Archeological Park of Baratti and Populonia – Acquaint with Ancient Etruscans in an Open Air Museum


In one of the most picturesque corners of the scenic Etruscan Coast and not far from the Island of Elba, you will find the Archeological Park of Baratti and Populonia.  This is an open air museum of Etruscan tombs. 



You can take a tour of these tombs with a knowledgeable guide and/or do a self-guided tour, reading the many informative signs on the site along with visiting its small companion museum.  



This park begins to acquaint you with the fascinating ancient Etruscan culture of the area.   If you have time and deep interest in archeology, this is only one of six in the Val di Cornia Park system of archeological parks. 



One could feel the enthusiasm for all things Etruscan from our very knowledgeable tour guide, archeologist Flavio Bacci.   



As we visited the various tombs of the park, Flavio gave us a window to the culture through the eyes of modernity, his studies, and also the views of the Romans who conquered the Etruscans in the 4th Century BC. 



Combining this with a visit to the Etruscan Museum in Volterra, we got a more complete picture of how Etruscan culture varied from place to place and again how the introduction of a class system in that culture affected life and even death, as the differences in these necropolis tombs attested to.



We learned, for example, that the Etruscans in this area weren’t as egalitarian between genders as their earlier counterparts in Volterra. The conquering Romans, in fact, thought that Etruscan women were all gossipy whores who brought their people down.



As you poke about the tombs you’ll still see many iron slugs reflecting the industry that began in this port area centuries ago.  These slugs in fact are what protected the grounds and made the tomb excavations that started in the 20th Century possible.



The park hosts daily educational events about the Etruscans.  You are able to get an entrance ticket for one week that will entitle you to three visits.


There are no tours November through March, but otherwise you can write and pre-book a tour.


For more information visit the website about this and related parks of Parchi Val Di Cornia




Parchi Val di Cornia S.p.A

Via Lerario 90

57025 Piombino

Livorno, Italy


(+39) 0565 261408




Photos:  Peter Kachergis, unless otherwise indicated 


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