Necropoli di Tarquinia

Top choice in Lazio

This remarkable 7th-century-BC necropolis is one of Italy's most important Etruscan sites. At first sight, it doesn't look like much – a green field littered with corrugated huts – but once you start ducking into the tombs and seeing the vivid frescoes, you'll realise what all the fuss is about.

Some 6000 tombs have been excavated in this area since digs began in 1489, of which 140 are painted and 22 are currently open to the public.

For the best frescoes search out the Tomba della Leonessa; the Tomba della Caccia e della Pesca, with some wonderful hunting and fishing scenes; the Tomba dei Leopardi; and the Tomba della Fustigazione, which is named after a scratchy scene of an S&M threesome.

To get to the necropolis, about 1.5km from the centre, take bus D (€1) from near the tourist office. Alternatively, it's about 20 minutes on foot – head up Corso Vittorio Emanuele, turn right into Via Porta Tarquinia and continue along Via Ripagretta.

Note that you can buy a combined ticket that gives admission to the site and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Tarquiniense as well as Cerveteri's Etruscan museum and necropolis. Valid for seven days, it costs €15/8 (adult/reduced).

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