This is the Tuscany that is often neglected by those who focus on the interior of the Region -- the Siena-Florence corridor.
Montalto di Castro is located a couple of km from the coast. The town sits on a large tuff outcrop. Marina di Montalta, is the town that is located right on the coast.
Montalto di Castro, the upper town, is walled and has the focal point of the Guglielmi Castle, which dates back to the 15th Century. It is enclosed, and the entire town has about 8,000 people. Below the walled area is a more modern town with plenty of shops and cafes. Also in the area is the never opened Montalto di Castro Nuclear Power Station. It was in 1988 when it was just about completed that the Italian government made the decision to close all nuclear plans. The plant never opened. Some of the buildings are used as a non-nuclear station.
Despite our many travels in Italy, here is yet another place we have not yet visited! Lonely Planet calls this the pick of Etruscan towns in the Lazio Region. The necropolis has extraordinary frescoed tombs (there are over 200), the Etruscan museum, in the Vitelleschi Palace, is the best outside of Rome, and the town it self has great atmosphere.
Tarquinia also includes the medieval town of Cornetum, Medieval buildings with the massive towers and impressive churches. Of note is to visit Santa Maria di Castello built in 1121, the oriental Church of St. Giacomo; and the Santissima Annunziata, which shows the the rule of the Byzantines and Arabs.
We are lucky to be in this area, Targuinia can be visited by train, although it is a 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip but the train does take you to the center of the old town of Targuinia. When driving, travel write-ups say the stretch of road is a favorite of police to catch speeding drivers! Really, in Italy!
In reading about the Necropolis, notes are to not just judge the by the barren land you see. There are what looks like workers' huts , and each of these cover a set of steps going down to a tomb and you can turn on a light to see through the glass. Each tomb has a painting. Some are well preserved: others less so but when you consider that the paintings are 2500+ years old it is quite an amazing experience. Some of the better wall paintings are in Rome at the Villa Giulia.
The wines of the area include red and white, with the white being a frizzante style (that could be refreshing).
© Glenn Marcus
my travels in Italy