Located on the slopes of the namesake mountain, Cetona conserves the characteristic structure a Medieval village, with alleys and narrow streets that spiral through the town, ending at the fortress above. The prehistoric settlement of Belvedere, 4,000 years old, is worth a visit, while the Civic Museum of the Prehistory of Monte Cetona is interesting, conserving artefacts that range from the Paleolithic to the Bronze Age.
The Civic Museum of the Prehistory of Monte Cetona documents the various phases of human settlement in the area as people gravitated towards Monte Cetona, beginning in the Paleolithic and up to the Bronze Age. The archeological artefacts are preceded by an exposition that illustrates the history of the landscape in the territory based on geological and paleontological findings. The prehistoric events began in the Middle Paleolithic: Neanderthals lived in some caves in the area around Cetona, leaving traces of their time here, like stone tools and animal remains. After sporadic settlements during the Neolithic and Copper Age, there was an intense uptick in human presence during the 2nd millennium BCE, especially in Belvedere, on the eastern side of the mountain, where the people built huts, lived under the rocks and buried their dead. A wealth of archeological findings has come to light, which makes up the core of the museum’s collection. The itinerary ends in a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
Closely tied to the museum is the Belverde Archeological - Natural Park, where you can visit some of the caves in the travertine rock face, like the Grotto di San Francesco, Antro della Noce and Antro del Poggetto. The park is characterized by the presence of plant groups that show few signs of human intervention: a sort of oasis where the historic-archeological and natural elements are closely linked.