An immense heritage of a highly refined civilization

Cerveteri, the ancient Caere, is perhaps the most famous and spectacular Etruscan archaeological site in Italy. There are few traces of the inhabited settlement while the necropolis is well preserved, made with a real urban plan that makes think of a city of the dead imitating that of the living. The necropolis of Cerveteri known as the necropolis of Banditaccia is extraordinary for the number of burials, estimated around twenty thousand, in various types that extend over an area of 400ha. Among these monumental tombs, the most impressive is the tomb of the painted Reliefs, datable to the fourth century. It is very large: 7 meters long and 2.5 meters high and imitates in the most accurate details the interior of an important Etruscan residence of that era.

The small National Museum on two floors is based in the Ruspoli Castle of Cerveteri, it showcases an important collection of Etruscan vases and terracotta, extraordinary workmanship with different shapes and decorative style. Small jewels, statues and numerous Villanovan remain, coming from the Sorbo burial grounds. Others from the necropolis of Banditaccia and the surrounding areas. In the above floor are exposed the most important finds such as the Crater of Euphronios (or Euphronius, from the name of the artist ceramographer who painted it), a large vase of 45 cm high and 55cm of diameter, found in the Etruscan necropolis of Banditaccia and dating back over 500 years BC, stolen in 70’s and exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC until its return in Italy in 2006.