Near Montalto di Castro, 120 kilometers from Rome, we find what was once one of the most powerful and important city-states of Etruria, Vulci, where Etruscan remains as well as those of the period of Roman rule are still well preserved.
Vulci, an economically prosperous city, thanks also to commercial relations with Greece and the East that influenced its culture from the end of the 7th and for the entire 6th century BC, had numerous flourishing artisan shops for the working of stone, bronze and ceramics.
The archaeological area is surrounded by the original city walls (4th century BC), formed by solid, regular blocks of tufa, which protected the city for centuries, the podium of an imposing Etruscan temple built with blocks of tufa (5th century BC), various rooms of a stately domus of the late Republican period and a small temple (sacellum) dedicated to Hercules.
On the opposite side of the plateau of Vulci there stands, isolated and dominating the deep bend of the Fiora river, the magnificent Ponte del Arcobaleno, literally “Rainbow Bridge” (3rd century BC), 30 metres in height, close to the majestic medieval Castello della Badia that is believed to have been owned in the 13th century by the Knights Templar.
The Etruscan Museum has been set up in the rooms of the castle.
Inside the park are the large necropolises that occupied the area to the north of the city.
The oasis, managed by the WWF, extends along the Fiora river where, thanks to a waterfall, the small Pellicone bathing lake has been created.
There are several options for visiting the archaeological nature park of Vulci, in addition to the easier trails crossing the plateau of the ancient Etruscan city. Among the most appealing trekking routes is one organized along the banks of the Fiora river, which combines an archaeological with a naturalistic itinerary, for discovering the ever-changing landscapes of the Etruscan Maremma. For cycling enthusiasts, inside the park it is possible to take guided tours on mountain bike, around the archaeological excavation sites, and along country roads to reach the Etruscan tombs.
If, instead, you love horses and want to relive the traditions of the butteri horsemen of the Maremma, you can do so accompanied by equestrian guides affiliated with the Park.
Do not miss the walk along one of the trails winding through the natural Oasis managed by the WWF along the Fiora river.