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Museo Etrusco - top Etruscan museum

  • Museo Etrusco - top Etruscan museum

    Volterra displays some of the best Etruscan art outside Rome, with the finest treasures in the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci. Founded in 1761, this is one of the oldest public museums in Europe, and is easily the city’s finest museum. The funerary urns and alabaster sarcophagi run the gamut of Etruscan demonology and Greek mythology, featuring sea monsters, Greek gods, beaked griffins and sirens. The Married Couple urn is a masterpiece of realistic portraiture, but the single most moving sculpture from this era is The Shadow of the Evening (L’Ombra della Sera). Although over two thousand years old, this bronze statuette resembles a Giaco¬metti sculpture and seems modern in its message and design. This mysterious, elongated figure does indeed resemble the shadow of a boy thrown by the low beams of the setting sun. It blurs immortality and mortality in true Etruscan fashion.

    Wherever archaeologists dig in the city, they turn up new treasures. Sometimes they do not even need to dig, since parts of the city, built on soft tufa-stone and weakened by subterranean springs, have been slipping slowly down the hillside for centuries, revealing the remains of an extensive necropolis. The tombs from Volterra’s Etruscan necropolis have provided many of the pieces on display. Pick up the audio-guide at the museum, remembering that the museum is included in the general city pass, the Volterra Card.

    Address: Museo Etrusco Guarnacci, Via Don Minzoni 15, Volterra
    Web: www.comune.volterra.pi.it/museo-etrusco-guarnacci

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