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Tarquinia, Province of Viterbo, Lazio

Tarquinia, formerly Corneto and originally Tarquinii, is an ancient city whose history began before 1,000 BC. Its importance is mostly in connection with the Etruscan remains present in its territory, for which the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Info

  • Altitude: 133 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 16,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 01016
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0766
  • Patron Saint: Maria Santissima of Valverde, celebrated on 8th May
  • Frazioni & Localities: Tarquinia Lido, Marina Velca, Saline, Sant' Agostino
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Provinces of Lazio

History

Tarquinii is said to have been already a flourishing city when Demaratus of Corinth brought in Greek workmen. It was the chief of the twelve cities of Etruria, and appears in the earliest history of Rome as the home of two of its kings, Tarquinius Priscus and Tarquinius Superbus. From it many of the religious rites and ceremonies of Rome are said to have been derived, and even in imperial times a collegium of sixty haruspices continued to exist there. The people of Tarquinii and Veii attempted to restore Tarquinius Superbus to the throne after his expulsion.

In 358 BC the citizens of Tarquinii captured and put to death 307 Roman soldiers; the resulting war ended in 351 with a forty years' truce, renewed for a similar period in 308. When Tarquinii came under Roman domination is uncertain, as is also the date at which it became a municipality; in 181 BC its port, Graviscae (today Porto Clementino), in an unhealthy position on the low coast, became a Roman colony. It exported wine and carried on coral fisheries. Nor do we hear much of it in Roman times; it lay on the hills above the coast road. The flax and forests of its extensive territory are mentioned by classical authors, and we find Tarquinii offering to furnish Scipio with sailcloth in 195 B.C. A bishop of Tarquinii is mentioned in 456.

[the text above is derived from Wikipedia and is subject to the GNU licence]

What to see

  • Excavations and tombs of the Etruscan town, among the best preserved Etruscan sites in Italy.

Where to stay in Tarquinia