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The Etruscan Next Door: Part II

Art & Archaeology in Umbria

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Women’s Liberation, B.C.

In Etruscan society, women were respected and fully engaged in their community.  You might say Etruria was the first “community property state”; women owned land and homes just as men did.  Perhaps a bit envious, a Greek man once was quoted to have critically bellowed, “Etruscan women sit around sipping wine with their husbands under the same blanket.”  That sounds like “sour grapes” to me.

Gli Etruschi Mangiano Bene

IMG 1270 240x179As their neighbor, it’s conceivable you’d be invited to their house for dinner.  Porchetta, a common Umbrian dish, was laid down on many an Etruscan table centuries ago – still made by the same formula today – pork stuffed with wild fennel, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper, then roasted.  Lorenzo Polgeri, owner of Ristorante Zeppelin writes in his book The Etruscan Chief, “Our ancestors were great farmers of cereals and grains.  They created the core of our cuisine with ancient cereals like barley and farro, and legumes rich in protein like chickpeas, fava beans and lentils.”  There’s evidence they produced cheese and flatbread…pizza? After dinner they drank wine while lounging on the couch listening to music.

The Mystic Etruscans

Most of what we know about Etruscans is speculation, however, experts have pieced together a clearer picture of Etruscan life based on artifacts found in archeological digs such as the one by Mr. Bizzarri’s team.  This new find will hopefully shed more light on the mysterious lives of Etruscans.  But will we ever be sure what it was like to be them?  Ahh.. to be an ancient fly on a tufa wall!

Etruscan wall


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by Toni DeBella

A Freelance writer and blogger at Orvieto or Bust, Toni recently packed everything she owns into two suitcases and headed to Orvieto, Italy.  She’s adjusted her tennis game to the clay courts and drinks way too many caffe lattes.


13/02/2018

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