Welcome to Tuscania!

Tuscania is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities of Tuscia, in the ancient southern Etruria. The city stands on seven rocky promontories, located between the Capecchio and Marta rivers, its strategic position near the road that connected Lake Bolsena with the Tyrrhenian Sea made it, since prehistoric times, an important economic center.

In Etruscan times the city was one of the most important in Etruria, as evidenced by the presence of the great necropolises, those of Pian di Mola, Madonna dell’Olivo, Ara del Tufo and Scalette. The city of Tuscania is certainly very fascinating, starting with its two large churches, outside the walls, the Church of San Pietro and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, both built in the eighth century.

Also not to be missed Church of Santa Maria della Rosa, in Romanesque-Gothic style, the Church of San Silvestro, built in 1300 and almost completely renovated in the 17th century, the Church of San Marco, inside which are kept paintings and frescoes of exquisite workmanship, the Church of the Holy Martyrs, built in the 19th century, la Cathedral of San Giacomo, in clear Renaissance style and the Church of Santa Croce, now excommunicated and has become the seat of a public hall. Finally, the Palazzo Comunale, a building built during the 1800s, the Spanish, Campanari and Maccabei Palaces, the Rivellini Theater and the Archaeological Museum, divided into 4 rooms that tell and describe the archaeological history of the area.


On the birth of the city of Tuscania there are various legends, among the most widespread, the one that would have the city founded by Ascanio, son of Aeneas, on the place of the discovery of twelve dog puppies, hence the name of the city Tus Cana, a second legend instead, would indicate as the founder of the city Tusco, son of Araxe and Ercole.

Beyond the legend, the origins of the city of Tuscania date back to the Palaeolithic period, subsequently the area was inhabited by the Etruscans who founded a city and many necropolises here, the period of maximum development of the Etruscan civilization in the area dates back to the beginning of the eighth century BC. , when the acropolis on the Colle di San Pietro was born. In this period the city becomes one of the lucumonia of Tarquinia. With the Romans the city, which at the time was already known by the name of Tuscana, experienced a period of intense growth, thanks above all to its strategic position, it rose in fact near the river Marta, offering control over the road that led from the Tyrrhenian Sea to Lake Bolsena and towards the inland territories of Etruria.

Starting from the 6th century BC the city also managed to gain control over the port of Regas – the current Montalto di Castro -. The subjugation of Tuscania to the Roman Empire took place in a peaceful way, drawing from it, moreover, great advantages, economic and social growth and the construction of important public works, aqueducts, spas and the Via Clodia. In 90 BC Tuscania was elected to the role of Roman municipium. In the fourth century the city became a bishopric, in 569 it was conquered by the Lombards and in 774 by the Franks led by Charlemagne who, in 781, made it a gift to the State of the Church. Between 967 and 1066 Tuscania was ruled by the Anguillara family, to then pass to the Aldobrandeschi, in 1081 it was conquered by Henry IV.

Starting from the 12th century, Tuscania became a Free Municipality while always remaining at the center of the struggles between the Papal States and the Empire which led to the conquest of the city by Frederick II of Swabia in 1240. This particular condition, the struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines and the consequent economic crisis that ensued, led to a slow decline of the city, in favor of the more powerful Viterbo, also raised to the role of bishopric. Thanks to the policy implemented by the papal legate, Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, between 1353 and 1367, the fate of the city was revived, even if only for a few years, in 1421 Pope Martin V, as recognition for the loyalty shown by Tuscania to the State of the Church, elevated the city to the role of County, appointing Angelo Broglio da Lavello as captain of fortune.

When the French troops of Charles VIII crossed Italy to conquer the Kingdom of Naples, they sacked the city of Tuscania, giving rise to a period of profound crisis that left the city outside of all the main events of that period. Tuscania was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. On February 6, 1971, an earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale partially destroyed the city, killing 31 people and collapsing many historic buildings.


Church of San Pietro

Built in the 8th century, together with the Church of Santa Maggiore, it is among the oldest in the city of Tuscania. It stands imposingly outside the city walls – which was rebuilt between the 11th and 12th centuries -, the apse of the church corresponds to the ancient acropolis of the city, important Etruscan and Roman elements can still be seen today. You can still admire the Episcopal Palace, a wonderful canopy of Carolingian art and the two imposing towers – one of which partially collapsed. The exterior of the church is simple and austere and the style is typical of the Carolingian or Lombard basilicas, covered in dark red tuff on which the rose window and the access portal stand out, both in white marble, The frame of the rose window is rich in decorations and inlays, there are represented a bearded figure with three faces, crowns of flames, a large floral motif that frames sirens and basilisks, an angel and the symbols of the evangelists, large winged dragons that seem to dive outwards, bulls, winged lions , a man who dances – a clear reference to Etruscan art -. The interior is divided into three naves and houses a ciborium from the 1200s, frescoes from the Byzantine school and some Etruscan sarcophagi, an 11th century ciborium. Of particular interest is the crypt, surrounded by twenty-eight columns, dating back to the twelfth century.

