Spend days learning about central Italy’s ancient Etruscan civilization, dining at time-honored pizzerias and relaxing at beaches on the west coast near the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Tarquinia is a welcoming destination that offers a mix of historic and natural attractions. Ruled by both the Etruscans and Romans, Tarquinia went on to become a medieval stronghold. Today, the town’s hassle-free ambiance is the antidote to bustling tourist centers such as Florence and Rome.
A major town attraction is the UNESCO-protected Etruscan ruins called Necropoli di Monterozzi. This 3,000-year-old underground burial ground is home to hundreds of tombs, many decorated with frescoes that portray traditional Etruscan activities. Discover more about the life of the Etruscans, one of Italy’s earliest civilizations, at Museo Nazionale Tarquiniense.
Tarquinia’s old town is typical of those in Viterbo’s hill towns with narrow streets that lead past Renaissance-era palaces to photogenic plazas. Drink from the water of the fountain set at the heart of Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. Admire the arresting architecture of the churches: Chiesa di San Pancrazio, Chiesa di Santa Maria di Castello and Chiesa del Salvatore. Browse exhibitions of sacred paintings, sculptures and tapestries at the Carlos Chenis Museum of Sacred Art.
Sit at a square and watch as children play games, courting couples meet and groups of men and women gather for an afternoon chat. Be enticed by the alluring smells that flow from the bakeries. Join locals in celebrating the end of the working day with an aperitif or glass of wine at the town bars. Dine on homemade pasta at trattorias and sample authentic margherita pizza at pizzerias.
Drive west from the town center to reach the glorious Tyrrhenian Sea coastline. Bask in the warm summer sunshine at the public access areas and private beach clubs at Lido di Tarquinia and Tibidabo Beach. Alternatively, enjoy some family-friendly fun at Parco Avventura Riva dei Tarquini adventure playground.
Reach Tarquinia by flying to Rome and then take a bus or rent a car from there. Extend your stay to visit the picturesque hill towns of Viterbo province, including Vitorchiano and Soriano nel Cimino.