The ancient Vulci lies in the territory of what is today Montalto di Castro, in the Latium Maremma, close to the territory of Canino. Although it is not close to the beach – it is on a calcareous platform on the right side of the Fiora River – it used to be one of the largest Etruscan city-states having a strong seafaring and trading history with Greece and the East, as shown by the sumptuous grave goods that were found in the nearby necropolises and currently exhibited in museums all over the world. There are still many remains that belong to a long period of history until the Roman domination, when the city was abandoned and slowly declined.
Must-sees include the many Etruscan necropolises, such as Cavalupo, Ponte Rotto, Polledrara, famous tombs (François, the tumulus of Cuccumella, of Tori and others), and Roman ruins, like the superb bridge called Ponte della Badia.
The Vulci Castle, in the territory of Canino, close to a bridge, the “Ponte dell’Arcobaleno” (Rainbow Bridge) (see picture) was built by the Romans to cross a big gorge over the Fiora River. The castle was built by Cistercian monks in the 12th century on a former abbey dedicated to St. Mamiliano in the 9th century, then destroyed by the Saracen invasions. In the 13th century, the castle became an important aid and assistance center for pilgrims and, for half a century, was run together with the so-called knight-templars. Near the Fiora River, you will also find grottos that show evidence of the presence of these knights.
In the 16th century, Alessandro Farnese, the future Pope Paul III, became the owner of the property and had some restorations carried out. The castle was later used as customs of the Papal States, since it bordered on the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Afterwards, the castle was acquired by the Bonaparte family, in 1859 by the Torlonia family, and eventually by the Italian government.
The Archaeological Museum is located inside the Castle of Abbadia. Here, you will see the rich grave goods of the Panathenaic tomb, Etruscan and Greek pottery, bronzes, sarcophagi, ex-votos, and architectural elements that once decorated temples and tombs.
For more information, please visit http://www.vulci.it