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Etruscan life at Castellina Archaeological Museum

  • Etruscan life at Castellina Archaeological Museum

    The former medieval castle is now a fortified town hall hiding this small, Etruscan-centred archaeological museum. Known as the Museo Archeologico del Chianti Senese, the museum focuses on finds unearthed in Sienese Chianti, including from Castellina, Gaiole, Radda and Castelnuovo Berardenga. In particular, the museum displays Etruscan finds from the 7th-century-BC Montecalvario tombs, Castellina’s aristocratic Etruscan burial mound. Admire the newly reconstructed Montecalvario chariot, with its bronze and iron decorated plates. Look at the talismanic treasures placed with the dead for their final journey — objects such as a gold earring or a bronze belt.

    These Etruscan tombs were built nearly 3,000 years ago but the creators can feel very much like ourselves. On view is an amphora decorated with a scene of revellers at a feast. As in the contemporary Chianti, wine plays a significant role. In Etruscan times, wine was a sign of status, and drunk at rituals and ceremonies. Generally, the wine was mixed with honey and spices but, more curiously, there was also a version featuring grated cheese.

    This castle setting is about far more than the Etruscans so you can also explore the fortress, a former stronghold of the Florentine Republic during its century-long war against Siena. End your explorations with the tower-top walkway and sweeping views from medieval Castellina to the Chianti mountains to the east, and San Gimignano and the Val d’Elsa valley to the west.

    Address: Piazza del Comune 17
    Castellina in Chianti
    Tel: (+39) 347 679075 & 0577 742090

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