Visit Chiusi, an etruscan town in Val di Chiana
Located in the south of Val di Chiana, near the border with Umbria, Chiusi stands on a hill at an altitude of about 400 metres above the sea level.
The town has a nice historical centre and is most of all famous for its etruscan necropolis.
A long history from the iron age to our days
The site has been occupied since ancient times, we must to go back to the iron age to find the origins of the settlement. The history of Chiusi is strictly connected with the etruscan one.
Known in antiquity with two names, Camars e Clevin (Clusium in latin), the city was famous in the antiquity and, according to tradition, it was the homeland of the etruscan king Porsenna (VI-V century B.C.). According to what some Latin authors define an “Etruscan Fable” Porsenna would have built in Chiusi an inextricable maze with several towers inthe shape of pyramids superimposed. A legend that has intrigued numerous intellectuals and artists for centuies.
In the 4th century before Christ, Chiusi became an ally of Rome. The settlement during the roman age was very similar to the etruscan one. In this period Chiusi keep his important role thanks to its position.
The decline of the site came with the worsening of environmental, economic and demographic conditions of the 11th century.In the 16th century Chusi became part of the Medici State that began the reclamation, completed in the nineteenth century, which marked the rebirth of the city. This century was also the start of archaeological discoveries that made the city famous and made it a tourist attraction.
Things to do in Chiusi: the Guide
Via Porsenna is the main street of the city centre, here you can find the Archaeological Museum and, on the other side, the main square: Piazza Carlo Baldini (or piazza del Duomo).
Piazza del duomo
The square was the center of the political and religious power of the medieval town. Here there are the Cathedral (Concattedrale di San Secondiano) and the palace of the bishop (Palazzo vescovile), that is attached to the Church by a beautiful porch.
The cathedral was founded in the 6th century, renovated in the 12th and finally extensively remodelled between 1887 and 1894 when the facade was endowed with a porch with doric columns. Near the cathedral, but isolated from it, stands the Tower of San Secondiano. Buil in XII century with defensive functions, was converted into a bell Ttower in 1585.
Museo della Cattedrale
Museum of the Cathedral is hosted by the palace of the bishop. In the ground floor of the museum are displayed some archaeological finds from the catacombs of Santa Caterina and Santa Mustiola and from the excavations of the cathedral. In the halls of the first floor are kept vestments and furnishings, jewels and a series of 21 paintings illuminated manuscripts from the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore.
Museum ticket includes a visit to the catacombs of Santa Caterina and Santa Mustiola and to the Labyrinth of Porsenna. The maze has a path that winds from the Bishop’s garden up to the Tower of San Secondiano, through the tunnels beneath Piazza del Duomo.
Museum: monday-friday10.00-12.45. Saturday, sunday and holidays 10.00-12.45 and 15.20-18.15
Labyrinth: monday-friday: 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10. Saturday, sunday and holidays: 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10, 15.30, 16.10, 16.50, 17.30
Museo: monday-friday 10.00-12.45 and 14.30-15.50. Saturday, sunday and holidays 10.00 -12.45 and 15.20-18.15
Labyrinth: monday-friday: 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10, 14.30, 15.10, 15.50. Saturday and holydays: 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10, 15.30, 16.10, 16.50, 17.30
Museum: every day 10.00-12.45 and 15.20-18.15
Labyrinth: 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10, 15.30, 16.10, 16.50, 17.30
from 16 October
Museum: monday-friday 10.00-12.45. Saturday and sunday 10.00-12.45 and 15.20-17.30
Labyrinth: monday-friday 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10. Saturday and sunday 10.10, 10.50, 11.30, 12.10, 15.30, 16.10, 16.50
Tickets: regular 5 euro; reduced (6-14 years old) 3 euro; free 0-6 years old; groups (min. 15 people) 4,00 euro; schools 2,50 euro
Catacombs: Guided tours (reservations required).
Opening hours: june-16 october: 11.00 and 16.30. 17 october-may: 11.00 and 16.00
Tickets: (for each catacomb) regular 5 euro; schools 3 euro
National Archaeological Museum of Chiusi
Housed in a beautiful neoclassical palace,the archaeological museum traces the history of Chiusi and its territory through numerous finds from archaeological excavations carried out in the area. The exhibits cover a wide chronological arch that goes from the iron age to the longobardic period (VI-VIII century after Christ).
Opening hours: every day 9.00-20.00.
Tickets: regular 6 euro; reduced (18-25 anni) 3 euro; free for EU citizens up to 18 years old. Free access the first sunday of every month.
Civic Museum “La Città Sotterranea”
“Città Sotterranea” (underground town) is a path that starts from the labyrinth and then advance along the underground tunnels of the city. Inside these tunnels are exposed hundreds of etruscan urns. The tour ends with the visit to a small underground lake.
Opening hours: Guided tours (reservations required).
May-october: tuesday-sunday 10.15, 11.30, 12.45, 15.15, 16.30, 17.45
November-april: thursday-friday: 10.10, 11.10 – 12.10. Saturday-sunday: 10.10, 11.10, 12.10, 15.10, 16.10, 17.10
Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced (6-14 years and over 65 years old) 3 euro; free under 6 years.
For more informations please consult the web site of ProLoco di Chiusi.
How to get to Chiusi
By train: The closest train station, Chiusi Chianciano Terme, is located in Chiusi Scalo, less than a kilometer from Chiusi
By car: The town is easily accessible by the highway A1, exit Chiusi-Chianciano
What to do around Chiusi
Near the city, there are many necropolis that you should visit when you visit Chiusi. Among these, there are the catacombs of Santa Caterina and Santa Mustiola and the etruscan tombs Tomba della Pellegrina and Tomba del Leone.