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

Located at the foot of Colle San Pietro, this church dates back to the 8th century, like the nearby Church of San Pietro. The first evidence of the existence of this sacred building dates back to a bull of Pope Leo IV of 852. The facade of the Church shows three elegant decorated portals, the central portal is in white marble, with two lateral columns, and is dominated by two lions, very interesting the sculptures of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Madonna with the Blessing Child, the mystical lamb , the Sacrifice of Isaac and the Flight into Egypt. On the right portal you can see floral decorations, while in the left one decorations in Norman-Sicilian style.The interior of the church is simple and harmonious, divided into three naves, it houses columns and pillars frescoed with Roman capitals, the gothic frescoed sails, an immersion baptismal font, dating back to 1200, a valuable 13th century pulpit with fragments of early medieval art. The apse of the church shows a beautiful thirteenth-century fresco of the Roman school depicting the twelve Apostles, finally a fourteenth-century fresco depicting the Last Judgment, made by Gegorio and Donato d’Arezzo.

Churches and historic buildings

among the most important buildings and monuments of Tuscania certainly deserve a mention:

  • Cathedral, is the main sacred building of the city, was restored in 1520 by replacing the medieval forms with more modern stylistic elements, on the left side rises the bell tower, added in 1781.
  • Fountain of the Sette Cannelle, the oldest in the city, dating back to the Etruscan-Roman period
  • Cinta Muraria, the original structure dates back to the Etruscan period, was then remodeled in subsequent eras, especially in the Middle Ages, when they were redefined, leaving out the two ancient churches of San Pietro and Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Archaeological sites, the origins of the city of Tuscania are very ancient, an original settlement and many necropolises already existed in Etruscan times, the main ones being those of Pian di Mola, Madonna dell’Olivo, Ara del Tufo and Scalette

Tuscania is undoubtedly one of the fascinating cities of Tuscia, a beautiful town of ancient origins and today rich in precious testimonies of its past, from churches to historic buildings, passing through archaeological areas and necropolises. We have selected the best Hotels in Tuscania for an unforgettable holiday in this city of ancient charm, in the heart of Tuscia.



The climate of Tuscania is warm and temperate, climatic class: ZONA D. the summers are generally hot and dry and the winters cool and rainy. The average temperature is 15 ° C and the average rainfall 683 mm. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24 ° C, January the coldest month with an average temperature of 6.8 ° C. The driest month is July, with an average of 18mm, the wettest month, November, with an average of 94mm.



  • Autostrada A12 Roma-Civitavecchia
  • SS Aurelia exit Tarquinia
  • Follow directions for Tuscania


  • Autostrada A1 exit casello Orte
  • SS675 motorway junction, Viterbo exit
  • SS Aurelia exit Montalto di Castro
  • Follow directions for Tuscania


  • Airport Roma-Civitavecchia (108km)
  • Stazione Tarquinia (27 km)
  • Stazione Viterbo (24 km)
  • Stazione Orte (52 km)
  • Stazione CIvitavecchia (46 km)
  • Autobus line Cotral


If you are passionate about cuisine and tradition, Tuscania is definitely the perfect place for you! Many traditional Tuscia dishes and excellent locally produced wines, for a truly unique culinary experience in one of the most beautiful cities of Lazio.

A selection of the best restaurants in Tuscania:

  • RISTORANTE DODICI SEDIE Largo Della Neve, 2, 01017 Tuscania – +39 342 745 8072
    Fish restaurant, strictly fresh and local, dishes of great flair and extraordinary taste, with simple and genuine ingredients.
  • CHICHI’S RISTOBISTROT Via Santa Maria 21,01017 Tuscania – +39 0761 435957
    Creative and refined dishes, simple and rich in imagination and genuine ingredients.
  • RISTORANTE IL TREBBO Via Torre di Lavello, 7, 01017 Tuscania – +39 366 150 0132
    Elegant and welcoming, in the heart of Tuscania, this restaurant offers excellent dishes accompanied by extraordinary wines.
  • LOCANDA ROSSOVINO ROT Località Carcarella Centro, 01017 Tuscania – +39 320 568 8748,
    Splendid country house with restaurant, traditional cuisine with local products, from bread with natural yeast, aromatic plants and excellent wines.
  • CAMPAGNA AMICA LA BOTTEGA IL ROMITORIO Strada Tarquiniese km 0.500, 01017 Tuscania – +39 348 662 0970
    Family restaurant with traditional cuisine with km0 products. Possibility to buy the products of local companies.


Tuscania, Church of San Pietro

a beautiful medieval basilica, dating back to the eighth century, the Church of San Pietro stands on the hill of the same name, which was probably the seat of the Etruscan acropolis. It is wonderful and seems to be transported back in time … a must visit !!

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

It is absolutely magical … already from the outside, with the three portals on the facade, the largest central one and the smaller side ones, the decorations and internal architecture are extraordinary. Do not miss the fresco depicting the Last Judgment …

Tuscania Archaeological Museum

The Tuscania Archaeological Museum is beautiful and interesting, located in a former Franciscan convent in the heart of the city. Etruscan finds from the nearby archaeological areas and the beautiful necropolis …