Cerveteri

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Cerveteri
Comune
Comune di Cerveteri
Coat of arms of Cerveteri
Coat of arms
Cerveteri is located in Italy
Cerveteri
Cerveteri
Location of Cerveteri in Italy
Coordinates: 42°00′N 12°06′E / 42.000°N 12.100°E / 42.000; 12.100
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province Rome
Frazioni Sasso, Ceri, Valcanneto, Marina di Cerveteri, Cerenova, Campo di mare, San Martino, I Terzi, Due Casette
Government
 • Mayor Alessio Pascucci
Area
 • Total 134.43 km2 (51.90 sq mi)
Elevation 81 m (266 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)
 • Total 35,517
 • Density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
Demonym Cerveterani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00052
Dialing code 06
Patron saint St. Michael Archangel
Saint day May 8
Website Official website

Cerveteri [tʃerˈvɛːteri] is a town and comune of the northern Lazio, in the province of Rome. Originally known as Caere (also Caisra and Cisra in Etruscan, Agylla, Άγυλλα in Greek), it is famous for a number of Etruscan necropolises.

Cerveteri is believed to be one of the city-states of the Etruscan League and at its height in around 600 BC the size of the city were perhaps around 25,000 - 40,000 people.[1][2][3][4]

Main sights[edit]

Via degli Inferi, the main entrance to the Banditaccia Necropolis.
Tombs view in December.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Interior of an Etruscan tomb in the Banditaccia necropolis.
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 1158
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)

Necropolis of the Banditaccia[edit]

The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropoleis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 ha, of which 10 ha can be visited, encompassing a total of 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area. The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing (bando) of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners.

The tombs date from the 9th century BC (Villanovan culture) to the late Etruscan age (3rd century BC). The most ancient ones are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed; also simple potholes are present.

From the Etruscan period are two types of tombs: the mounds and the so-called "dice", the latter being simple square tombs built in long rows along "roads". The visitable area contains two such "roads", the Via dei Monti Ceriti and the Via dei Monti della Tolfa (6th century BC).

The mounds are circular structures built in tuff, and the interiors, carved from the living rock, house a reconstruction of the house of the dead, including a corridor (dromos), a central hall and several rooms. Modern knowledge of Etruscan daily life is largely dependent on the numerous decorative details and finds from such tombs. The most famous of these mounds is the so-called Tomba dei Rilievi (Tomb of the Reliefs, 3rd century BC), identified from an inscription as belonging to one Matunas and provided with an exceptional series of frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures portraying a large series of contemporary life tools.

Etruscan phallic symbols. "Cippi" indicating that tomb occupants were male

The most recent tombs date from the 3rd century BC. Some of them are marked by external cippi, which are cylindrical for men, and in the shape of a small house for women.

A large number of finds excavated at Cerveteri are in the National Etruscan Museum, Rome, with others in the Vatican Museums and many other museums around the world. Others, mainly pottery, are in the Archaeological Museum at Cerveteri itself.

Others[edit]

  • The Rocca (castle)
  • Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, including a medieval section reachable from the 1950s addition through a triumphal arch.
  • Palazzo Ruspoli, rebuilt as baronal palace by the Orsini in 1533. The portico and the loggia on the façade are from the 17th century. It is connected to Santa Maria Maggiore through a passetto (enclosed bridge), built in 1760.
  • The small church of Sant'Antonio Abate, with a 1472 fresco by Lorenzo da Viterbo.
  • The medieval burgh of Ceri
  • Castle of Cerenova

Cerveteri DOC[edit]

Around the city of Cerveteri is an Italian DOC wine region that produces red and white blended wines. The red wines are blends of 60% Sangiovese and Montepulciano, 25% Cesanese and up to 30% of Canaiolo, Carignan and Barbera. The grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and the final wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 11%. The white wines are composed of a minimum blend of 50% Trebbiano, Romagnolo and Giallo, a maximum of 35% Malvasia di Candia and a maximum of 15% Friulano, Verdicchio, Bellone and Bombino bianco. The grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 14 tonnes/ha and the final wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 12%.[5]

Twin cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]