The ‘mysterious’ Etruscans

View of Viterbo

View of Viterbo

I’m involved teaching a group that has arrived in Rome Fiumicino airport to explore Tuscia and the Papal States – unknown, unspoilt Italy. No tourists – except us. Italian visitors, and a quiet, welcoming atmosphere that I remember from my first visits to Italy before mass tourism began. Then E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View, written early in the 20th century, depicted a Santa Croce in Florence with a few earnest visitors, with or without the local Anglican priest as a guide,all seeking out the Donatello annunciation, the Giotto chapel and the humanist tombs, superbly carved by Desiderio da Settignano and Rossellino (one of the brothers!) and without a Christian reference on them… I digress.


In spite of the rain, the Caere (Cerveteri) tombs in the Bandatelli cemetery – one of many – were impressive and one member of the group said that the tour was already worthwhile. We arrived in Viterbo at 5.30 in time to settle into the hotel before a welcoming dinner. What a feast! It consisted of 4 courses: crostini, really toasted bread with their own olive oil (a terrible temptation to spoil what was to follow!) – home-made pasta with an exotic sauce and much else.


If you enjoy my writing, please recommend it to others by clicking on the sharing buttons above.

My latest book, Mastering The Sun, is available from Amazon…

Share This