A major centre of Etruscan civilisation that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, the Necropolis stretches for more than two kilometres. This certainly makes it the most imposing in all Etruria and one of the most magnificent monuments of its kind anywhere in the Mediterranean basin. These monumental tombs are located inside tumuli, partly cut into the tufa rock and partly built over it. The purpose of theseedifices was to illustrate the desire of a handful of aristocratic families to make a statement about their wealth and to perpetuate a lifestyle of the highest quality also after death.
This may explain the abundance of luxury goods found in these tombs, such as tableware made of precious metal, goldsmith’s work, illustrated vases, bronzes and pieces imported from Greece and the Near East, as well as weapons, belts, razors, buckles and jewellery. The interiors are eerily evocative, imitating the houses where their occupants spent their lives, with several rooms, shaped doors and windows, columns and pillars, beamed and coffered ceilings, furnishings, funerary beds and sometimes grave goods. It is also interesting to visit the tombs known locally as a dado(like dice), which describes how they line the streets of the necropolis in regular patterns, looking uncannily like a modern housing estate.