Cerveteri is a town and comune of northern Lazio in the region of the Metropolitan City of Rome. It is famous for the site of the ancient Etruscan city which was one of the most important Etruscan cities with a more than 15 times larger than todays town. Caere was one of the city-states of the Etruscan League and at its height, around 600 BC, the ancient city was situated about 7 km from the sea, a location which made it a wealthy trading town derived originally from the iron ore mines in the Tolfa hills. It had three sea ports including Pyrgi, connected to Caere by a road approximately 13 km long and 10 metres wide, little is known of the ancient city although six temples are known from various sources. Two of them have been excavated, one of Hera, the other in the north of the city, parts of the city walls are still visible today and excavations opened up a theatre. One famous and important work of art is the Sarcophagus of the Spouses, the most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropolis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 hectares, of which 10 hectares can be visited and it is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area. The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners, the tombs date from the 9th century BC to the later Etruscan period. The earliest tombs are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed, the visitable area contains two such roads, the Via dei Monti Ceriti and the Via dei Monti della Tolfa. Modern knowledge of Etruscan daily life is dependent on the numerous decorative details. The most recent tombs date from the 3rd century BC, some of them are marked by external cippi, which are cylindrical for men, and in the shape of a small house for women. A large number of finds excavated at Cerveteri are in the National Etruscan Museum, Rome, with others in the Vatican Museums, others, mainly pottery, are in the Archaeological Museum at Cerveteri itself. The Rocca Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, including a medieval section reachable from the 1950s addition through a triumphal arch, palazzo Ruspoli, rebuilt as baronal palace by the Orsini in 1533. The portico and the loggia on the façade are from the 17th century and it is connected to Santa Maria Maggiore through a passetto, built in 1760. The small church of SantAntonio Abate, with a 1472 fresco by Lorenzo da Viterbo, the medieval burgh of Ceri Castle of Cerenova Around the city of Cerveteri is an Italian DOC wine region that produces red and white blended wines. The red wines are blends of 60% Sangiovese and Montepulciano, 25% Cesanese and up to 30% of Canaiolo, Carignan, the grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and the final wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 11%. The white wines are composed of a blend of 50% Trebbiano Romagnolo and Giallo, a maximum of 35% Malvasia di Candia. The grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 14 tonnes/ha, for the ancient bishopric that originally had its seat in Cerveteri and is now a titular see, see Caere
Interior of an Etruscan tomb in the Banditaccia necropolis.
Sarcophagus of the Spouses (Villa Giulia)
Sculpture from a temple at Caere, 525-500 BC (Altes Museum Berlin)