ITALY, TUSCANY: The Spirit of the Ancient Etruscans – To be announced
The Etruscans ruled over an area of Italy called Etruria between 900BC – 300BC (better known today as Tuscany). At the height of their power (c. 500 B.C.), they dominated Italy from the Po river in the north to central Campania building 12 great cities around a ritual center.
This mysterious religious culture worshiped the Earth Mother and are believed by some historians to have founded Western civilization until the Roman Empire usurped them and destroyed their sacred cities. Only in the last two hundred years have their secrets come to light revealing mysterious pyramids, rock-cut temples, passages and tombs.
Highlights of our Journey:
- Ancient temples, tombs and rock-cut passages in the spectacular and beautiful Valley of the Etruscan Kings accompanied by local expert and author of Etruscan mysteries; Giovanni Feo.
- Strange rock-cut temples that resemble Petra.
- Magnificent megalithic and polygonal walls of lost and abandoned towns.
- The Grail church of the Etruscans and a Cistercian Abbey.
- Guest leaders Gary Biltcliffe + Caroline Hoare who are dedicated to historical research and investigation of earth mysteries, dowsing ancient sites, and uncovering lost knowledge and early folklore.
We’ll stay for four nights in the ancient medieval town of Tarquinia, the capital city of the Etruscans and visit the most spectacular painted tombs outside of Egypt.
The last three days will be based around the magnificent Renaissance city of Siena where we will connect the dragon lines of the Apollo/St Michael alignment and visit the spectacular medieval hilltop town of Volterra and see the “Sword in the Rock” at San Golgano Abbey.
Pre-Tour Ancient Italian Mysteries extension
Just southeast of Rome (as well as other areas) there are some remarkable polygonal walls underlying later Etruscan and Roman building. The construction is similar to that found in some sites in Greece, Turkey and South America, and it is similarly mis-dated and not recognized for what it is. Could this use of massive blocks of stone, so accurately cut and fitted together, be a legacy of the mysterious Pelasgi, a race said to have founded Greek civilization and colonized Italy in the Bronze Age?
This section of the tour is much more of an exploratory adventure in the countryside of Italy and of the history of civilization. We will be exploring lesser visited sites as well as a lost city, an ancient oracle site, renowned temples and citadels. Join us as we look for evidence to rewrite history.
This 5-day pre-tour add-on will include 4 nights in Ferentino visiting hilltop towns with panoramic views, and megalithic structures in the hills to the east of Rome.
Post-Tour Magnificent Florence & Venice extension
No visit to Italy would be complete without some time spent in the magnificent romantic cities of Florence and Venice, both World Heritage Sites.
Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was a major center of trade, art and power in the Middle Ages and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Its fine historic buildings house over eighty museums and art galleries and the names of the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi are world renowned.
Venice truly is unique! There are no cars in this roadless city, replaced instead by boats and gondolas on the spiders web of canals. The city is built on over a hundred tiny islands connected by pedestrian bridges so its the perfect place for wandering the narrow streets and alleys on foot.
You’ll never know what’s around the next corner as you come upon an ancient church, a plaza or another bridge. Stop in at an art gallery, a canal-side restaurant or a converted palace. Wandering aimlessly has never been so much fun!
This section of the tour will be less structured with plenty of free time to explore on your own timescale the aspects of these cities that appeal to you. There will be optional guided tours offered and we can meet up together as a group to share some meals so that we can maintain the relationships that have built up during the main tour whilst also allowing you the freedom to choose what to see and do in cities with so much to offer.
The 5-day post-tour add-on will include 2 nights in magnificent Florence and 2 nights in the unique city of Venice.
OUR BEAUTIFUL ITINERARIES!
Ancient Italian Mysteries Tour extension (5 days/4 nights)
Sept 21- 25, 2014
Day 1 – 21st Sept (b/-/d) – Ferentino, the Lost city of the Gods
Collection from Rome international airport and drive to Ferentino and stay four nights in a hotel a short walk from the town. Ferentino is a picture-postcard walled medieval hilltown at 1300ft above sea level, 40 miles southeast of Rome. (1 hour) There are three circuits of megalithic walls around the town containing layers dating from medieval, Roman, Etruscan/Hernici and earlier.
They are amongst the finest examples of polygonal walls to be seen in Italy, consisting of giant sized blocks of irregular masonry laid without mortar. We will see for ourselves the colossal size of the blocks within these walls and visit the acropolis containing a medieval cathedral within its walls. Late afternoon/evening tour of the town and introduction to the tour. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 – 22nd Sept (b/-/-) – The Delphi of Italy
Today we visit Palestrina and the great Sanctuary of the Goddess with its magnificent ancient walls. This quaint, sleepy little town high in the mountains south of Rome was once a favorite retreat of the Roman emperors. Today the importance of this town has been forgotten and ignored by tourists, however, the entire town is built over and into the ruins of an enormous ancient temple called Praeneste.
