Our trip departs from Arezzo, the hilltop town with its own share of archeological artefacts and history. But our destination for the day is the heart of Val di Chiana, so let’s head to Castiglion Fiorentino. Though medieval, this town vaunts Etruscan-Roman roots, which you can explore in-depth at the Archaeological Museum and the underground path. The museum conserves artefacts that were uncovered around the Cassero, the ancient fortress that dominates the town. Some pieces even date all the way back to the 5th century BCE! Make sure to check out the extraordinary reconstruction of the roof of an Etruscan sanctuary found in the Cassero area and the artefacts from the Etruscan site of Brolio Melmone.
The underground path in the museum contains the ruins of a protohistoric village (7th to 8th century BCE), an Etruscan home and an Etruscan sanctuary.
Next, let’s spend the rest of the day in Cortona. Cortona is a truly stunning town and was once an important centre of Etruscan civilization. Indeed, two kilometres of Etruscan-era walls are still standing today. That’s nearly 1,500 years of history at your fingertips! A great place to visit is the Etruscan Academy Museum, housed inside Palazzo Casali. The upper floors of the museum conserve masterpieces like the Etruscan Lamp and a golden buckle in the shape of a crouched panther, while the lower floors house exhibition spaces, where visitors are guided through the history of Etruscan settlements. The museum’s crown jewel? The Tabula Cortonensis, the third longest Etruscan text in the world.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the archeological area around Cortona, which comprises the Sodo and Camucia complexes. Sodo is divided into two “Melone,” the first one comprising a series of chambers and the second one containing two tombs. The complex sits opposite an altar that was used for funerary purposes. Nearby, Camucia comprises two tombs.