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The Cathedral with the Porch of the Bishop's Palace, Chiusi, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Chiusi: an important Etruscan and Roman city in Val di Chiana

Chiusi lies in the extreme south of the Valdichiana on a hill at approximately 400 amsl. it’s a famous city for its Etruscan tombs and its historical center. The city is reached in car from Florence or Rome through the Highway of the Sun (Autostrade del Sole, A1), exit Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, from the exit are 3 km more. The distance from Florence is 110 Km, while that from Siena is 80 Km, from Perugia 53 Km and from Arezzo 65 Km.

The city was most important in Etruscan age when it was known with the name of Chamars, it lived its period of maximum splendor from the 7th to 5th century BC and in particolar under the king Porsenna, that besieged also Rome. In 4th century, Chiusi became allied of Rome with the name of Clusium, it was later a military post and from the 82 BC a roman colony.

The splendor of Chiusi, continued also in roman and longobard age end beyond 11th century, when the malaria caused its decline. It was a free city from 1337 to 1355. Then it was submitted from Siena and from 1556 was under Florence rule, under the Medici government Chiusi flourished again thanks to the works of reclamation of the Valdichiana ordered by Cosimo I.

La Torre dell'Orologio, Chiusi, Siena. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Clock Tower, Chiusi, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Chiusi is famous for the splendid Etruscan remains, innumerable excavations, have carried to the light unique pieces in the world, such precious testimonies are exposed in the Archaeological National Etruscan Museum, that deserves a visit. The Museum, is articulated in three sections in which travels over again the history of Chiusi through the exposure of numerous archaeological masterpieces, vases, terra-cotta and funeral sculptures and urns.

The museum is completed by figured attica ceramics, great black figured amphoras and the skyphos of the Painter of Penelope with scenes of the myth of Ulisse. Between the Etruscan tombs, most remarkable are the tombs of the Pellegrina, the tombs of the Scimmia, the Pania and the tomba of the Leone. In the last years it has been opened to the public an interesting archeological route, the so-called Labirinto of King Porsenna, a intricate system of underground passages of the Etruscan age, this route across the subsoil of Chiusi, lead to a monumental Roman cistern (1th century AD) Of the first Christian age are the Catacombs of Santa Mustiola and of Santa Caterina.

La Chiesa di San Francesco e il Convento, Chiusi, Siena. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Church and the Convent of San Francesco, Chiusi, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

In front of the Archaeological Museum is Piazza del Duomo, monumental heart of Chiusi. The Cathedral was erected in 12th century and altered in 16th century, beside the Cathedral is the Museum of the Cathedral, that has important work of art, between which the precious illuminated Benedictines codes. To the left of the Cathedral it’s the tower of San Secondiano built in 12th century and transformed in bell tower in 1585. The interior of the Cathedral is with three aisles divided by 18 columns of various styles, some columns coming from old buildings of the roman Chiusi. The walls of the navata and various others parts of the church are covered from paintings in false mosaic works of Arturo Viligiardi (1887-1894).

From Piazza del Duomo we can cover the ancient Decuman (via Porsenna), along this way are some interesting palaces between which: the palace Bonci Casuccini, the former Fanelli palace, today Baldetti, of 15th century and the palace Della Ciaia of 16th century. Continuing in via Arunte it’s reached the Prato from which a beautiful panorama is enjoyed, from here can be see the Fortress of 12th century, today private property. Taking via Paolozzi we arrives to the Church of San Francesco with the annexed convent with a beautiful cloister, we enters therefore in square XX September where are the Communal Palace, the Tower of the Clock and the Logge, beyond it’s the Church of Santa Maria della Morte. About the town-walls of Chiusi, they were in great part demolished in order to re-use stones or during the second world war, a few trackts still remain and only a single gate (Porta Lavinia) of the three gates that were opened originally.

Il Duomo con il Loggiato del Palazzo Vescovile, Chiusi, Siena.. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Cathedral with the Porch of the Bishop’s Palace, Chiusi, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

CHIUSI MUSEUMS

MUSEO NAZIONALE ETRUSCO

Via Porsenna, 93 – Old Town – tel. +39 0578 20177
sar-tos.museochiusi@beniculturali.it
Hours: daily from 9:00 to 20:00.
Tickets: full price € 6,00 – reduced € 3.00 (18-25 years), access to EU citizens 18.
First Sunday of the month free admission.