Legends say the temple was founded by Ulysses and it was known throughout ancient Italy as an oracle, like Delphi in Greece. Many cultures have built a temple here over the ruins of the previous, including a temple to Fortuna Primigenia (Fortuna the First Bearer) the Etruscan Goddess. Here we will visit the impressive large museum built within the ruined temple complex and see the impressive walls from different periods. Free-choice dinner not included.
Day 3 – 23rd Sept (b/-/d) – The Italian Troy and the Giants Gate
This morning we drive to the spectacular ancient citadel of Norba, which appears to hang in the air 1575 ft above sea-level on the western edge of the Volscian Mountains. This remarkable site with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside was built from sparkling white limestone and contains a unique polygonal round tower.
Some refer to Norba as the great white city of the Latin’s, the Troy of Italy, built by Aeneas and the survivors of the Trojan War. Later it became the capital city of the Celtic Volscians, the enemies of Rome. Picnic lunch at Norba or a nearby café restaurant.
Afternoon visit to the beautiful ancient hilltop town of Segni, once a colony established by the great Tarquin, the 7th Etruscan King of Rome. Here we will visit the great polygonal walls with their unique and colossal megalithic gates with scenic mountain views. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 – 24th Sept (b/-/-) – Alatri and the Polygonal Sun Temple
We visit the great acropolis of Alatri which has the finest polygonal walls in Italy. We will walk the complete circuit of polygonal walls around this picturesque hilltop town and its high citadel, shaped like a geometrical castle. The walls here are the highest in Italy and contain colossal blocks of stone such as the lintel in Porta Maggiore that weighs over 50 tons and is among the most remarkable megalithic constructions in Europe.
There is also an unusual ancient phallic carving over one megalithic trilithon doorway and the shape of the acropolis has revealed astrological alignments. Lunch outside in the Citadel Café with spectacular views or a local restaurant. The afternoon has been left available for another visit or linger at Alatri. Free-choice dinner not included.
Day 5 – 25th Sept (b/-/d)
Depart for Spirit of the Etruscans Tour or Rome Airport.
The Spirit of the Etruscans Tour 2014
Sept 25-Oct 2, 2014 (8 days/7 nights)
Day 1 – Thurs 25th Sept
Pick up from Rome airport and check in to hotel for 4 nights in the Etruscan town of Tarquinia, one hour drive from Rome Fiumicino/Leonardo Da Vinci airport. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and meeting others. Dinner at the hotel.
There will be an optional afternoon trip to the Etruscan Necropolis of Cerveteri. Cerveteri once belonged to the now vanished Etruscan city of Caere and is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area and a World Heritage Site. This enormous prehistoric cemetery dating from 900BC contains various types of tombs, including mounds, square houses and caves. Some have detailed and colored paintings depicting Etruscan life and religion.
Day 2 – Fri 26th Sept (b/-/-) – The Great Etruscan Cities
The day begins with an introduction to the mysterious Etruscan culture at the famous National Etruscan Museum in Tarquinia set in a beautiful villa and gardens. Lunch in Tarquinia. We then walk a short distance to the site of the ancient capital city of the Etruscans and its necropolis that has some of the most spectacular painted tombs outside of ancient Egypt.
Before the building of Rome, when the shores of the Tiber were inhabited by a group of mud and straw huts, Tarquinia, the capital of the Etruscans, equaled the power and magnificence of Athens. It was a beautiful, lively, colorful city, filled with riches and refined opulent houses. Yet strangely, Tarquinia was lost to history and only came to light two hundred years ago, buried beneath the fertile fields of Lazio. Free-choice dinner not included.
Day 3 – Sat 27th Sept (b/-/d) – The Etruscan Valley of the Kings
Today is spent in the medieval hilltop towns of Sovana and Saturnia set in the beautiful Tufa valley. Here we will meet guide and author on many books on the Etruscan mysteries Geovanni Feo who will accompany us for the day around the mysterious Etruscan Valley of the Kings. This sacred area has many rock-cut tombs, temples carved out of solid rock, the most impressive of which is the Ildebranda tomb, a smaller version of the Treasury at Petra in Jordan.
