Today’s explorations started and ended with fantastic vistas. We explored two necropoli from the Etruscan civilization. The first was the necropolis at Tarquinia where you descend into the rock cut tombs to observe the painted frescoes that remain. I explored as many as I could before we left for the National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia where local archaeological discoveries were displayed en masse. Particularly sarcophagi—the museum had many. The Sarcophagus of the Sacerdotus was particularly AWESOME. It is a painted sarcophagus, but it has no relief element so it was entirely two-dimensional and that is so cool. Nearby was a sarcophagus with relief that was also painted. The museum also had tons of red- and black-figure vases, bronze figures and weapons, and four tombs that had been removed from their original context and reconstructed in the museum.
The next stop was to see the tumuli tombs at the Cerveteri necropolis of Banditaccia. I went into some of these, but I admit, my claustrophobia began to rear its ugly head with a few of these, so I did not explore them as much as I did the tombs at Tarquinia. I DID go down to see the Tomb of the Reliefs which was nice to finally see in person.
After finishing up at Cerveteri, we hopped back on the bus for Rome. On Wednesday nights we will always have dinner at one local restaurant. Tonight I had pasta alla amatriciana which I did NOT finish and the woman who picked up my plate gave me a Look. I was fulllll. Afterwards we all walked to one of the TOP gelato places in Rome (which happens to be not far from my apartment). I had coffee and almond gelato and it was delish.
In other news, I’ve been in Italy for almost a week now!
Tomorrow is a relaxed day; we’ll be exploring the Villa Aurelia on the American Academy in Rome’s property and the Villa Giulia Museum which houses Etruscan art and artifacts.
This blog was originally posted here.