Tarquinia, a pearl of Lazio’s Maremma coast, is an absolutely must. This little jewel in the Province of Viterbo has many attractions: from the Etruscan Museum to the Duomo. Let’s walk through the main attractions of this fascinating medieval town.
Monterozzi Necropolis and the National Etruscan Museum
Through a visit to the necropolis we meet the size and elegance of the Etrucan people. Here we can observe more than 200 painted tombs, the largest existing Etrucan pictorial nucleus, the Mediterranean’s most important by far. To continue the discovery of the ancient Etruscans, visit the National Museum which, with its 3 floors, holds the largest existing collection of Etruscan art. The most important work is the famous relief of winged horses, discovered by Archeologist Pietro Romanelli broken into 100 pieces. Thanks to the numerous restorations begun in 1938, today we can observe this work of art in all its glory.
The Duomo dei Santi Margherita e Martino, dating back to 1260, is found in the piazza of the same name, just a stone’s throw from Palazzo Vitelleschi, the extraordinary building, home of the National Etruscan Museum. Promoted to cathedral in the middle of the 1400s, it was destroyed in a fire in 1600, to then be restored shortly thereafter in a neoclassical style and expanded with the addition of nine altars. Proceeding down the narrow streets of charming downtown, you can see the Medieval church, Santa Maria di Castello. It will be like being catapulted 1000 years back in time. This place has a magical atmosphere, especially in the evening when it becomes the perfect place for a romantic stroll through history.
The Natural Salt Reserve
Near the coast of Tarquinia, we find the Riserva Naturale delle Saline, of utmost importance, as it is one of the few remaining in Italy, and Lazio’s only saltwork mine. It is nearly 150 hectacres which host amazing resident and migratory birds: from Pink Flamingoes to Grey Herons, from Mediterranean Gulls to Great Egrets. It is the perfect place for photographers and birdwatchers, and you can visit the saltworks year round upon reservation. For information call: +39 0766 864605
The lido and beaches
The lido di Tarquinia is just 10 minutes from the ancient town is enjoyed by families with children, as well as sports lovers who come practice sailing, windsurfing or play beach volleyball. To the north we find one of Tarquinia’s most beautiful free beaches, Pian di Spille, also called “la grande Ciambella (“the big donut”)”. A little further south, we find the coast’s most wild place, the San Giorgio free beach which you have to travel a gravel country road to reach. Finally, the beaches of Bagni di Sant’Agostino is famous most of all for the dune which alternate with thick pine forests.