The most mysterious features of this area are the Via Cave or rock-cut passages. They are of an enormous size up to 20 meters high and as little as 2 meters wide traveling for half a kilometer. There function is a mystery, but they appear to be passages of the dead, sacred routes of ritual procession associated with the Etruscan necropolis. Sovana once belonged to the Knights Templar and the ruins of a convent houses one of their temples. There are many medieval building of historical interest here set in narrow cobbled streets including a remarkable early Christian Romanesque gothic church with early carvings.
Saturnia has pre-Roman megalithic polygonal wall made from massive blocks of polygon shaped volcanic stones. There are also strange, ancient dolmen-shaped tombs resembling those found in Britain. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 – Sun 28th Sept (b/-/-) – Tuscania and the Mysterious Rock-cut Temples
We start the day with a drive to the beautiful historic hilltop town of Tuscania one of the most photographed places in Italy with many medieval towers set within the rolling hills of Tuscany. It was once an important Etruscan town and the ancient Romanesque church stands on the remains of an Etruscan temple and houses a museum displaying sarcophagi that the Etruscans manufactured in the town.
Afternoon visit to the remote spooky valley of Norchia that contains strange Etruscan temple tombs carved out of the cliff faces. Norchia was once an Etruscan city but all that remains are the cliff tombs with unusual carved façades and cornices. We can also explore the scant ruins of a medieval ghost town including a church and castle. Free-choice dinner not included.
Day 5 – Mon 29th Sept (b/-/d) – The Pelasgian City and Coast
Depart hotel and drive to Siena via the ancient city of Cosa. Here we will see a remote, half-overgrown ruined city perched on a hill near the sea whose date is in dispute. The ancient walls here take your breath away with their majesty, standing in places 25ft high and are built using a unique style of polygonal and cyclopean blocks of stone. British antiquarian George Dennis attributes the polygonal walls here to a mysterious pre-flood seafaring race called the Pelasgi.
We’ll see the great citadel that displays Roman masonry on top of Etruscan on top of Pelasgian. There is a small museum we can visit. Lunch at the cafes in the picturesque coastal town of Talamone. Arrival at hotel in Siena where we stay for two nights. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 6 – Tues 30th Sept (b/-/-) – The City of Dragons and the Etruscan Grail Church
We have a morning tour around the medieval city of Siena, famous for its cuisine, museums and art. Originally settled by the Etruscans it was, according to legend founded by Senius, son of Remus who founded Rome. We will walk through the famous shell-shaped Piazza del Campo and visit the spectacular Duomo or cathedral where the dragon lines of the Apollo St Michael Axis cross (as dowsed by Hamish Miller). The city is full of architectural treasures, delightful plazas, museums, churches and a Medicean fortress.
After lunch we make a trip to San Galgano Abbey and round church. This magnificent roofless gothic abbey, reminiscent of those found in the vales of Yorkshire, is situated on a crossing of two ancient roads. The abbey was built around 1224–88AD by French Cistercian monks who dedicated it to St Galgano (d 1181), a knight who renounced his ways and became a hermit living on a nearby hill called Montesiepi.
The hill is crowned by an unusual rotunda called the Hermitage that is similar to Knights Templar churches. In the center of the church floor is the enigmatic Italian Excalibur, a 12th century sword thrust into the rock. Free-choice dinner not included.
Day 7 – Weds 1st Oct (b/-/-) – A Taste of Renaissance Italy
Visit the walled medieval splendor of Volterra an important Etruscan town founded in the 8th Century BC. It has a fabulous museum displaying Etruscan Sarcophagi depicting some of the finest carvings seen so far and some very unusual items not to be missed. It also has Etruscan walls and a megalithic gate.
Here we can also feel and dowse the Athena goddess energy line as she flows through an unusual round baptismal chapel, passing through a beautiful carved stone bath. The narrow medieval streets are filled with shops and restaurants where you can sample the delights of Tuscan food, wine, art and culture. A great place to shop and meet with others at the end of the journey. Lunch at leisure in Volterra.
Day 8 – Thurs 2nd Oct (b/-/d)
Depart for Rome airport or continue on by train to Florence for the Magnificent Florence & Venice extension.
Magnificent Florence & Venice Tour extension Itinerary
Oct 2-6, 2014 (5 days/ 4 nights)
Day 1 – Thur 2nd Oct
Catch the train from Siena to Florence (for those who have been on The Spirit of Etruscan Italy tour) and taxi to our hotel. For anyone who has not come from the main tour you will be met at Florence airport and escorted to the hotel. Afternoon guided tour in Florence. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 – Fri 3rd Oct (b/-/-)
Optional morning guided tour to other sites in Florence or explore the city on your own. Afternoon free time to follow your particular interests. Free choice dinner not included.
