Tarquinia (former Corneto ) , the ancient city called Tarxuna, was founded by Tarconte, who came from Lydia with his people and was the beginner of a new civilization. In 307 b.C. , the Romans conquered all the territory , including the port of Clementino (Gravisca), a vitalpoint for the Etruscans. Later on, the city grew important again, and in the Middle Ages strong enclosing walls were build to defend it from barbarians and invaders. The most important monuments in town were also built in this period, including churches, palaces, and fountains.


Among the monuments worth seeing, we may cite the National Museum: here, sarcofagii of the most outstanding Etruscan families, archaeological finds of several ages, ranging from villanovian to Roman ages, objects, Greek jars, bowls, candelabra, mirrors, coins and the wonderful winged horses from the Queen’s altar are exhibited. The museum is housed in the old Vitelleschi palace, built in the XV cent., that is considered a great Gothic- Renaissance monument.


Leaving the town, in the Monterozzi hill area, you can find the Etruscan necropolis where numberless tombs, many of which are completely decorated, were found. Just three kilometers away heading towards Monteromano, the remnants of the ancient town are visible, including the Queen’s altar, an enormous basement (mt.77 x 36) that was built to support an imposing temple, where the famous winged horses were found.