The Best of the Estruscans, Cultural Travel in Italy

For a long period of time, I had the image below as my desktop background. The image was so compelling to me because it exists inside of a tomb in Tarquinia, Italy, and represents the best of the Estruscans, a people who lived around 1000 to 500BC. Cultural travel in Italy is filled with journey’s to places like the “Tomb of the Leopards,” the fresco below that is painted on the tomb walls in a burial chamber at the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia. This painting is a wonderful example of how art connects us with history and cultures that are long gone. The Estruscans were interesting people who were in their glory around 500 BC. They had their own language, writing, and appeared to have a serious maritime presence in places like Sardinia and areas around the Aegean Sea. They fought wars with the Romans, and eventually were integrated into the Roman Culture. They lived on the coast of western Italy, and inland to the Appennine mountains.

Tomb of the leopards-Tarquinia

Tomb of the leopards-Tarquinia


The best of the Estruscans and cultural travel in Italy, includes an exploration into the beliefs and mythology of the Estruscans. The beliefs of the Estruscans embraced the idea that immanent power comes from the Divine, and that we, as humans and everything in the visible world around us are mere reflections and manifestations of the deities that reign over us. They believed in communication with the Divine to participate and persuade the ultimate power of the Divine and this is reflected in the burial practices and beliefs surrounding the afterlife.

Cultural travel in Italy to explore the Estruscans, and other cultural wonders can be a life changing moment. The Guardian has a wonderful article about Italy and includes the Estruscans:

On a hilltop just outside the town are these painted Etruscan burial chambers which inspired DH Lawrence to write what was to be his final, most heartfelt travelogue, Sketches of Etruscan Places. Although there are more than 6,000 tombs, only about 15 are open to visitors each day. The wall paintings are surprisingly celebratory, depicting scenes of dancing, music, feasting and sex! The town’s Tarquinia National Museum is devoted to Etruscan exhibits and sarcophagi excavated from the necropolis. Be sure not to miss the pair of winged horses from the pediment of a Tarquinian temple, one of the greatest Etruscan masterpieces ever discovered., adults €8, children €4

Why not explore the best of the Estruscans in your cultural travels to Italy? While you are there you can visit all of the other wonderful places filled with history, art and great food. Read more about Italy in the full article in the Guardian here.


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