Cerveteri, with its Etruscan necropolis, is one of the most ancient places in Italy. The ancient CAERE (IX-III b.C.) was named by the Romans CAEREVETERE because it was even more ancient than Rome. In the VIth century it was the most populated city of all Etruria and the biggest of the whole Mediterranean area. Caere was the only not-Greek city having a Thesauros, a special building, containing all valuable votive gifts, in the big Sanctuary of Delfi. Its necropolis (not entirely excavated) is extended over kilometers in the surrounding plain, formed by hundreds of tombs with tumuli (similar to

bowl-barrows), the biggest in Etruria, with dimensions of about 30 m diameter and 12 m height each, and also a lot of tombs "a camera" (with chamber). In the golden age of the ancient CAEREVETERE (VII-Vth century B.C.) the city reached the sea and it had 3 gates in the small towns today named LADISPOLI, SAN SEVERA and SAN MARINELLA.There are not many vestiges of the old city, due to destruction during the Barbaric period. (The two new found very ancient temples aren't open for the public yet.) The 2 necropolis of Cerveteri (La Banditaccia and Monte Abetone) are the sower of a large quantity of antiquities, the most precious of them being exposed at Villa Giulia Museum in Rome. The rest is still visible in Cerveteri, in the Etruscan museum. You can see them with the same ticket you use to visit the necropolis (the museum is situated in an ancient castle, XI-XIII th century). A large part of the Etruscan walls from the IVth century B.C. is still incorporated in the castle's walls. The

tombs consist of one or two long rooms.

At the end of the VIIth century a different design was introduced,

a more complex style which was defined by the end of the VIth century in a standard form. By the end of the century the specific tumuli were created and at the beginning of the Vth century tombs became more modest, made of stone bricks. The contemporary demand was a more simple style in architecture, a trend that spread even to ancient Greece and Magna Greca. Few tombs date from the Vth century and in the IVth century older kind of tombs disappeared. Instead appeared more and more a new type of tomb with many places for the dead in the walls, which reflects the evolution of small families (in the archaic period) to the big type family (in the Hellenistic and later the Roman period). In the artistic field, the ancient CAERE, the most Hellenistic city among all the Etruscan cities, was foremost in all the domains of artistic activity.

The architecture is, perhaps, the greatest and most meaningful aspect of the artistic culture of this city. Also a new kind of black pottery, called "BUCCHERO", was created. The principal pottery artists came from Cerveteri, and they had created a new style of pottery; the oriental style. Exceptional was the local jewellery, the perfection of which, in the Etruscan world, was reached only by them an the jewellery artists from Vetulonia.

At the end of the VIth century those who preferred being cremated instead of being buried, created a new form of burial: their ashes were deposited in big sarcophagi, which represented the dead on the top of it seated on the" kline" taking part in banquets. The most significant piece d'art of this Etruscan sculpture is the "Sarcophagus of the married couple", found at Cerveteri and exposed at the Etruscan Art Museum in Rome. In the Vth century, despite the exportation of large quantities of ancient pottery, Cerveteri quickly lost two gates (the one at Pyrgi -San Severa- and the one called Punicum -San Marinella-) and its autonomy in favour of powerful Rome. From the beginning of the IIIth century B.C., Caere declined to a second degree city.

It is advisable to go to Cerveteri by private transport, because there is no regular bus line, and daily buses are few. By bus, your departing point is Bracciano. The time-tables are exposed at the Reception desk. At the necropolis entrance touristic pamphlets are for sale in the most important languages. At the Reception we also have a couple of touristic pamphlets in international languages at your disposal for one day. For those with personal transport, visiting Cerveteri can be an occasion to make a small excursion of one day. From Bracciano you take the way for Cerveteri. At the cross-road for Ceri, on the left side you can rest a little, just enough to visit a small Etruscan religious place. From here you keep going on the left side until you get into the "country of Ceri", where the tradition says that the Romanized Etruscans, when Rome was conquered by barbarians, have given the ancient Etruscan name to their new fortificate city. To finish your "caeretan" journey take the highway to the sea. We advise those who are tired of ruins to drive on the highway Aurelia until Pyrgi, ancient haven of Cerveteri at the sea, where you'll find the castle of San Severa. One km. before you get at the cross-road for S.Severa, looking from the Aurelia to the sea, you will see a castle far away. If you take the first road at the left in a street with high pine-trees, you will arrive at this castle. On the left side of the castle you will find a parking area, free of charge for

tourists. The castle is a fortress from the mediaeval period with its doors always open for tourists. In the small streets and squares of the castle you will find things from the Roman and Etruscan period. On the right side of the castle you will see a long beach with very clean sea-water. Therefore, those who want can have a bath in the sea. To return to the camping we advise you to take a shorter way; after a couple of kilometers on Aurelia high-way, in the direction of Rome, on the left hand you will find the cross-road for Sasso. In the proximity of Sasso there is one of the most antique caverns of Italy but without the help of a local guide you will never find it. The road for Sasso is intersecting the road Manziana-Bracciano, and all that's left for you to do is to drive ahead to the campsite.