31 funerary beds. The tomb belonged to the Matuna family, as attested by the inscription on one of the stone cippi inside the tomb: “Vel Matuna son of Laris, he who had this tomb built”.