The exhibition is divided into four sections displaying great valuable objects belonging to different periods: paleo-Christian, medieval, and modern (up to the XIX century). Among the numerous gold and silver items, gravestones, oil paintings and vestments, the most interesting objects are the two small wood and ivory coffins, made by the “Bottega degli Embriachi” which was famous for the excellent skills of its craftsmen in inlaying wood.
The Museum is renowned for a wonderful collection of Benedictine illuminated manuscripts, coming from Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey, and dating back to the second half of the XV century. The writings were handwritten by the Oivetani monks, while famous artists like Sano di Pietro, Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Liberale da Verona took care of the illuminations painted by brush.
The Labyrinth of Porsenna
It is an underground path, about 130 metres of underground tunnels that were part of an elaborate Etruscan water supply system, running under the entire town. According to a local lore, this network of underground tunnels has been considered for a long period with the inextricable labyrinth at the base of the magnificent Porsenna’s Mausoleum as described in “Naturalis Historia” by Plinius the Elder. A legend, probably originated in the Middle Ages, tells that the sarcophagus of the great Etruscan King was kept in a golden chariot drawn by 12 golden horses and guarded by a hen and 5,000 chicks entirely made of gold as well.
From the tunnels it is possible to reach a monumental circular late Etruscan-early Roman cistern with a central pillar and two dry-built stone barrel vaults made with huge travertine blocks. (II-I century B.C).
The Labyrinth of Porsenna’s tour ends in the bell tower, from the top of which you can enjoy a great view on a wonderful landscape.
Piazza Duomo, 7 – 53043 Chiusi, Italy
Tel. 0039 0578 226975