Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuscany before it was "Tuscany"

Aside from simply wandering around, exploring the nooks and crannies of Cetona streets...we also visited the Civic Museum, conveniently located a few minutes from our house.  Here we toured exhibits of neolithicm, bronze age, and Etruscan artifacts.  We didn't learn a huge amount because the commentaries were all Italian only!  But we gleaned what we could, and enjoyed looking at everything.  Lots of artifacts from periods prior to the Etruscan period...I wonder what, if anything, the land was called before it was named after the Etruscans!

This is venere di Savignano...appeared to be an ancient fertility statue

Bowls from the neolithic period, 4000ish years ago.  What really struck me was the decoration...I just hadn't thought of prehistoric people as being that refined.  Cavedwellers...not just hairy men with clubs after all! lol

This is a pot called a bollitoio per h. latte which was used to boil milk to kill harmful bacteria when making cheese. The triangular piece is full of holes, and goes on top.  The milk is poured into the jug, the jug is heated, and the boiling milk flows through the porous part.  Again, I am entirely surprised that prehistoric people were so advanced!

After our visit to the museum, we had lunch and then drove over to the Belverde archaeological site.  We had a guided tour, along with a few other people.  The tour was in Italian (the guide also spoke French, but no English!)  But they gave us a leaflet with all the basic information in English, so we were able to follow along nicely.  This is the stone age hut.  These people used looms to weave cloth, and forges for metallurgy, etc.  Clearly I did not pay enough attention in history class, as this level of advancement just kept on astonishing me the whole day!

Down into the grotto we went.  This was a cave, thought to have been an actual dwelling place.  The settlement was recreated, complete with the firepit at the entrance to keep out animals, to the place for the dead to be laid to rest at the back of the cave.  I took a photo down inside, but it came out too blurry to post, so I'll just post this one of the stairs down into the grotto.

The walk through the park to the specific points of interest was just lovely!  This was a great place to be on a hot summer day - the temp was around 30c today, although truly didn't feel that hot in Cetona, presumably because of the elevation plus all the tall stone buildings provide lots of shade.  I also had lots of fun driving up and down the mountains!  Have I mentioned that I want me one o' these excellent little Fiat 500s??  Really takes those hairpin corners well!


sandrac said...

Fascinating -- what an interesting spot!

Anne said...

Sandra, it really is fascinating here! I am loving Cetona and immediate surroundings so much that it is hard to get motivated to go anywhere. You know you are in heaven when your thoughts are along the lines of well I suppose we 'should' make some daytrips around Tuscany instead of just hanging around the same town for two weeks. Just commented to Jane P on facebook that I feel I must have been born in Cetona in a previous life! lol

Trekcapri said...

Hi Anne, Cetona look's like a great place to visit in Italy. I'm really enjoying all of your cool photos.

Thanks so much for sharing and keep on having fun.

Anonymous said...

Cool - it always pleases me to see people exploring aspects of Tuscany that are a bit deeper than the 'under a tuscan sun' sort of thing. LOL volterra is another great spot to explore those Etruscan roots if you haven't been there.

menehune said...

Wow, Anne! I have been following you on FB but got back into blogging and realized your posts were more in depth here. You've described your adventures so far vividly that I feel I am a part of your travels. Mahalo for sharing. M

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