Day 3 – Sat 4th Oct (b/-/-)
Catch the train to Venice and water taxi to your hotel. Afternoon guided tour around Piazza San Marco or St Mark’s Square where we find St Mark’s Basillica, the Campanile and the Doge’s Palace. Free choice dinner not included.
Day 4 – Sun 5th Oct (b/-/d)
Optional morning guided tour around other sites in Venice or free time to explore the city on your own. Afternoon free time to follow your particular interests. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 5 – Mon 6th Oct (b/-/-)
Catch train to Rome for return flights home or leave from Venice International Airport.
- Accommodation in quality hotels
- All breakfasts & evening meals as indicated on the itinerary
- All normal admission charges to sacred sites
- Access into all sites as listed on itinerary
- All tour guide fees
- Gratuities & taxes on accommodation & included meals
- Your international round-trip air flight is not-included in the cost of the journey
- Lunches and those evening meals listed as not included
- Beverages except tea, coffee and water with meals
- Other non-included items would include souvenir shopping, personal phone calls, spa services, laundry and tips for your room maid (we recommend $1-2 USD per day per person)
- Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance
Your Fabulous Facilitators:
About Cameron Broughton
Cameron Broughton’s life path has taken many directions; adventurer, seeker of spirit, functions and conference organizer, group leader, entrepreneur, massage therapist, healing facilitator and mother. Following her passion brought her to England in 1996 where through a serendipitous unfolding of events she met Glenn (her life partner) on the first tour that he led visiting the Sacred Sites of the Southwest of England. It has been an amazing journey, rich with the beauty of life and all that it encompasses!
Since meeting Glenn she has had the pleasure of living in Britain for several years and now spends half her time there leading pilgrimages exploring Britain’s ancient and modern mysteries. It gives her great pleasure as an American to share her enthusiasm and love for the magic of England, its legends, myths and mysteries. Cameron is deeply aware of the transformations that such journeys can bring about and she looks forward to meeting you and helping to make your journey a truly unforgettable one. While in Vermont, Cameron continues her healing practice of twenty six years as a massage therapist and energy healer.
About Glenn Broughton
Glenn, who is English, has been researching and visiting ancient sacred sites for twenty years and is drawn to explore their energetic properties and how such places of power affect us today. Knowing intuitively that they have something to teach us Glenn has been a tour guide for most of this time leading groups exploring the mystery of sacred sites. Glenn lecturers internationally on sacred sites, earth mysteries and crop circles, and is the co-founder/co-organizer of Earth Spirit Conferences in the USA. He has appeared on television and radio and regularly presents at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic.
Glenn came to sacred sites via a circuitous life path which included school-teaching, founding and running an inner city community arts centre, pioneering wholesale organic produce distribution in the UK, and leading spiritual development and earth mysteries groups and workshops. Running alongside all of these activities was a constant spiritual exploration which opened many doors and led to many questions. Practising Vipassana meditation, traveling, and training with the National Federation of Spiritual Healers and the International College of Crystal Healing, were all experiences which have informed his current perspective.
£1595 (approx $2670 USD) per person double occupancy
£150 single occupancy supplement
Tour deposit: $750 USD
5-day Ancient Italian Mysteries pre-tour add-on
£795 (approx $1330 USD) per person double occupancy
£70 single occupancy supplement
Tour add-On deposit: $420 USD
Florence & Venice
5-day post-tour add-on: 2 nights Florence/2 nights Venice
£895 (approx $1499 USD) per person double occupancy
£170 single occupancy supplement
Tour add-On deposit: $420 USD
A non-refundable deposit of $750 USD is needed immediately to hold your place for the main trip, and $420 USD per extension is required as a deposit if you are choosing to come early or stay later with us.
To secure your spot now and make your deposits, do the following:
Step 1: Click the blue “Add to Cart” button (your selection will go immediately into the shopping cart).
Step 2: Click the “CHECKOUT NOW” link directly below. You’ll be redirected to the check-out page.
** NOTE: If you don’t wish to register online or are having issues, call 727.421.0849 or email us.
This is to place your deposit for the Ancient Italian Mysteries pre-tour extension.
This is to place your deposit for the Florence & Venice post-tour trip.
This is to place your deposit for our main Spirit of the Ancient Etruscans itinerary.
Payment of the balance is required 75 days before tour start date. If you cancel before payment of balance your deposit will be forfeited. If you cancel afterwards, but no later than 21 days prior to start date, we will refund 50% unless you find a replacement, in which case only your deposit will be forfeited. No refunds if you cancel later than 21 days prior to tour start date. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum (if we do so your deposit is refunded). Trip cancellation insurance is always recommended when making travel plans. You can use our suggested Travel Guard Insurance online and choose from several policy options.