The Etruscans in Murlo

The importance of the Etruscans in Murlo probably began in the seventh century B.C. with the emergence of an aristocratic class that initially exploited local resources-the presence of copper mines was important in the area-and the subsequent growth of trade, favored by the presence of navigable rivers to the sea.

Trade involved both raw materials for metalworking and objects produced by skilled craftsmen in the Poggio Civitate workshop. The period of greatest splendor is undoubtedly that between the 7th and 5th centuries B.C., in the so-called Orientalizing and Archaic periods, of which there remain important signs for the knowledge of Etruscan civilization, the subject of study by scholars from all over the world.

Etruscan traces are clearly visible in Murlo, both on the land and in its inhabitants. The rich finds at Poggio Aguzzo, where the Etruscan Necropolis was, and at Poggio Civitate, where the famous princely residence was, contributed to the birth of the Antiquarium of Poggio Civitate, the Archaeological Museum of Murlo.

The traces in the people of the place are demonstrated by studies on the Etruscan DNA of the native inhabitants of the place, who are considered the direct descendants of the Etruscans, as evidenced by important university research in the 1980s and more recent research in 2007 (The American Journal of Genetics, 2007).


ANTIQUARIUM di Poggio Civitate-Museo Archeologico

The Antiquarium of Poggio Civitate (archaeological museum of Murlo) is housed inside the ancient Bishop's Palace; it is located in the center of the small village, a medieval castle overlooking the Crevole stream, a tributary of the Ombrone River.

Murlo's archaeological museum houses unique evidence of Etruscan civilization from the surrounding area: in addition to the orientalizing fdecorations from the necropolis of Poggio Aguzzo (7th century B.C.), the finds from the settlement, particularly from the rich princely palace that is its heart, identified on the hill of Poggio Civitate, are notable for their importance. The settlement, among the most important in Etruria, arose and prospered on the roadways that connected the coastal Etruscan cities with those inland.

Archaeological investigations at Poggio Civitate, which are still ongoing, were initiated by an American mission in the 1960s with the encouragement and support of Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli. The excavation of the palace, characterized by two distinct construction phases dating from the Orientalizing (7th century B.C.) and Archaic (6th century B.C.) periods, constituted a milestone in our knowledge of Etruscan residential architecture. In particular, the discovery of terracotta elements of roof covering and decoration (acroteria, slabs, dripstones, antefixes) has returned valuable information on the technique and ideology of power of the time.

The second floor of the Murlo archaeological museum houses numerous fine artifacts, including those imported from other cities of Etruria and Greece, illustrating the most salient aspects of daily life, from banqueting to body care. On the same level, moreover, a section is reserved for the large handicraft workshop discovered in the immediate vicinity of the princely palace, where refined and precious objects in ceramics, bronze, ivory and bone were made.

The second floor is, on the other hand, devoted to the well-known remains of the palace's architectural decoration. Proposed here is the reconstruction of a portion of the roof, surmounted by the extraordinary terracotta statues, datable to the early 6th century B.C., and adorned by the clay slabs, which, originally arranged to form a running frieze under the pitch, bear depictions of banquet, assembly, procession and horse racing. Prominent among the acroterial statues is the famous "Cappellone," which has become the true symbol of the Murlo museum: an absolutely unique seated male figure with a long square beard, wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a very high pointed cap.

Then, on the third floor, a selection of everyday objects (mainly for cooking and serving food) and some unique productions of buccheri and small bronze plastics are preserved. Finally, at the end of the tour is a section devoted to some of the most significant grave goods discovered in the nearby necropolis of Poggio Aguzzo.

The museum also has a restoration workshop and periodically hosts lectures, exhibitions, and seminars on ancient art and working techniques, such as goldsmithing, bronzework, and coroplastics. (text Fondazione Musei Senesi)

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April through September

Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. / 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (including holidays)

October through March

Fridays through Sundays and all holidays 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m./ 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (also on holidays, excluding Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1)

Reservation required for groups of more than 7 people by the day before the visit by calling 0577814099 or +39 3356859146; alternatively, you can email

by reservation
special openings are possible throughout the year for groups over 10 people and for schools


full price: € 5.00
reduced: € 4.00
students from 6 years up to university; over 60; accompanying persons with disabilities; groups of more than 10 people; Touring Club members, Edumuseicard holders, ICOM members with membership card

special reduced price: € 1.50

children up to 5 years old; people with disabilities; residents of the Municipality of Murlo; tour guides

guided tours
in Italian language with groups of less than 10 people: € 20.00
in English language with groups of less than 10 people: € 30.00
in Italian language for groups over 10 people € 2.00 (free for accompanying persons)
in English language for groups over 10 people € 3.00 (free accompanying persons)
pupils of schools outside the municipality of Murlo € 2.00 each (free accompanying persons)
free for schoolchildren from the Municipality of Murlo and their accompanying persons

educational activities
groups of less than 10 people € 10.00 each
groups of more than 10 people € 6.00 each
schoolchildren from schools outside the Municipality of Murlo € 2.00 each (free accompanying persons)
free for schoolchildren from the Municipality of Murlo and accompanying persons

Tourist information office

c/o l'Antiquarium di Poggio Civitate-Piazza della Cattedrale- Castello di Murlo
Phone 0577-814099 

Murlo is Orange Flag

The Municipality of Murlo was awarded in the year 2004 the Orange Flag, a tourist-environmental quality mark for the inland of the T.C.I. (Touring Club Italiano).