The archaeological park of Sodo is a must-see for anyone interested in archeology and nature. This park has Etruscan tombs, scattered throughout the area near Cortona. You can learn about these mysterious people of the past, as well as the ancient Romans, as you explore the Val di Chiana countryside. There are hiking trails and MTB routes that lead you to the imposing tombs of Melone I & II of Sodo and Tanella of Pitagora.

See evidence of the spectacular Etruscan and Roman eras along the hiking trails and cycling routes of the MAEC

There are ways to see traces of  great past eras here, but one unique route has been mapped out by the MAEC or Museum of the Etruscan Academy of Cortona (link). This route connects trails and sites that are all located within the Municipality of Cortona. 

As you start off from the town of Cortona, the Etruscan past becomes quickly visible, with the large walls and double lancet door of the town and the underground structures, including the vaulted arch of the Cerulli Diligenti Palace, the barrel vault of the Via Guelfa road and the Etruscan wall of the Casali Palace. The aqueduct with its rare terracotta waterways near Porta Montanina and the cistern of the “Bagni di Bacco” or ancient Bacco baths are located next to the Saint Anthony Church. These are the structures that remain from the Roman domination.

On the outskirts of Cortona, there are the flatlands, known as the “Melons” because of the Etruscan rounded structures that dot the area. These mound, tomb structures date back to the Archaic age and there are two areas located near Sodo and one in Camucia. 

Because of the beauty of its horizontal architecture and ornate terrace-stair structure, the Etruscan “tumulo” or mound structure of Sodo II is unique in all the world. However, this is not the only breathtaking site in the park. As you walk through the old olive groves of these hills, you come to the Tanella di Pitagora, the Tanella Angori and the tomb of Mezzavia. If you love archeology and hiking, you can enter the area along a dense network of stone roads from the Roman period that have recently been excavated just above the area in the mountains of Cortona. On the side of the mountain of Cortona, with a wonderful view of Lake Trasimeno, you can see the remains of the beautiful republican, imperial villa of Ossaia. 

Fall in love with Tuscany and its fascinating past once again using the routes delineated on the MAEC Archaeological Park map.

 

In the Footsteps of the Etruscans in Cortona