Anfiteatro Romano

The Roman Amphitheatre in Arezzo is located in the southern part of the `walled city.` Built between the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., it is elliptic in shape with two sets of stairs and probably could have accommodated eight thousand people. It was built of sandstone, bricks and marble, but has been repeatedly sacked in the past centuries with its most precious materials being hauled away and used as building material in religious works. It has also been partly buried, but the stalls and part of the ambulatories are still visible. The 16th century Monastery of S.Bernardo and now the site of the Archaeological Museum were built on the remains of the southern semi-circle.

Archaeological Area of Sodo and Camucia

In the area of Cortona, in Arezzo province, three mound tombs were discovered. One lies in the foothills in the south of Cortona, in the area of Camucia, and two in the northwest, in the area of Sodo. The archeological items found inside them, constituting only a fraction of what was originally buried there, is displayed at the Archeological Museum of Florence and at the Academy Museum in Cortona. The contents of the tumulus tombs date back to the 7th - 4th centuries before Christ. The dead were probably members of a royal family, owners of agricultural holdings or investors in the production of metalwork and weapons.

Etruscan Necropolis in Prato Rosello

Discovered in 1966 along the road that connects the Medicean Villa of Artimino to Poggio alla Malva, the necropolis of Prato Rosello is the main Etruscan site. A long path leads to the excavation area as well as portions of burials lacking significant context (kept inside the Archaeological Museum of Artimino). There are also about ten barrows that testify to the existence of the necropolis dating from the end of the eighth century BC. One of the most important ones, Barrow B, includes the Tomb of the Warrior, remarkably untouched although damaged by collapses.

Etruscan Necropolis in Sovanna

Some of Italy`s best-preserved monumental rock tombs, dating from the 2nd to the 3rd centuries BC, are found just outside town at the Etruscan necropolis. Signs of their original and elaborately carved decorations have been preserved in the Tomba Sirena (Siren`s Tomb) while evidence of their architectural complexity can be seen in the Tomba Ildebranda (Hildebrand Tomb). While visiting don`t forget to walk along the section of Etruscan road carved directly into the tufa stone.

Equi Terme Cultural Park

The Equi Terme Cultural Park is situated in Fivizzano - Massa Carrara. Part of the Apuane Regional Park, it offers various activities for visitors, including a cave park, a cave museum, diverse walking paths, the Archeopark and the Thermal Baths of Equi Terme.

The Buca (the Pit) is an ancient naturally-formed cave, which can be explored. While the Tecchia Cave is not yet open for visitation, it will soon be possible to view from a walkway inside the Pit Cave. The Caves Museum describes the caves development and human interaction over the centuries and provides scientific information for visitors concerning the main features of the park.

The Solco d`Equi Walk (the Equi Cut Walk) is a natural canyon with carnivorous plants as well as other areas of interest like the Fox`s Den, small burial caves, the Fern Cave, and the Devil`s Pit, where water rituals used to be held. The Archeopark is a reconstruction of shelters and huts from Paleolithic and Neolithic times. Hands-on archeological activities allow visitors a chance to experience the everyday life of prehistoric times.

Fiesole Archaeological Site

The Archaeological area of Fiesole, near Florence, includes both Etruscan and Roman remains. The three main Etruscan features are the temple, the city walls and the tombs.

The Etruscan Temple dates back to the fourth century AD and is located on the northern side of the site. It was built on a foundation of earth paved with stone. From its remaining outer walls, archaeologists have been able to reconstruct its original layout as a rectangular building with a single central cella and two side chambers separated from the cella by columns. The cella was accessed by a series of steps which led down to the altar. Both the altar and steps were remodeled during the Roman period.

The City Walls date back to the fourth century AD as well and were built to strengthen Fiesole`s defenses against Gallic invasions. They are 2.5 kilometers long and were also partially rebuilt by the Romans.

Also known as the Via Bargellino tombs, the Etruscan tombs are situated outside the ancient city walls. Six tombs were discovered dating to the third century BC. Each one was built from large blocks of stone in a rectangular shape. The construction of platforms maximized the interior space for cremated remains. Parallel piped cremation urns with flat lids, a second century stone urn with a small illustrated box and an egg shaped urn of terracotta with a conical lid dating to the first century BC were found in the tombs. Other items included terracotta containers and bronze instruments.

The Etruscan settlement in Fiesole was conquered by the Romans in 90BC. It was taken by Marcus Portius Cato's troops after a lengthy siege that used a nearby campsite as a base, which later became the city of Florence. The conquest of Fiesole was devastating and many of the Etruscan buildings were burnt to the ground. Archaeologists determined that after a period of abandonment, the Etruscan walls and one of the temples were rebuilt in Roman fashion. The site was then completely occupied and became a Roman town.

Today visitors can find both Roman Baths and a well preserved Roman Theatre. The Roman baths have been restored, although little decorative material has been recovered, except for the marble base of a statue of Hercules and some bronze sheets of epigrams. The baths were divided into internal and external areas with the interior bathhouse following the typical Roman style: a caldarium with an opus signimum floor and with three small pools; the tepidarium, heated by one furnace; the oldest room, the frigidarium, divided into three areas, with a semi circular plunge pool to the left.

Built into the natural rock of one of the town`s hills, the Roman theatre has been extensively restored and remains one of the best preserved buildings in Fiesole. It was built shortly after the reoccupation of the site in the first century BC and was situated along the Cardo, one of the Roman town`s main streets that led to the forum.

The best seats in the house, located near the orchestra and tribunalia arcades were reached by a series of vaulted passages that ran under the cavea or rows of seats. Several flights of stairs that ran up through the cavea could be used for seating elsewhere. Each stairway consisted of three flights of ten steps. The original staircase on the right of the theatre is still visible today.

Unfortunately only the foundations of the frons scenae or stage area remained. But these are sufficient to show the three doors actors used to access the stage. The most interesting area of the backstage is a semi circular room that would have been used to operate the mechanism that opened the theatre`s curtain. The theatre was redecorated in the third century AD; however only a few fragments of the multicolored orchestra mosaics remain as well as marble reliefs of mythical scenes and deities, which are preserved in the site`s museum.

Roman Theatre at Lucca

The theatre was built in the northwestern part of the old town, close to the Roman walls and not far from the northern gate. It was located in one of the suburban areas, limited to the south by the decumanus, today`s Via S. Giorgio and to the north by the irregular course of the walls. Although the theatre cannot be dated with any certainty, a recent analysis of the remains reveals that it was probably built in the Earl Augustean Age, during the course of an urban revitalization, which can also be seen in the area around the forum. This renovation was probably brought on and stimulated by the arrival of new settlers in the last decades of the 1st century B.C.

In the Middle Ages, the bell tower of the church of S. Salvatore in Muro was built on the ruins of this ancient monument. When it was later demolished, the church of S. Agostino replaced it. Today, remains of the walls of the ancient theatre are visible near the church of S. Agostino, particularly at the base of the bell tower. A part of the walling can also be seen inside the church, incorporated in its southern wall. Some other remains are preserved in the buildings facing Piazza delle Grazie as well as in the area between Via S. Giorgio and Via del Panificio. The western side of Piazza delle Grazie clearly reflects the original shape of the theatre, with a semicircular layout.