Tarquinia, Italy. 2018

Date:  4th September 2018

Travelled:  105 kilometres from Sutri to Viterbo, both in the province of Lazio, Italy.

Visited:  Tarquinia’s Etruscan Tombs, €6 pp

Stayed:  Viterbo municipal sosta car-park, free. With services. N42.40922, E12.10958

Budget:  94  days @ €95 per day.


An uneventful evening passed in Sutri, another motorhome joined us after dark, but it was gone in the morning.  We have our usual coffee and fruit, lock up the Hymer and go out to explore Sutri.


We walk across the main road following a path to an amphitheater. It is soon apparent that Sutri has lots of secrets.


The gates to the amphitheater are closed, but we get a good look through gate.


Continuing our walk along the path, we catch a nice view of the old town on the adjacent hill.


We find another sign to a viewing platform, from here we get a better look at the theatre. It is in the classic Roman style of a circus. 50m x 40m at ground level, it is not constructed from block but carved into the stone hill.  The sign calls the stone tufa, like a course red pumice to me.


We walk back over the road and turn up the hill through an old gate. The main town gate during medieval time according to the sign.


We soon find the town square and this fountain.


Lastly as we make our way back down the hill we spot the Duomo and walk over. The Church of Saint Mary Assunta was consecrated in 1207.



Looking forward to the altar.


We walk back to the Hymer chatting about what an interesting find Sutri was.  Anyway we get the Hymer ready for the road and continue north-west on the SS2.  Forty kilometres of increasingly worse roads, we drive down the hill toward Tarquinia.


As we do, we pass long stretches of obviously ancient ruins of roman aqueduct on either side of the road.


Get Directions


On the outskirts of Tarquinia we find the Necropolis di Monterozzi.  Our next adventure.


Along this ridge are some 6,000 Etruscan tombs of which some 20 are open for inspection. Each tomb is 4-6 metres underground, the entries protected by a small portal.


Each tomb has a bibliography stating this and that and the circa date, mostly 600-400 BC.


Don’t mistakenly think it’s cool underground at the tombs. They were hot, humid and stuffy.






Another, but some of the later tombs had multiple rooms, possible for an extra wife or two, but Pam indicated her disapproval of that notion.


Only 10 tombs to go !


Obviously less on the frescos but more complex in the various benches and niches.



Last one promise…apparently this tombs is considered the finest in Etruscan artwork.


After almost two hours of walking up and down tombs and wandering here and there we are done.  It’s hot, but there is a nice breeze blowing.  The Hymer is parked in the shade, so we open up and have a little chill out, letting the breeze do its thing.


So we roll back out of Tarquinia for Viterbo. That means 20 klms of backtracking, mostly following this truck load of sticks as it lumbered and lurched its way along.


Get Directions


We make Viterbo by mid-afternoon, find the municipal sosta and service the Hymer.  Something is going on in Viterbo, but we cannot work it out.  Whilst Viterbo makes the Lonely Planet it’s a very large town, and we would probably not bother but it has a couple of Fiat approved workshops and the Hymer is not well.

So we drive to the first workshop, closed, the second closed, basically most businesses we drive past are closed.  Next door to one a car-wash so I wander in and ask the obvious, only to be told everyone back tomorrow.


We may not be able to get the Hymer fixed but we can get it looking good. The Hymer hasn’t had a good clean for a couple of months. For €20 these guys do a pretty good job.


Pam does some Googling to find today is Saint Rose of Viterbo day and everyone gets a half day…shit !

What’s wrong with the Hymer I hear you ask.  For more than a month the engine has emitted a whistle under load.  I thought it sounded like an exhaust manifold gasket.  Not badly at first, but it has gotten louder in the last week and I can feel it’s loosing power on hills.  I tried to get it sorted when the alternator failed, back in Sicily without success.  But now the Italians are back at work I thought lets get it sorted.  One less thing to worry about.

Given the engine starts and runs normally at low speed the loss of power is mostly likely associated with the turbo charger.   Another complex and potentially costly exercise.  Anyway thanks Saint Rose of Viterbo we won’t find out today will we…



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