Visit Chiusi and discover the main features of our city: the historical-archaeological, the naturalistic and the wine and food. You can spend your time visiting the historic centre, Chiusi’s lake, Etruscan tombs and Christian catacombs.
Day one: To start, there is nothing more pleasant than a leisurely walk through the characteristic streets and squares in the historic center: Via Porsenna, Via Petrarca, Piazza dell’Olivazzo, Via Arunte, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Via Paolozzi, Piazza San Francesco, Piazza XX Settembre, where it is possible to see important buildings, beautiful churches, ancient monuments and beautiful views of the valley surrounding the city.
Not to be missed are: the Cathedral of St. Secondiano, one of the most ancient churches in Tuscany, dating back to the 6th century A.D. admire the18 ancient Roman columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals. The central nave and the apse were painted, imitating the mosaic visual effect, by Arturo Viligiardi from Siena at the end of the 19th century, he was inspired by the mosaic of Ravenna and Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Also visit St. Francis church with its beautiful cloister. Inside this church, built during the 13th century, are preserved valuable frescoes and paintings dating back to the 16th-18th centuries and a wooden crucifix of the second half of the 15th century.
Chiusi is rich in history and culture as demonstrated by the 3 museums found in the historical centre. The three museums are within a short distance from one another and it is possible to visit all three, purchasing the Chiusi Museum Card. The National Etruscan Museum is one of the most important museums in Italy regarding the Etruscan civilization. Inside it is possible to admire findings that go from the bronze period up to the Lombards. The Cathedral Museum is divided into four sections displaying valuable objects belonging to different periods: paleo-Christian times, medieval and modern. The museum is renowned for a wonderful collection of Benedictine Illuminated manuscripts, coming from Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey and dated to the 2nd half of the 15th century. From the museum it is possible to visit the Labyrinth of Porsenna, an Etruscan hydraulic system that runs under the whole town and reaches an Etruscan-Roman cistern. The guided tour ends in the bell tower. The Town Museum, The Underground City; exhibits the biggest collection of Etruscan funerary epigraphs in the world with its 300 urns and 200 grave tiles all displayed in 450 feet of underground tunnels. The guided tour ends with a visit at the famous underground lake. Visit the Etruscan tombs in the Poggio Renzo necropolis: the Pilgrim Tomb, end 4th – beginning 2nd century B.C., preserves original sarcophaguses and urns belonging to the Etruscan Sentinate’s family; the Lion tomb, beginning 5th century B.C.; the Monkey tomb, 5th century B.C., discovered by Alessandro Francois in 1846 derives its name from a small monkey painted on the vestibule wall, who is watching the sport games performed in honour of the deceased woman who is depicted under a parasol. This tomb is open only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.; Colle Casuccini Tomb, 5th century B.C., of interest is its double hinged door made of travertine. This tomb is opened only on Fridays. The Monkey and Colle Casuccini tombs can be booked in the National Etruscan Museum. The Christian Catacomb, St. Mustiola is a Christian cemetery developed through 650 feet of underground galleries, where most of the burial recesses are located in arched shape niches. Guided tours are booked in the Catherdral Museum.
Day two: Visit Chiusi’s Lake, from a naturalistic point view, holds a great relevance due to the numerous species of fish living in it, the variety of plants, but most of all the presence of many sedentary and migratory birds belonging to rare and protected species. It is a real paradise for those who love nature and bird-watching.
The lake is also one of the most remarkable places of interest along the Path of the Reclaimed Land, a bicycle and pedestrian path of 38.5 miles, that joins Chiusi with Arezzo. The path, completely flat, follows the river Chiana, and goes through an extraordinary land rich in history, tradition and natural treasures. The 2 towers Beccati Questo (take this) and Beccati Quello (take that) prove the ancient rivalry between the Tuscans and Umbrians, and still today mark the limits of the 2 regions.
To conclude your experience in Chiusi we recommend a walk on the main street in Chiusi Scalo, with its buildings, built in the early 1900’s, and its high quality shops. Try the quaint and characteristic restaurants in the city and taste:
- Pici: hand made pasta similiar to big irregular spaghetti
- Chianina beef: high quality meat cuts from a particuliar cattle breed called Chianina also known as the “white giant”
- Brustico: a lake fish dish, cooked on a live flame using lake reeds, filleted and served with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon it is proposed as appetizer or second course dish in the restaurants along the shores of Chiusi’s Lake
Don’t forget to season everything with the local extra virgin olive oil, in particular the “minuta” variety olive found in Chiusi. Also enjoy our local red, rosè and white wines that give a special touch to our dishes.