Visiting Chiusi means taking a journey through times to the ancient Etruscans. The municipal area is rich in evidence of the Etruscan civilization, Roman remains, Lombard influences and many other dominations that have occurred over the centuries, with an intriguing melting pot of different eras that allows you to come across tombs, underground catacombs and monuments of artistic and architectural interest.
Its first archaeological evidence dates back to the Iron Age, but it is inside the Etruscan dodecapolis that Chiusi experiences its most prosperous period, creating a series of military, economic and religious alliances with the other city-states of Etruria. Still defined today as the town of Lars Porsena, in honor of the well-known Etruscan king, who reigned there in the sixth century BC, Chiusi bears the signs of its glorious past among the many tombs to visit and the finds exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum, one of the most important museums relating to the Etruscan world.
The Roman catacombs and the spectacular networks of tunnels that form a small underground city will fascinate the tourists, too. Alongside its ancient roots, Chiusi also boasts breathtaking landscapes and panoramas: the result of its strategic position between Siena, Arezzo and Perugia. Suggestive hills populated by olive trees and vineyards, the enchanting basin of its lake, meeting place for all lovers of sport fishing and bird watching, as well as the craft stalls of the famous Porsena market (fixed appointment in the historic center every last Sunday of the month), make Chiusi a treasure chest to be discovered step by step.
Tria Turris is the main historical remembrance of Chiusi: an intense three days festival, which takes place on the last weekend of June, to celebrate the Patron of the town, Saint Mustiola. A large camp from the late 1300s is rebuilt in the city center: here, jesters, musicians, fire-breathers and knights archers accompany the visitor in a whirlwind of spectacular events and stories from the past that culminate in the staging of the Palio delle Torri.
Three days of love and music. This is the motto of the Lars Rock Fest: the free entry festival that animates Chiusi Scalo, every summer, with concerts by some of the main emerging bands of the Italian music scene. Among the collateral events not to be missed, the vinyl market, destination every year for collectors and music lovers, in addition to activities related to the world of comics and illustration.
Theater, music, dance, opera and exhibitions: recognized by Mibact as one of the most interesting multidisciplinary festivals on the contemporary scene, Orizzonti brings together, every year, professional companies and local cultural associations. For ten days, Chiusi becomes a privileged place for meeting, exchange, expression and residence for artists, spectators and operators in the artistic sector, with particular attention paid to new creations in the field of performing arts.
Established in 1871, the Archaeological Museum of Chiusi contains one of the most important collections dedicated to the Etruscans, sorted by chronological and thematic criteria. Inside, finds of rare value are preserved, coming from excavations in the area, but also objects dating back to the Roman era and the subsequent Lombard domination. With the entrance ticket, you can also visit the Lion's Tomb, the Pilgrim's Tomb and the Monkey's Tomb, with a path between urns, ancient paintings and funeral beds carved into the rock.
Etruscan tombs and Christian catacombs: "The Underground City" Civic Museum allows you to live suggestive experiences among Etruscan finds and tunnels. The exhibition itinerary starts from the section "The Labyrinth" in which the complex underground system of Chiusi is represented, and then continues with the "Epigraphic" section: one hundred and forty meters of galleries that host the only exhibition in Italy entirely dedicated to Etruscan funerary epigraphy with about three hundred urns and two hundred inscribed tomb tiles. The itinerary ends with a visit to the underground "pond" located 30 meters deep.
The Cathedral of San Secondiano is one of the oldest churches in Tuscany and, still today, retains the original architecture of an early Christian basilica. Particular attention deserve the eighteen Roman columns, all different from each other, the imposing baptismal font with the statue of St. John the Baptist, attributed to Andrea Sansovino, and the ancient mosaic floor of the presbytery. From here you can access the "Labyrinth of Porsena", an underground path consisting of the tunnels of a complex Etruscan hydraulic system which, articulated under the whole city, reaches a monumental "Etruscan-Roman" cistern.