Tuscania (VT) is located 122 km from Rome. Of the many legends regarding the town’s origins, the most plausible one attributes its founding to Ascanius, son of Aeneas, or to Tusco, son of Hercules.
In any case, its origins are ancient, with testimonials tracing it back to the Bronze Age.
Under the Etruscans, Tuscania was prosperous and powerful, benefiting from its advantageous geographical position, at the centre of an important road network connecting the coastal cities to the hinterland.
Already in the 6th century BC, it was a thriving city for maritime trade primarily through the Port of Montalto.
The 2rd century BC saw the arrival of the Romans who, thanks to the Via Clodia, fostered the town’s expansion: contrary to what was happening in other Etruscan centres, the town grew richer, thanks to the construction of aqueducts, baths and residential buildings. It grew increasingly important until in 19 BC, it became a Roman municipium or town.
It was one of the first centres to adopt Christianity, becoming one of the Italian episcopal seats. In 574 Tuscania was conquered by the Lombards and, in 774, by Charlemagne.
In the 11th century, it was the fiefdom of the Aldobrandeschi and the Marquises of Tuscany and in 1081, was besieged by Henry IV’s troops.
On becoming a free commune in the 12th century, it then built an impressive set of walls to protect against external attacks.
The most representative and noteworthy religious buildings are the church of San Pietro and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Its most important museums are the Archaeological Museum and the Etruscan and Roman necropoles.