According to the legend, Tuscania was founded by Aeneas’ son, Ascanius, where he had found twelve dog pups (hence the Etruscan name Tus-Cana, Cana being similar to the Latin canis for “dog”).
This story has no legs to stand on in modern days, but it does go a long way to proving just how old Tuscania is.
This town in the province of Viterbo boasts roots that go as far back as the Neolithic Age and a golden era that began in the 5th century when it became one of the first bishopric seats in Italy.
Church of San Pietro
The town’s main sight is a Lombard-Romanesque monument that was started in the 8th century. You very rarely see churches that are this old, so it’s a real treat to explore such a beautifully preserved one.
Just don’t expect walls of frescoes and gold-flecked paintings. Those came after. In this church, the atmosphere is austere and harshened by bare rock walls.
The Etruscan Museum
Another highlight of Tuscania. This museum has all the best bits from a town that’s seen more than a few hundred summers. Keep an eye out for the amazing sarcophagi.
The Etruscan necropolis
If the museum isn’t enough for you, you can get your Etruscan fix at the nearby necropolis where there is a collection of lovely tombs once inhabited by the town’s noblest families. Keep an eye out
for the Tomb of the Queen and Pian di Mola, which are the site’s most famous attractions.
Church of San Maria Maggiore
A pleasant Romanesque church that’s easy on the eye with a pair of free-standing columns intended to evoke the Boaz and Jachin of the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem.