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Wonder  }  Archaeology

The Etruscan necropolises of Orvieto

A past resurfacing from the ground

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Where is


Vicolo Sant'Agostino, 35, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italia (277m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The Etruscan presence has characterized the history and conformation of Orvieto since ancient times, beginning in the 6th century B.C., and for a long time, leaving very important traces still visible today both on the surface and in the rich subsoil. As is often the case, not only the cities of the living but also those of the dead, become for archaeologists and modern visitors, a source of interest and attraction.

Why it is special

In Orvieto, two large areas dedicated to the burial of the dead from Etruscan times have been admirably preserved and can be visited today with the accompaniment of a guide, positioned respectively to the north and south of the great tufa cliff: the Crocifisso del Tufo Necropolis and the Cannicella Necropolis. The first of Orvieto's two Etruscan necropolises takes its name from a crucifix carved into the tuffaceous wall of a small Christian church built in the area in medieval times, while the second is so named because of the presence of numerous reed beds surrounding the area.

Not to be missed

In both of Orvieto's Etruscan necropolis it is possible to recognize the rectangular funerary rooms, perfectly inserted in the regular urban layout. Many of the tombs still retain the names of the families who were buried there, while the numerous artifacts and objects from the grave goods found there are now preserved in the city museums.


On the Necropolis of Cannicella stood also a sanctuary, dedicated to the goddess Vei, (the Etruscan Demeter), named in an inscription found in the area, and also evidenced by the discovery of one of the most interesting finds in the entire city collection: the Venus of Cannicella, a female figure from the Greek island of Paro and now preserved at the Faina Museum in Orvieto.

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Such ancient places seem to speak directly to the heart of the city and those who visit it spellbound.