MuseumEtruscans and wine at Rocca di Frassinello

Museum info

About the museum

It is a well know fact that Etruscans were wine producers: according to several researchers, they farmed Sangiovese, Tuscany's iconic vine variety. Today, the restoration of the Necropolis of San Germano, within Rocca di Frassinello archaeological site, shows a new artifact: the Attican stamnos, found in one of the tombs. The ancient jar is the core of this “experiential” exhibition, cured by the brilliance of architect Italo Rota: showing a beautiful depiction of a Dionysian procession, it proves the refined wine tastes of our Etruscan ancestors. The exhibition “Gli Etruschi e il vino a rocca di Frassinello” (Etruscans and wine at Rocca di Frassinello) will make visitors discover the relationship between Etruscans and wine through an experiential approach that will involve any sense organ.

The restoration of the archaeological site at Rocca di Frassinello, as well as this exhibition hosted in the wine cellar designed by Renzo Piano, are the result of a joint effort between Paolo Panerai and the executive director of the Archaeological Superintendency for Tuscany,  Andrea Pessina, the government archaeological official Biancamaria Aranguren, and Luca Cappuccini, researcher at the University of Florence. This is a valuable example of what private and public can deliver by working together.

The Attican stamnos depicting Dionysus (the god of the grape harvest) and his female followers (the maenads) was made in Athens in 480 b.C., most likely by one of the greatest vase-painters of that era, the Pan Painter. The characters of the procession have been accurately reproduced in three dimensions on the “carousel” beside the stamnos, where they seem to be alive, and dance. Accurate replicas of the dresses worn by the maenads in the procession are displayed on the walls.
Visitors will also taste “fortified wine”, the wine produced in the Etruscan way, drinking Rocca di Frassinello's wine from the traditional jars with honey, black pepper, cheese and rose petals.
The exhibition also focuses on another refined artifact: the kantharos. Once again this ceramic drinking cup refers to wine consumption. Held inside the cup, the wine was then divided into portions by using small bowls.
Furthermore, the exhibition features many precious artifacts such as gold earrings, axes and metal spear tips, bronze lions, and the jars Etrurians used to drink wine from. The highlights of the exhibition include many aryballoi(s) and alabastron(s) that served as perfume and balm containers for women.
The unique world portrayed by the exhibition will be further described by two videos: one on the grape harvest at Rocca di Frassinello, and one on the tombs discovered in the Etruscan necropolis. Both videos will be enhanced by an Etruscan soundtrack specifically composed by Stefano Cantini.

“Being a stronghold, Rocca di Frassinello stands out against something, maybe against banality. Frassinello proves that the contemporary world is made of countless bridges between past and future. Renzo Piano v/s Etruscans, Etruscans v/s Paolo. By giving a future to Frassinello's past, the Etruscans gave us this beautiful vase with Dionysus, so let the celebration begin” - Italo Rota

Plan your visit

  • Rocca di Frassinello, Strada Statale 1 Aurelia, Santa Clotilde, Gavorrano, Grosseto, Tuscany, 58023, Italy
  • Today:
    09:00 - 17:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
    10:00 - 19:00
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  • Rudy Guglielmi

    5 out of 5 rating 12-31-2018

    Fiore all'occhiello del comune di Gavorrano, questa Necropoli è stata valorizzata da tecnologie all'avanguardia come i commenti tramite qr-code ed App annessa. Un bel parcheggio accoglie i visitatori e targhe esaustive spiegano in dettaglio tutte le scoperte che sono state fatte nei vari tumuli. il percorso è agevolato e recintato ed è adatto a tutte le tipologie di visitatori, dai bambini agli anziani. Nuove tombe stanno spuntando e sicuramente la necropoli avrà ancora tanto da svelare.

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