italy 6: monastic umbria and the churches of assisi, ravenna, pomposa

Capitoline She-Wolf, Etruscan, 500 BC (© Museo Capitolino, Rome)

Central Italy: the Etruscans and Umbria

The Etruscans inhabited central Italy from 1000 to 700 BC, building 12 city-states in the region, all near metal deposits. The first city-state established by them and their stronghold was Perugia. An extremely civilised, happy, peace loving people, they ate abundantly, twice a day. The women were treated equal and were present at debates, sporting functions and festivities. A large part of Etruscan life was spent preparing for afterlife. They built barrel tombs five to six meters under the ground with shafts leading down to them. These tombs were discovered later totally by accident and till date much of their civilisation and why it came to an end remain a mystery. Continue reading