Ciao Folks, today we talk about Etruscans in Florence & Tuscany.
Most of you know the Etruscans and their link with Tuscany, but not many know about their link with Florence.
We try to understand the evolution of the Etruscans in Florence and of course the rest of the valley of Florence in Tuscany
ETRUSCANS in FLORENCE
Let’s start with a general introduction about the Etruscans.
Nobody knows exactly the origin of this very spiritual population that at their peak was controlling a vast area of Italy. An area that was going from the Po river till Rome, of course including Florence area.
Di MM – From thumb|left|blank version, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1523242
But let’s try to make a point. Between all the hypotheses about their origin, the most logical one is that they were an italic populations influenced by their amazing trading system with Tukey(Lydia), Crete, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia. The trading system or even before brought people from these countries that settled in the areas and introduced their costumes transforming their traditions and lives.
Some of the Italic populations were immigrants from these countries that had arrived in Italy years and years before as farmers or sheppards and later we called them Etruscans to simplify the trading system.
Maybe it’s confusing but it’s like the United States, at the beginning they were Irish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese etc and none of them were called Americans for 2 centuries. And they found someone living there before them, called Indians.
Only later when they started trading with Europe and after wars and battles of independence they were called Americans and we referred to America as the United States.
For many years the different populations lived in peace or fought each other before becoming one nation, or as seen as one thing from outside later in the history.
So in Tuscany this happened with the Etruscan, some were living there, some immigrated from nearby countries and after many centuries (cause changes in those times were slower), someone started calling them Etruscans to simplify this population that more or less were behaving in a similar way.
Once we have understood the Etruscan origins and where they were settled, we can move on and we focus on the Florence area.
Still nowadays, if you ask some Florentine on the streets who built Florence, they answer “Romans”.
It’s correct but only partially because they don’t know that Florence had 2 divided towns at the beginning, unified only later on.
That explains why the walls of Florence were built with a 25° angle wrong compared to the Roman’s city of Florence. Because there was the Etruscan old sister city that had influenced the urban developpement of the area.
These 2 towns co-existed for a long time before they became only one.
The original Florence built by the Etruscan was existing in the area of the Church of San Remigio, and the tiny square of the church was the central square. This mentioned area was full of water, and the Etruscan built it as a fluvial harbour along the Arno River.
So at the end, the construction of the Etruscan Florence was dated back to the VI century B.C. and before that, there was the villanovian town in the area of Piazza della Repubblica.
Unfortunately the villanovian town has been washed away by the constant floods of the Arno river even before the arrival of the Etruscan.
You can see on the map above where you have the amphithaeter, it was where the Etruscan town was settled.(San remigio, Via vinegia, via dell’acqua, piazza dei Giudici etc)
Florence and Fiesole
The Etruscan town of Florence was linked with Fiesole that was conquered in the I century B.C. and sinced than the remain together under the same flag.
You can still visit the Etruscan/Romans ruins of Fiesole here: https://www.museidifiesole.it/en/museums/archaeological-area
A marvellous amphitheather is waiting for you there, ruins of hot baths and temples with a great archeology museum.
A nice Walk around Fiesole, along ancient paths, quite woods, quarries and surrounded by the beauty of the valley of Florence ad its Dome, is this one here below. Also you will have the chance to taste amazing food and wines.
Etruscans in the rest of the valley
The entire valley of Prato, Pistoia and Florence in Tuscany was colonized by the Etruscans and before them by people since the Paleolithic times and older. Let’s say more than 10.000 before now.
Along the flooded area of the Arno is where people settled to work different materials till they started producing Terracotta artfacts.
Not many archeologic excavations were done up on the hills but we know for sure that there was a road running between the valley and the mountains, circumnavigating the Arno valley.
Around Sesto Fiorentino, theu have been discovered the incredible tombs, The Montagnola e The Mula.
They are magnificent examples of the Etruscan Oriental period around V century B.C.
The area of Sesto Fiorentino, is pretty much studied but not explored. I mean they now that outthere there are other tombs are ruins o the Etruscans but nobody went dig and look for it.
Great for a walk and an adventure is the area above Sesto FIorentino called Palastreto. You will pass by tombs from the VIII Century B.C. Around there you have VIlla Carmignanello.
A great Villa in the woods, and the church of San Bartolomeo a wonderful example of a romanesque building from X Centuri A.C.
If you are interested for a nice walk, hike in this area of Tuscany where you can also find a medioeval bridge and tower (Torre di baracca) as well as Etruscan tombs and ruins. You can contact us, we can organize a private experience for you:
Etruscans on the other side of the valley
Continuing in Tuscany along the Valley of Florence, from Sesto Fiorentino we can move forward towards Prato, where the Etruscan built a large town in the valley, Gonfalienti.
Here some archeologist did some excavations and they discovered a beautiful Etruscan road, destroying a bad reputation of the Etruscan not able to built roads and major projects like acquedots and etc.
Many know-how of the Romans were Etruscans and roads and acquedots were invented by the Etruscan.
They were masters in sanitizing an drying marshy areas and towns once safe and hyginecly great became inhabitable when the Romans took control fo some areas.
Continuing along the Valley of Florence you reach Pistoia, another importan town for the Etruscan first and the Roman after. A crucial crossway to cross the Appennini mountains from Tuscany to Emilia-Romagna.
Still on the same valley of Tuscany but on the other side, where you have the Montalbano mountain, you can find the town of Carmignano, Artimino e Pietramarina.
All 3 of them were rappresentig important Etruscan towns to patrol the crossway between the valley of the Arno in Florence and the Arno valley arriving till Pisa.
Don’t forget before the Arno was navigable from pisa all the way almost to the source.
Many Etruscan towns if not all of them were built along rivers or nearby importan water springs.
To discover this area less turist than Florence and very original for quality of life. By foot, hiking, walking and trekking with food and wines, you can contact us :