Comune di Cerveteri

Aerial view of the town of Cerveteri.

Location of Cerveteri in Italy

Coordinates: 42°00′N 12°06′E / 42.000°N 12.100°E / 42.000; 12.100
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province / Metropolitan city Rome
Frazioni Sasso, Ceri, Valcanneto, Marina di Cerveteri, Cerenova, Campo di mare, San Martino, I Terzi, Due Casette
  Mayor Alessio Pascucci
  Total 134.43 km2 (51.90 sq mi)
Elevation 81 m (266 ft)
Population (30 September 2015)
  Total 37,326
  Density 280/km2 (720/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Cerveterani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00052
Dialing code 06
Patron saint St. Michael Archangel
Saint day May 8
Website Official website

Cerveteri [tʃerˈvɛːteri] is a town and comune of the northern Lazio, in the province of Rome. Originally known as Caere (also Caisra and Cisra in Etruscan, Agylla, Άγυλλα in Greek), it is famous for a number of Etruscan necropoles.[1]

Cerveteri is believed to have been one of the city-states of the Etruscan League and at its height, around 600 BC, its population was perhaps around 25,000 - 40,000 people.[2][3][4][5][6]

Main sights

Via degli Inferi, the main entrance to the Banditaccia Necropolis.
Tombs view in December.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 1158
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)

Necropolis of the Banditaccia

The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropolis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 hectares (990 acres), of which 10 hectares (25 acres) can be visited, encompassing a total of ca. 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area. The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing (bando) of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners.

The tombs date from the 9th century BC (Villanovan culture) to the later Etruscan period (3rd century BC). The earliest tombs are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed; also simple potholes are present.

From the later Etruscan period are two types of tombs: tumulus-type tombs and the so-called "dice", the latter being simple square tombs built in long rows along roads within the necropolis. The visitable area contains two such roads, the Via dei Monti Ceriti and the Via dei Monti della Tolfa (6th century BC).

The tumuli are circular structures built in tuff, and the interiors, carved from the living rock, house a reconstruction of the house of the dead, including a corridor (dromos), a central hall, and several rooms. Modern knowledge of Etruscan daily life is largely dependent on the numerous decorative details and finds from such tombs. One of the most famous tombs is the Tomb of the Reliefs, identified from an inscription as belonging to the Matuna family and provided with an exceptional series of frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures portraying a large series of contemporary life tools.[7][8]

Etruscan phallic symbols. "Cippi" indicating that tomb occupants were male

The most recent tombs date from the 3rd century BC. Some of them are marked by external cippi, which are cylindrical for men, and in the shape of a small house for women.

A large number of finds excavated at Cerveteri are in the National Etruscan Museum, Rome, with others in the Vatican Museums and many other museums around the world. Others, mainly pottery, are in the Archaeological Museum at Cerveteri itself.


Cerveteri DOC

Around the city of Cerveteri is an Italian DOC wine region that produces red and white blended wines. The red wines are blends of 60% Sangiovese and Montepulciano, 25% Cesanese and up to 30% of Canaiolo, Carignan and Barbera. The grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and the final wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 11%. The white wines are composed of a minimum blend of 50% Trebbiano Romagnolo and Giallo, a maximum of 35% Malvasia di Candia and a maximum of 15% Friulano, Verdicchio, Bellone and Bombino bianco. The grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 14 tonnes/ha and the final wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 12%.[9]

Ancient bishopric

For the ancient bishopric that originally had its seat in Cerveteri and is now a titular see, see Caere.

Twin cities


  1. Quilici, L.; S. Quilici Gigli, DARMC; J. Becker, R.; Talbert; T. Elliott; S. Gillies. "Places: 422859 (Caere)". Pleiades. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  2. Pounds, N.J.G. (1976). An Historical Geography of Europe 450 B.C.-A.D. 1330. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521291262.
  3. Museo nazionale di Villa Giulia; Moretti, A.M.S.; Italy. Soprintendenza archeologica per l'Etruria meridionale (2001). The Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum: Short Guide. L'Erma di Bretschneider. ISBN 9788882650124.
  4. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (26 June 2013). The Etruscan World. Routledge. pp. 1774–. ISBN 1-134-05530-7.
  5. Normal J. G. Pounds (16 December 1976). An Historical Geography of Europe 450 B.C.-A.D. 1330. CUP Archive. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-521-29126-2.
  6. John Morris Roberts (1993). A Short History of the World. Oxford University Press. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-19-511504-8.
  7. Fred Kleiner (8 January 2009). Gardner's Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage Learning. pp. 181–. ISBN 0-495-57360-4.
  8. Horst Blanck; Giuseppe Proietti; Italy. Soprintendenza archeologica per l'Etruria meridionale (1986). La Tomba dei Rilievi di Cerveteri. De Luca.
  9. P. Saunders Wine Label Language pg 137 Firefly Books 2004 ISBN 1-55297-720-X

Coordinates: 42°00′N 12°06′E / 42.000°N 12.100°E / 42.000; 12.100

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