forcello ingressoThe Archaeological Park of Forcello is situated on the remains of an important Etruscan site discovered in the 60s and 70s of the twentieth century by local enthusiasts. The site was later recognized by Prof. Raffaele De Marinis as the first Etruscan settlement to be discovered north of the River Po thanks to inscriptions in the Etruscan alphabet and language and material and cultural evidence. The archaeological excavations at the site since 1981 by the University of Milan have unearthed a small portion of the settlement with a long stratigraphic sequence divided into nine main settlement phases.

The settlement, which covers an area of about 12 hectares on a hill in the Mincio basin, was chosen by the Etruscans to exploit the possibilities of landing boats heading up the Adriatic and the River Po. For about 150 years, the site was an important centre of trade with Greece and central Europe, as evidenced by the extraordinary richness and variety of artefacts recovered by archaeologists in several years of research. Abandonment of the Forcello site in around 388 BC, coinciding with the invasion of northern Italy by various Celtic tribes, determined the growth in importance of Mantua as a centre that remained strongly permeated by the Etruscan culture until the beginning of the Roman era.
Today, the park aims to make the results of the archaeological research available to the general public through educational laboratory activities for school-age audiences and experimental reconstructions at demonstration events for adults and children, such as furnaces for baking ceramics and the ‘House of Loom Weights’, a life-size reconstruction of an Etruscan dwelling excavated in the eighties. For schools of all levels, active laboratories are organized to promote knowledge of the work of archaeologists, the stratigraphic research methodology and various activities related to daily life in the time of the Etruscans. Furthermore, by visiting the park during excavation periods, it is possible to witness field work and the inventorying of the finds of the team of archaeologists from the University of Milan.

Opening times:
Open from March to October for groups on reservation and according to the calendar of events.

Admission € 2 (free for children under 6)
Educational laboratories € 5 (€ 7 ‘The House of Venzal’, ‘Metallurgists for a day’)
Guided tour (groups max. 30 people) € 50

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