Loc. Giuncarico - Cantina Rocca di Frassinello
The museum is housed in the Rocca di Frassinello winery, designed by Renzo Piano and famous for internationally award-winning wines, from the Rocca di Frassinello to Baffonero, which before being bottled rest in the suggestive barrel cellar dug into the rock at a depth of 30 meters: a silent amphitheater where 2,000 barriques rest in the dark and seem like silent spectators. The museum acts as a reference point for the Etruscan evidence of the territory of Vetulonia, welcoming inside the finds from the necropolises of San Germano and Santa Teresa di Gavorrano. Its birth is due to an innovative public-private project resulting from the collaboration between the Superintendency, the University of Florence and Paolo Panerai, President of Rocca di Frassinello, who made the winery a pole of aggregation of art and culture under the sign of wine .
The visit itinerary exposes a selection of objects aimed at understanding the uses and customs of the Etruscans, with particular attention to the consumption of wine and its role in the society of the time: the aim is to knot the thread that ties modern viticulture through wine to the ancient Etruscan civilization which, on these lands, flourished over 2,500 years ago. Found in large numbers inside the burials, the vases linked to wine represent a central element in the system of self-representation of the deceased but are also evidence of trade, local production, exchange of gifts between aristocrats and convivial practices that change over time.
Exemplary in this sense is the red-figure stamnos made in Greece around 480 BC. and found in mound 9 of San Germano: used to mix wine and water, it shows us how the consumption of wine according to Greek fashion has also been fully understood in the territory of Vetulonia, where, still in the second half of the seventh century. BC, we witnessed the creation of entirely original vases for mixing wine, as shown by the monumental kantharos decorated by ducklings found in the necropolis of Santa Teresa di Gavorrano. The exhibition hall, set up by the architect Italo Rota creator of the Wine Pavilion at the Expo and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, draws inspiration from the decoration of the attic stamnos on which Dionysus and the menadas are depicted - also reproduced in 3D printing - intent to drink and dance accompanied by the sound of the flute. The visit experience, accompanied by Etruscan-inspired music specially created by Stefano Cantini, is therefore a perfect combination that combines wine, architecture and history and that allows you to discover this territory to be explored.
The archaeological area of San Germano
The site of San Germano, today known above all for its necropolis which occupies both sides of the Sovata stream, constitutes one of the most important testimonies of the northern territory of ancient Vetulonia. Here, starting from the second half of the seventh century. BC, there is a settlement that reaches up to the first century. A.D. and that he probably based his fortune on controlling commercial traffic and agricultural resources. The archaeological area, freely accessible to the public, is located inside the wine estate and contains a series of tumulus tombs built between the second half of the seventh century BC. and the first half of the 6th century BC A view path, guided by QR codes and special signs, winds through the Mediterranean scrub and allows you to observe some examples of the funerary architecture typical of Vetulonia and its territory in the Etruscan era. The finds recovered inside the burials - today exhibited in the museum located inside the cellar - refer to local productions (such as the bucchero vases and the Etruscan-Corinthian ceramics) but also to imports (especially from Greece) and speak to us of a rich and receptive community that had to play a central role for the reference area. The archaeological area is also a clear example of collaboration between public and private, the result of a project that since 2015 has united the Superintendency, the University of Florence and the Rocca di Frassinello company and which continues today, thanks to the archaeological excavations conducted annually by the University which made it possible to identify an agricultural housing area near the necropolis.
Guided visits: the visit to the museum takes place through a guided tour carried out by the cellar staff. The museum and the archaeological area also have QR Codes that accompany the visit route.
The Rocca di Frassinello winery is open every day of the year, with the exception of January 1 and December 25, at the following times:
- Spring and summer, from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 19:00
- Autumn and winter, from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00
Reservation is mandatory.
Possibility to visit
- Guided tour of the Rocca di Frassinello winery with tasting of the company's wines and visit to the Etruscan Documentation Center; various solutions are available: classic, superior and vertical tasting visits.
- Cultural visit (Euro 15) that allows you to focus on the archaeological and architectural aspect and does not include wine tasting: in Rocca di Frassinello architecture and archeology find an ideal combination, immersing the visitor in the spaces born from the pencil of Renzo Piano and, at the same time, allowing you to admire some treasures returned from the area's rich Etruscan necropolises and enhanced by the suggestive setting by Italo Rota.
- Every Monday free access exclusively to the Etruscan Documentation Center. Reservations are required for each visit solution.
It is also possible to visit the necropolis of San Germano "Rocca di Frassinello" freely and free of charge every day of the year (Google Maps: Necropolis of San Germano - Rocca di Frassinello); the archaeological area has a large parking lot.
Director: Giuditta Pesenti
Info and reservations: +39 056688400
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