Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 21, 2015

Etruscan tombs

The Etruscans were the first people to settle the Maremma in southern Tuscany. Their civilisation lasted from about 800BC until they were assimilated into the Roman Republic in the late 4th century BC. The name Tuscany comes from the Roman name for the Etruscans.

In southern Tuscany the Etruscans buried their dead in careful constructed tombs. Much of what we know about their lives comes from funereal remains. Many of their ancient sites have been excavated over the years.

While we were at the magnificent Rocca di Frassinello we were taken to 3 Etruscan tombs that have been uncovered on the property.

Etruscans at Rocca di Frassinello
Our handsome guide, Simone, took us to the sites. Before being uncovered they would have just looked like mounds of dirt. It must have been exciting when the digging unearthed well preserved tombs, each one different.

The tombs have an entrance along a tunnel and inside there is a ledge where the body was put. A lot of work has gone into each one. I imagine these were for the more wealthy members of the community.

Etruscan tombs

Etruscan tombs


Etruscan tombs at Rocca di Frassinello



Etruscan tombs at Rocca di Frassinello

Etruscan tombs at Rocca di Frassinello

On the 30th May 2015 a museum will be opened at Rocca di Frassinello to display the findings. There will be an exhibit area in the winery to show how the Etruscans went about their daily lives and to see some of their unearthed possessions.

A Stamnos, a large pottery jar for carrying wine, was found during the excavations by the University of Florence and Tuscany’s office for Archeological Heritage.  I’m sure the owners of the winery were delighted to discover that wine was being made on the site thousands of ears ago.

There will be guided tours to see the tombs as well. We feel very lucky to have been able to get a preview. Thank you Simone and the team at Rocca di Frassinello and Cala del Porto for organising our tour.

Rocca di Frassinello…

Cala del Porto…



  1. This is all very interesting. I love history, and getting to walk around in something so ancient must have been very cool.

    • It is amazing that these things still exist…and that we can get so close.

  2. Hi Debra! Tomorrow night I’m in Florence for my 40th book presentation at Officina Farmaceutica S.Maria Novella…

    • Hi Roberto, unfortunately we are going to Barcelona tomorrow, or I would have come to Florence.

      • Thank you Debra! Have a nice trip to the wonderful Barcelona!!!

  3. I love to visit ancient tombs especially with a guide like that.

    • Simone was very charming.

  4. Etruscan cinerary urns are magnificent and their art was superb. There is a great museum in Volterra dedicated to the Etruscan civilization which is really worth a visit
    Very interesting post, Debra. Thank you for sharing the visit.

    • Volterra is a great place to visit. I will go to the museum next time.

  5. Thanks Francis, those tombs are amazing.

  6. Imagine what it must have felt like to discover them – really thrilling.

    • We got excited the other day when we found an old terracotta water pipe!

  7. What a wonderful experience Deb! I love the Etruscans. We have so much to thank them for!

    • They did some great stuff. I like their jewellery.

  8. Wow! What a fabulous find! The museum will be fascinating with the exhibits on show. Yes, you’ve been fortunate, Deb, to have this opportunity for a preview.

    • …especially with the lovely Simone.

  9. […] Etruscan tombs […]

  10. Cool! It’s exciting to know that we’re still unearthing ruins today. I was on an archaeological dig in Livorno a couple of years ago, also focused on Etruscan ruins – particularly tombs. Fascinating.

  11. Fascinating! Hope to do Italy in depth some day.

  12. This article is very exciting for me. I have visited several Etruscan tombs/excavations in Tuscany and Emilia and spent a wonderful afternoon at the Luigi Fantini archaeological museum in Monterenzio for a guided instruction and viewing of artifacts from the Etruscan- Celtic settlement discovered in nearby Monte Bibele. I must look up Rocca di Frassinello next time I am in the area. Thanks for a great post.

  13. […] Etruscan tombs […]

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