From Verucchio to Comacchio: following the footsteps of the Etruscans

An itinerary among several of Romagna’s municipalities to discover a heritage of art

Logo CC

Much of the land in the Emilia-Romagna region harbours an extraordinary archaeological heritage linked to the presence of the Etruscan people, which may be dated to between the 8th and 6th centuries BC.

Originating from the ancient region of Etruria (present-day Tuscany and northern Lazio), the Etruscans soon spread to various areas of central Italy, forming small farming communities and fortified villages with strong links to the “motherland.”

From Bologna to Verucchio, passing by way of the area around Comacchio and Ravenna, much of this territory was home to an emerging society called Villanovan (so named by historians and archaeologists after the town – Villanova di Castenaso in the Bologna area – where the first finds were unearthed), many of whose remains and artifacts may be seen in a host of regional museums and archaeological sites.

Here is an itinerary among several of Romagna’s municipalities, to discover a heritage of art and beauty that is unique in the world.

  • Length
    48 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - Archeological Museum of Verucchio Verucchio

    Verucchio reveals age-old traces of the Etruscan Villanovan presence that may be dated to between the 9th and 7th centuries BC, especially within the necropolises discovered on the slopes of the cliff that is now home to the Medieval village.

    The archaeological evidence reveals the presence of a well-structured settlement. Digs carried out in the area have brought to light tombs, remains of dwellings, and artefacts documenting this ancient community’s daily life. 

    This is shown by the rich finds brought to light from the necropolises surrounding the town, now on display at Museo Civico Archeologico which, along with the excavation area, is part of Parco Archeologico di Verucchio (the Verucchio Archeological Park).

    Crested helmets, curved swords, pottery, cinerary urns, amber, necklaces, and rings – but also fabrics and spools: an endless treasure of immense beauty and rarity that Verucchio’s necropolises have handed down to us after nearly three millennia of history. These finds bear witness to a rich society marked by the presence of aristocratic families, as shown by the beautiful “throne of Verucchio” – a small, wooden chair carved from a single log that dates to the 8th century BC.

  • Second stop - Museo del Delta Antico di Comacchio Comacchio

    Numerous archaeological finds unearthed in the territory of Ferrara, particularly near Comacchio, bear witness to the Etruscans’ presence in this territory as early as the 6th century BC, especially in the vicinity of an important harbour/trading post named Spina – traces of which, however, have been lost over the course of the centuries.

    In 1922, the Valle Trebba drainage works began to yield the first objects attributed to the Etruscan city’s necropolis; later excavation campaigns gradually brought to light a host of items bearing witness to this ancient town.

    Today, many of these discoveries are conserved at Comacchio’s Museo Delta Antico, the Ancient Delta Museum housed in the 18th-century Ospedale degli Infermi.

    This unbelievable exhibition space covers the history of the Po Delta area, from the earliest Bronze-Age finds to the Middle Ages, using evocative reconstructions, 3D models, and interactive elements providing greater depth.

    The rooms dedicated to the city of Spina deal with this major Etruscan marketplace via the materials originating from the excavation of the inhabited area and its necropolises’ rich grave goods.

  • Third stop - Archeological Museum of Ferrara Ferrara

    Finds from the fabulous city of Spina, plus items bearing witness to the Greek and Etruscan worlds, can also be found in Ferrara, about 50 km from Comacchio, in the rooms of Palazzo Costabili, one of the most prestigious Este-family Renaissance palazzi, capable of offering the public an archaeological heritage that is unique in the world.

    In fact, the museum houses finds of the finest workmanship from the Etruscan city of Spina, with the objects subdivided by grave and grouped in accordance with the burial of provenance. Particularly fascinating are the large Attic symposium vessels, bearing scenes of everyday life, mythological tales, and stories linked to the Trojan War. Works by the most highly skilled artisans of the time appear, while objects of great richness, like golden diadems, are joined by other, more commonly used ones, including plates, bowls, oil vessels, and bone and stone dice. Other finds, especially in bronze, are of Etruscan production, while the upper-Adriatic pottery, made locally when trade with Greece ceased, is of the finest workmanship.

Last update 31/01/2024

For more information

Editorial board DT Romagna

Information offices

IAT Verucchio
+ 39 0541 670222 Opening: all year round
Ufficio Informazioni e Accoglienza Turistica - Comacchio
Via Agatopisto - Comacchio (FE)
+ 39 0533 314154
IAT - Ufficio Informazioni Accoglienza Turistica Ferrara
Largo Castello - Ferrara (FE)
+ 39 0532 419190 Opening: all year round

You may also like...

OFFICIAL TOURIST INFORMATION SITE © 2024 Emilia-Romagna Region Tourism and Commerce Department