Ancient Etruria is already represented in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2004 by the necropolis of Tarquinia (Viterbo) and Cerveteri (Rome), which constitute a unique and exceptional testimony of the ancient Etruscan civilization, the only urban civilization of the pre-Roman era in Italy. However now, with the ‘Spur – Etruscan Cities’ project (‘spur’ meaning ‘city’ in Etruscan), eight cities of ancient Etruria joined forces and decide to complete the UNESCO long and complex bureaucratic candidature procedure as a network of Etruscan cities. The project was launched by Volterra (Pisa), Perugia, and Orvieto (Terni), the leading cities, which have soon been joined by Tarquinia (Viterbo), Marzabotto (Bologna), Piombino (Livorno), Formello (Rome), and Arezzo.
The aim of the synergy created for the candidature is to create a shared strategy and a system in which each city can bring its specific cultural heritage, which for Volterra is the Acropolis, for Perugia are the walls, for Orvieto is the Federal Sanctuary. While Tarquinia stands out for its port, Marzabotto for its urban planning, Piombino for the production of metal, Formello for its association with the ancient city-state of Veii, and Arezzo for the temple theater, the only one left.
“Focusing on the Etruscans, – explains the mayor of Volterra Marco Buselli – we focus on our roots and on the DNA of our city and territory.” Also, thanks to the two scientific directors, Professor Mario Torelli – former professor of Etruscan Studies and Italic archeology at the University of Perugia) – and Professor Paola Falini – full professor of Urban Planning at the Sapienza University in Roma -, the application of the eight cities as a network highlights the important geographical dimension of the Etruscan civilization.
Ilona Catani Scarlett