• Chianciano Terme

    The Civic Archaeological Museum of the Waters

The Civic Archaeological Museum of the Waters of Chianciano Terme, housed within a former granary from the 1800s in the heart of the historic town centre, gathers together priceless artifacts uncovered locally, and it boasts the world’s most important collection of Etruscan canopic jars (that is, human-shaped cinerary vases).

The museum fills 4 storeys and is organized in thematic sections that illustrate all aspects of life and death among the Etruscan people, through magnificent artifacts, evocative reconstructions, descriptions, images, and brief videos.

The exhibition begins with the reconstruction of several burial sites, including displays of funerary articles including vessels in bucchero and in bronze, decorated ceramics and amphorae dating back to the 6th and 5th century B.C., the city’s period of greatest development.

On display is a rich collection of canopic jars discovered in digs at the vast Necropolis of Tolle, designed to contain the ashes of prominent individuals. These cinerary vases almost seem to be waiting to greet visitors along the evocative underground corridor.  They portray men and women whose physical lineaments, though destroyed by the funeral pyre, challenge the eternal laws of time by revealing forever their full expressive power.

In terms of remnants from the subsequent Hellenistic Age, there are numerous cinerary urns in alabaster and a series of reconstructed areas for wine-making, unearthed at an old farm that was discovered at Poggio Bacherina.  Belonging to the same historic timeframe is a monumental terracotta pediment that adorned a sacred building dedicated to a divinity of health in the valley of the River Astrone, not far from the source of the Fucoli Waters.

The final section of the museum documents use of the rich springs of Chianciano during the Roman Period,  when luxurious villas were erected together with great thermal bath buildings that were long-frequented for their therapeutic benefits.  It is said that the Roman poet Horace came here to take the waters.

Attican kylix with black figures (540 B.C. circa): inside a tomb of the Necropolis of Pedata, one of the the deceased holds in his hands a magnificent wine-vessel showing a rooster on the bottom and a motto in Greek engraved on the outside, saying “Good health, and drink up”!

Canopic jars from Tomb 116, Necropolis of Tolle (7th century, B.C.): the only family tomb ever found with three canopic jars (father, mother and son) that bring together two generations.

Thesan, goddess of the Dawn, Etruscan Temple of the Fucoli (II sec. a.C.): the statue of the splendid winged Thesan, goddess of the Dawn, decorated the temple that was built near the source of the Fucoli and dedicated to a divinity of health who protected the sacred springs.

Civic Archaeological Museum
Viale Dante, 80
53042 Chianciano Terme
Tel. 0578 30471 / 0578 652305 (Ufficio Cultura del Comune)
email: museoetrusco@libero.it


From 4th November

Saturday – Monday, 10 AM – 1 PM | 3 PM – 6 PM

Last entry: 5. 30 PM

from 1st April

Everyday, 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm



regular: € 6,00

reduced: € 5,00

children under 12 years

For further information on fares, reduced prices and booking, please contact the museum

The Chianciano Terme hot springs are among the most famous in Italy. Located in an especially fortunate position between the Val d’Orcia, with its clay hills, and the fertile Val di Chiana, it has been long been a centre for therapeutic treatments and for relaxation.  It is also a place rich in historic beauty, such as the old town sitting atop a hill.  Originally Etruscan and then built up during the Middle Ages, the town boasts the lovely Romanesque Collegiate Church of St. John the Baptist, the interior of which was restored in Neoclassical style in 1809.  The waters of Chianciano have been famous since the time of the Etruscan king Porsenna, who frequented the thermal springs in the 6th century B.C. according to accounts by Marcus Terentius Varro, Tibullus and Horace.  At Poggio Silene, where one of the three thermal bath facilities of Chianciano is located, excavations have unearthed ancient ruins from the 3rd and 4th century B.C.