In Valdichiana Senese, there are many ways to discover the Etruscan civilization: on foot, by bicycle, underground among the tunnels of the underground city, admiring the unique museum pieces, in the kitchen tasting thousand-year-old dishes and recipes or sipping a glass of wine. In this article of Valdichiana Living we discover a two-day itinerary to discover the Etruscans in the Valdichiana Senese starting from Chiusi, passing through Montepulciano and Chianciano Terme.
The adventure of discovering the Etruscans begins in the historic center of Chiusi, where an ebike will await you to reach the first leg of the itinerary: the Etruscan necropolis. Here it is impossible not to stop to admire the Pilgrim's Tomb, inside which urns and sarcophagi of rare beauty have been found, and the Tomb of the Monkey that dates back to the beginning of the 5th century BC. You can also see the monkey, from which the name of the tomb derives. Here you will find all the useful information to book a visit to the tomaba and consult the opening hours to the public.
Once the visit to the necropolis is over, the itinerary starts again towards the Lake of Chiusi where the Etruscan tradition is found in the brustico, lake fish cooked over a fire powered by reeds and reeds, just like in VII BC. Following the ancient Etruscan recipe, the fish are still left to carbonize outside to facilitate the scraping of the scales. Once the bones are removed, then add a pinch of salt, pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to enhance the taste.
After the brustico, it's time to return to Chiusi to discover the Etruscan wonders preserved in the historic center between the National Etruscan Museum and the Underground City.
The National Etruscan Museum is one of the most important Etruscan museums in Italy. Going through the halls of the museum you embark on a real journey through time: from the iron and bronze age room, to the section dedicated to Lombard art, with weapons and jewels, up to the important Etruscan section - where they are exposed imported Greek vases and famous canopic vases, together with funerary vases with lids made in the shape of human heads - and up to the hall dedicated to the Roman period in Chiusi, with its remarkable marble sculptures.
Once the visit to the National Etruscan Museum is over, it's time to go back underground. In Chiusi, in fact, there is an entire underground city where more than 500 funerary urns are kept and an ancient well where there is still a small lake characteristic for its crystal clear water.
Once back in the historic center, if you are not too tired before leaving, we advise you to climb the tower in the main square from which you can admire a beautiful panorama of the Valdichiana Senese and Aretina.
Here you will find all the information to book tickets to access the manhole cover museum system and consult the opening hours to the public.
The itinerary continues in Montepulciano where the history of the Etruscan civilization blends with the winemaking tradition that distinguishes this village from the others of the Valdichiana Senese. Definitely worth a visit is the Civic Museum - Pinacoteca Crociani which houses an interesting selection of Etruscan finds. Once outside the museum, it takes just a few steps to find yourself at the Cantina De' Ricci, whose origins date back to the 16th century and which some call" the cathedral of wine ". Inside the cellar - whose beauty takes your breath away - a cave of Etruscan origin was found which, at the time, most likely housed a family.
The journey to discover the link between wine and the Etruscans continues in the Poliziana Fortress, a few meters from Piazza Grande, which houses the Enoliteca of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano . The Enolitheca is made unique by its glass floor from which it is possible to admire the archaeological remains: bases of Etruscan buildings and an ancient Roman cistern. In addition to the beauty of the place, to make the aperitif perfect here is the choice of labels that the Enoliteca of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano offers, almost 100 between Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG and Rosso di Montepulciano DOC. Our advice is to enjoy a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG admiring the sunset, from here the view is breathtaking!
To conclude your short stay in the Valdichiana Senese, the spa cannot be missed. A few kilometers from Montepulciano, in the spa town of Chianciano Terme, you can choose from a wide range of Spas. Our suggestion is the Sensory Spa (you can buy the entrance ticket here) which offer visitors a journey through different pools, hammams and saunas, all based on sensory experiences. You will regenerate yourself in the salt water pools, walk on pebble stones with splashes of hot and cold water, relax in an Etruscan hammam, where the steam has a delicate smell of flowers, herbs and honey. Finally, one thing not to be missed: the relaxing or energizing mud. If you decide to extend your well-being at the Sensory Spa, you can also book a series of massages, skin and body treatments.