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coat of arms
Tarquinia (Italy)
Country Italy
region Lazio
province Viterbo  (VT)
Coordinates 42 ° 15 '  N , 11 ° 45'  E Coordinates: 42 ° 15 '16 "  N , 11 ° 45' 30"  E
height 133  m slm
surface 280 km²
Residents 16,410 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 59 inhabitants / km²
Factions Tarquinia Lido
Post Code 01016
prefix 0766
ISTAT number 056050
Popular name Tarquiniesi
Patron saint Madonna di Valverde
Website Tarquinia

Tarquinia is an Italian city ​​with 16,410 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) in the province of Viterbo in the Lazio region . It is best known for its Etruscan archaeological sites, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004 .


Tarquinia is 87 km north-west of Rome , 48 km south-west of Viterbo and 90 km south-east of Grosseto . The old town of Tarquinia is located on a hill above the coastal plain of the Maremma Laziale , five kilometers from the Tyrrhenian Sea . The modern residential areas extend at the foot of the old town hill to Via Aurelia . The districts of Lido di Tarquinia and Riva dei Tarquini are popular seaside resorts on the coast. The districts of Lombardi, Marina Velca and Sant'Agostino are also located in the coastal plain. The hinterland is an undulating, thinly populated hilly landscape with a few isolated farmsteads.

The former salt pans in the Lombardi district were declared a nature reserve in 2000. The Marta River flows into the sea in the municipality . The community is located in earthquake zone 3 (little risk). The neighboring municipalities are Allumiere ( RM ), Civitavecchia (RM), Montalto di Castro , Monte Romano , Tolfa (RM) and Tuscania .


Tarquinia is on the state road strada stadale SS 1 Via Aurelia , which runs along the coast from Rome to the French border at Ventimiglia . It is connected to the provincial capital Viterbo by the strada stadale SS 1 bis . The A12 Autostrada Azzurra motorway ends at the southern city limits and is planned to be continued to the north. Tarquinia also has a train station on the Pisa – Rome railway line , which is on the road to Lido di Tarquinia, four kilometers from the city center.


Tarquinia was one of the most important Etruscan cities. In the Middle Ages it became a city republic. It lost its independence in the 14th century and has belonged to the Pope's territory ever since . Tarquinia is the place of origin of what is said to be the first Etruscan king of Rome , Lucius Tarquinius Priscus . The city is said to have been founded by Tarchon .

Place names

The name of the place has changed several times over the centuries. Its Etruscan name was Tarchuna or Tarchna , the later Latin Tarquinii . From the Middle Ages it was called Corneto . The name probably goes back to the Cornelian cherry , which grows frequently in the Tarquinia area. In 1872, the city in memory of antiquity in was Corneto Tarquinia renamed and since 1922 only is Tarquinia .


Tarquinia, Museo Nazionale Tarquinese

North-east of today's Tarquinia and earlier Corneto, on the hill La Cività was the Etruscan city ​​of Tarchuna , which was one of the most important members of the League of Twelve Cities . The founding of Tarchuna dates back to the time of the Villanova culture, as evidenced by finds . Tarchuna was on a hill that was built in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Was surrounded by an eight kilometer long city wall, which was a wall from the 6th century BC. Which was still drawn across the hill. What began in border battles after Livy in 359 escalated into a war between Rome and Tarchuna, which also had Faliski allies on its side. This ended in a defeat of the Romans in 358 after the devastation of Roman territory. In 353 the Romans under Rutulus and Plautius and Fabius and Quinctius triumphed over the Tarquin forces. The Tarquin and Faliski troops first returned to their cities. In 351 Tarchuna had to ask Rome for peace and received a 40-year peace treaty.


Under Roman rule, the city was given the Latin name Tarquinii. Tarquinii castle in 308 BC Another 40-year peace with the Roman Republic and was following this treaty, from 281 BC. Part of the Roman Empire. With that began their slow decline. Former tributary areas became independent from Tarquinii. The important territories of the Tolfa Mountains and the coast were directly under Rome. Around 90 BC Tarquinii received Roman city rights. In the 5th century, Tarquinii is documented as the seat of a bishop. It was destroyed by the Saracens in the 8th century . Tarquinii was not rebuilt afterwards, the inhabitants founded on the nearby, better defendable hill Corneto.


Corneto became an independent city republic in 1144, forming alliances with Genoa , Pisa and Venice . In the 13th century there was a siege by Frederick II (HRR) . In 1355 the Pope gave Corneto to the rule of Egidio Albornoz , who incorporated the city into the Papal States. From then on, the place remained a politically insignificant country town. In 1854 the diocese of Corneto was united with that of Civitavecchia . In 1870 Corneto was incorporated into the new Kingdom of Italy .


