Monday, November 16, 2020


Sea level. 700 inhabitants

It is the only small town included in the area of the municipality of Santa Marinella

It extends for about 3 km (1.9 miles). The oldest part of town was built in the 1930s

Site of of the ancient PYRGI (from Greek pyrgoi = towers), seaport of Caere along with Alsium

It used to trade for centuries especially with the Greek colonies and Greece itself with heyday period in the years 600/500 BC

It was the famous Shrine of Leucothea whose treasure was plundered in 384 BC by Dionysius of Syracuse

The city was later abandoned and Rome founded here a fortified colony in 200 BC

Castello di Santa Severa or Castello di S. Spirito

St. Severa Castle or Holy Spirit Castle

It was built by the Counts of Tuscia and it was mentioned by the sources for the first time in 1068 when the Norman Gerard of Galeria donated it to the monks of Farfa who owned it until 1130

In 1166 it was the residence of the Genoese Bailiffs and later passed to the monks of St. Paul, to the Orsini family, to the Anguillara family and to the Apostolic Camera who had excommunicated the Anguillaras in 1465

Finally in 1471 it was donated to the Ospedale di S. Spirito (Hospital of the Holy Spirit)

It was a place of long stops for popes such as Leo X Medici (1513/21), Paul III Farnese (1534/49), Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44) and scholars while traveling between Rome and the north

Classic quadrangular shape with towers at the corners and triple ring of walls built between 1300s and 1600s

SARACEN TOWER cylindrical keep of the twelfth century but rebuilt during the sixteenth century, with the function of sighting the frequent Saracen invasions

There are remains of walls of a Roman fort (castrum) and Etruscan elements

It houses the MUSEO DEL MARE E DELLA NAVIGAZIONE ANTICA (Museum of the Sea and Ancient Navigation) formerly Civic Archaeological Museum of Santa Marinella established in 1993 for educational purpose, dedicated to the theme of sailing in antiquity through the Mediterranean

SEVEN ROOMS with over 100 Etruscan, Roman and medieval pieces, educational services and laboratories

Scale reconstruction of the hold of a Roman ship of the first century BC fully loaded

Reconstruction of a hydraulic pump installed on board of ancient ships that would have expelled 210 liters of water per minute

There is also a sailing simulator for ships with square sails

Archaeological Site of Pyrgi

Sacred area of ​​about 6,000 m² (1.5 acres)

Remains of the SANCTUARY OF LEUCOTHEA bounded by a sacred precinct (temenos) with two temples side by side

Greek sources say they were dedicated to Leucothea-Ilizia while Etruscan inscriptions only mention the name of Uni (Juno):

Temple A

About 460 BC, layout with three cellas parallel at the back and preceded by a colonnade between the extensions of the side walls, in a pattern typical of sacred Etruscans buildings

The columns were originally made out of plastered tufa and the capitals were in peperino stone

Both short sides were decorated with an open pediment with reliefs, of which the most lavish and outstanding was undoubtedly the rear one with the Myth of the Seven against Thebes rebuilt at Villa Giulia where there is also the Female Head, maybe representing Thesan Leucothea

Leucothea was the “White Goddess of the Sea”, called Thesan by the Etruscans

Temple B

About 500 BC, Greek type with one long cella surrounded by four columns on the front side and six on the lateral sides

On the two pediments there were representations of the myth of Hercules

Sacred area C

Dedicated to the "chthonic" cult or of the underworld where the three gold foils of Pyrgi today at Villa Giulia were found

Independent small sanctuary, with a cylindrical altar of gray tuff, a well and a second altar in peperino stone

Building of 20 cells

Parallel to the long side of the temenos. 20 cells remain intended for priestesses of the goddess that Servius recalls, citing Lucilius, to be the famous Scorta Pyrgensia, ie the "Prostitutes of Pyrgi"


Partial reconstruction of the terracotta decorations on the upper parts of the temples

"High relief of temple B with Heracles fighting Hydra assisted by Athena"

Also red-figure Attic pottery of the fifth century BC, black-figure pottery, votive materials and other valuable objects

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