Labirinto di Porsenna
Historical sites

The Labyrinth of Porsenna in Chiusi

An adventure among ancient legends and history

Between the 7th and the 5th centuries B.C., Chiusi was one of the most important cities  of the Etruscan 'dodecapoli' ('the league of 12 cities').  In his book, Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder speaks about a legendary Etruscan king, called Porsenna, who was buried in a magnificent tomb inside a very complicated labyrinth. According to the legend, from medieval times, the sarcophagus was held inside a golden carriage with 12 horses and guarded by a brood-hen and 5,000 chicks, which were also made of gold. For a long time, according to popular tradition, the location of the Porsenna's burial place was part of the underground tunnels located beneath Chiusi. In reality, these tunnels are an Etruscan acqueducts, comprised of tunnels of different sizes and at different depths. 

The itinerary begins in the Museo della Cattedrale, in Piazza Duomo, and ends at the great Etruscan-Roman cistern that dates back to the 1st century B.C. It has a circular plan and is decorated with stucco and travertine (which ensured that the water did not leak out). From the cistern, visitors take the stairs to the base of the tower, built in the 12th century. IT was built for defensive purposes but then was transformed into a bell tower in the late 1500s. From the top of the tower, visitors get a beautiful view: the picturesque rooftops of the historic centre, the medieval fortress, the “Beccati questo” and “Beccati quello” towers, the Chiusi, Montepulciano and Trasimeno lakes, Mont'Amiata, Cetona, Città della Pieve, Cortona and Orvieto. 
Hours:  From June 1 to October 15: 10am-12:45pm and 4pm-6pm; from October 16 to May 31: 10am-12:45pm (holidays and Sundays); 10am- 12:45pm and 3:30pm-6pm (Sundays and holidays).

Price: Full: €3; reduced €2

Itinerary: An easy itinerary: duration 30’ ; 200m long.

Disabled access: no

Rises on a hill on the southern confine of the Valdichiana
The city of Chiusi gets its name from the Latin “Clusium” which is an adaptation of the Etruscan name “Clevsin”, dating back to the era of its foundation thanks to the Etruscan civilisation. Between the VII and V centuries BC Chiusi reached its maximum splendour under the domination of King Porsenna and in 351 BC, occupied by the Romans, it became an important Roman military station taking on ...