During World War II, there was a military airfield ( ) southwest of Tarquinia with a training center for paratroopers . In 1944 and 1945 the airfield was used by the Allies and abandoned after the war. Remnants of the runway are still there.


Tarquinia, Tomba dei Leopardi
The winged horses in the Museo Nazionale Tarquiniense

Tarquinia has a well-preserved, medieval old town with numerous towers and an almost completely preserved city wall. Several city palaces have been preserved, especially from the time of the city republic.

  • The Palazzo Vitelleschi was built by Giovanni Dalmata from 1436 to 1439 on behalf of Cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi . It was built in the Gothic-Catalan style, with extensions in the Renaissance style. It houses the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Tarquinia with numerous Etruscan finds, especially from the excavations in Tarquinia.
  • The Palazzo Comunale (town hall) in Romanesque style dates from the 13th century. The council chamber houses large-format paintings by the Chilean painter Roberto Matta , who lived in Tarquinia until his death in 2002.
  • the Palazzo dei Torri (13th century)
  • the Gothic Palazzo dei Priori with a baroque facade
  • the 15th century Santo Spirito Hospital

Numerous churches also date from the High Middle Ages.

  • the cathedral, restored in 1656, with a 15th century choir with frescoes from 1509 by Antonio da Viterbo , called Pastura.
  • Santa Maria in Castello (1121–1208) with cosmatic work
  • San Pancrazio from the 13th century
  • the mendicant order church of San Francesco
  • the small Romanesque churches of Santissimo Salvatore and San Giacomo Apostolo in the north of the old town
  • Santissima Annunziata
  • San Antonio
  • the baroque Chiesa del Suffragio

Etruscan finds

  • On the hill of La Civita, on which ancient Tarquinia stretched, are the foundations of a temple from the middle of the 4th century BC. BC, called "Queen's Altar". Its decoration included a terracotta plate with two winged horses, which are almost fully sculpted . The plate is now in the "Museo Nazionale Taraquiniense";
  • On the south-eastern outskirts of Tarquinia, on the road to Viterbo , is the Monterozzi necropolis with around 6100 burial chambers from the 6th century BC, carved into the rock and covered with tumuli . BC to 2nd century BC BC. The number of burial chambers was not determined by excavation, but by location; about 150 burial chambers are painted with frescoes , which are of fundamental importance for Etruscan art. The graves to be visited include:

The Tarquinia necropolis has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004 .

On the southern edge of Lido di Tarquinia is the excavation site of Gravisca , the ancient port of Tarquinia. It was re-established as Porto Clementino in the Middle Ages. Further north at the mouth of the Marta was a second port, Martanum, of which a basin is located. The ports of Algae and Rapinum have not yet been located.

Population development

year 1871 1881 1901 1921 1936 1951 1971 1991 2001
Residents 4,326 4,998 5,849 7,395 8,118 10,552 12,364 14,020 15,162

Source: ISTAT


Alessandro Giulivi, who had already held office from 2002 to 2007, was elected mayor again on June 11, 2019.

coat of arms

A continuous silver cross on a red shield, covered with a cherry tree in natural colors with red fruits. It is a talking coat of arms , as the old name Corneto of the city means something like "grove of cornel cherries ". The coat of arms has been documented since the 14th century.

Twin cities

sons and daughters of the town

Tarquinia in fiction

The novel Les Petits Chevaux de Tarquinia , French, 1953 (German: The Little Horses of Tarquinia , translated by Walter Maria Guggenheimer; Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1960) by the Prix ​​Goncourt laureate Marguerite Duras is set in Tarquinia.


Web links

Commons : Tarquinia  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Law Gazette of the Lazio Region  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.italgiure.giustizia.it  
  3. ^ Italian civil defense
  4. Stephan Steingräber: Tarquinia and its surroundings in Etruscan and Roman times. History, topography, art , in: Ders. (Ed.): Tarquinia. City and the surrounding area from the Etruscans to modern times , Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Darmstadt 2012, ISBN 978-3-8053-4461-6 , pp. 13-21.
  5. ^ Lazio: Roma e il Vaticano, le città etrusche e medievali dalla Tuscia al Circeo . In: Guide verdi d'Italia . Touring, 2004, ISBN 88-365-2917-8 , pp. 190 (Italian, online version (preview) in Google Book Search).
  6. Tarquinia Airfield on forgottenairfields.com
  7. ^ Giovanni M. de Rossi: La via Aurelia dal Marta al Fiora. In: Quaderni di Topografia Antica dell'Università di Roma, IV , 1968, pp. 121–155.
  8. Cinzia dal Maso on www.specchioromano.it ( Memento of the original from June 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.specchioromano.it