'EXVALSE', 'Operation/Project co-financed by the Tuscan Por Fesr 2014-2020'

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The stories of the local ambassadors: Paolo Dell’Agnello, Chianciano Terme

The history of the Etruscan discoveries in Chianciano Terme

Paolo Dell'Agnello is one of the founders of the Chianciano Terme Geoarchaeological Association, an organization that has been committed to disseminating knowledge on the Etruscan civilization for 40 years. An association founded in the mid-80s by a group of friends.
But let's take a step back.

Paolo was, and still is, a great lover of his Chianciano, as well as of Bosco dei Fucoli, and it was here that he found himself in 1976 when he accidentally made an incredible discovery, which however at the time did not appear so incredible: “I found some strange fragments of a stone. Archaeological culture at that time was not widespread, so I didn't even imagine what those pieces could be, and in fact they remained in my garage at home for 10 years - says Paolo - After a few years from the discovery, some friends and I decided to found the Geoarchaeological association and one of the group's first "public" outings was in Arezzo, at an exhibition dedicated to the Etruscan civilization. On display we immediately noticed many pieces very similar to those I kept in the garage. At that moment there was something of an epiphany and we all ran together to the Bosco dei Fucoli, starting to look for other finds similar to those I had found many years before".

It is precisely then that all the great beauty of Chianciano Terme, all its treasures, slowly began to come to light. Excavations began and first a well-preserved head was found, then fragments of an imposing terracotta pediment dating back to the 2nd century BC, and then the statue of the goddess Thesan.
These are years of numerous and prestigious discoveries for the spa town, which make the increasing number of members of the association proud: "For any fragment found the emotion was incredible, even after years I can't find the words to describe it. When we excavated at the Bosco dei Fucoli it was extraordinary, because during the day the people of Chianciano, Montepulciano Sarteano and tourists arrived, everyone came to see, intrigued by our work. They were also the years in which the grave robbers were very active, and out of fear that we had that they might steal what we had found, we even went on patrols at night. It was an exceptional time."

In about ten years so many finds were found that it became necessary to identify a space where they could be placed. In 1997 the Archaeological Museum of Chianciano Terme opened its doors, now an attraction appreciated by many visitors. Since 2003, volunteers from the Archaeological Group have managed it, also organizing social events and conferences within the museum space. Inside the Museum there is also a laboratory where preparatory operations are carried out for the restoration of artefacts found in the Chianciano Terme area, always carried out by the association's volunteers.

For Paolo the finds meant a lot, both in terms of personal and social cultural growth: "When I discovered the first find I was just a boy who went hunting and who wasn't interested in culture. Then, thanks to that small fragment, I became an art appraiser. For the entire Chianciano community it was a factor social growth because with my friends at the time we managed to make many people passionate about the discoveries, which became cause for local pride".

Paolo's place of the heart in Chianciano Terme: Bosco dei Fucoli
“The spark that gave life to the association exploded there, even if at the time of the first chance discovery I had neither the culture nor the competence to understand that I had come across an artefact from the Etruscan era”.

The place recommended by the local: Pietraporciana Nature Reserve
“It is an extraordinary, relaxing place, where it is possible to observe rare plants and flowers. There are different routes you can take, one more beautiful than the other."


Paolo Dell’Agnello, founder of the Chianciano Terme Geoarchaeological Association