TOMBA DELLA PELLEGRINA E TOMBA DEL LEONE

Ticket at the National Etruscan Museum
Located about 3 km from the old town, towards Lake Chiusi. Moving with your own transportation.
Hours: visits every day.
From March to October at 11.00 and 16.00
From November through February at 11.00 and at 14.30.
Ticket: admission to the two tombs is included in the ticket of the National Etruscan Museum.

TOMBA DELLA SCIMMIA

Ticket at the National Etruscan Museum
It located about 3 km from the Old Town, towards Lake Chiusi. Moving with your own transportation. The maximum number of people for each visit is 25. Reservations recommended.
Hours: visits only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
From March to October at 11.00 and at 16.00.
From November through February at 11.00 and at 14.30.
Tickets: full price € 3,00 – Free EU citizens up to 18 years.

TOMBA DEL COLLE

Ticket at the National Etruscan Museum
It located about 1.5 km from the city center, towards the town cemetery. Moving with your own transportation. Maximum 12 people. Reservations required.
Time:
From March to October every Friday at 12:00 and 17:00;
From November to February, the first and third Friday of the month at 12.00 and 15.30;
Tickets: full price € 3,00 – Free EU citizens up to 18 years.

MUSEO DELLA CATTEDRALE E LABIRINTO DI PORSENNA

Piazza Carlo Baldini, 7 (formerly Piazza Duomo) – Old Town – tel. +39 0578 226490 – museocattchiusi@alice.it

Hours: April and May: Timetable Museum of the Cathedral: Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 12.45. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10.00 to 12.45 and from 15.20 to 18.15

Departure Porsenna Labyrinth visits: Monday to Friday: 10.10 – 10.50 – 11.30 – 12.10. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10.10 – 10.50 – 11.30 – 12.10 15.30 – 16.10 – 16.50 – 17.30

From 1 June to 15 October: Timetable Museum of the Cathedral: every day from 10.00 to 12.45 and from 15.20 to 18.15.

Departure visits Labyrinth of Porsenna: 10.10 – 10.50 – 11.30 – 12.10 – 15.30 – 16.10 – 16.50 – 17.30

From October 16: Timetable Museum of the Cathedral: Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 12.45, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 12.45 and from 15.20 to 17.30

Departure visits Labyrinth of Porsenna: 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

Ticket: full € 5,00 – reduced € 3,00 (6-14 years) – free of charge up to 6 years – groups (min 15 persons) € 4,00 – school groups € 2,50

Extraordinary opening for groups (minimum 15 people) upon reservation.

CATACOMBE

Located about 2 km from the historic center. Moving with your own transportation.
Reservation required at the Cathedral Museum.
Hours: guided tours during the opening hours of the Museum of the Cathedral
June 1 – October 16 at 11.00 and 16.30.
remaining time: at 11.00 and at 16.00.
Ticket for each catacomb: € 5,00, for school groups € 3.00.

MUSEO CIVICO – LA CITTÀ SOTTERRANEA

Via Ciminia II, 2 – Old Town – tel. +39 0578 20915 and + 39 334 6266852 – info@clanis.it
Hours: only guided tours. From May to October, from Tuesday to Sunday
10:15 to 11:30 – 12:45 to 15:15 – 16:30 to 17:45
From November to April
Thursday and Friday: 10.10 – 11:10 to 12:10
Saturday and Sunday: 10:10 to 11:10 – 12:10 to 15:10 – 16:10 to 17:10
Tickets: full price € 4,00 – reduced € 3.00 (children 6-14 and people over 65) – free under 6 years old. Special opening for groups (min. 10 people) by appointment.

Chiusi

Chiusi

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Weekly Market in Chiusi: Tuesday

Tourist Information Offices – Chiusi
via Porsenna 79, Chiusi, tel 0578 227667 – email: info@prolocochiusi.it
Hours: From October to March from 9.30 to 12.30. Closed on Mondays.
From April to July and the month of September from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00.
August from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
  • D’Aversa Arnaldo “Gli etruschi di Chiusi” 1984, Paideia
  • cur. Quilici L. “Città romane. Vol. 6: Chiusi.” 2002, L’Erma di Bretschneider
Il Chiostro del Convento della Chiesa di San Francesco, Chiusi, Siena. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Cloister of the Convent of the Church of San Francesco, Chiusi, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

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