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Archaeological site of Tusculum

The archaeological site of Tusculum stands on the top of a plateau between the ancient Via Latina and the ancient Via Labicana, at the edge of the big caldera of the region’s volcano. According to ancient authors, the mythical origins of Tusculum come from Telegonus, son of Ulysses and Circe, or from Silvius, a descendant of Aeneas and the king of Alba Longa: a settlement dating back to the Bronze Age, existing before the Latin city of which we know the history, was unearthed by archaeological excavations.

Tusculum served in the Latin League in close alliance with Rome and in 338 it took Roman citizenship, becoming a de facto "municipality of the Roman State”, embellished by a theatre and an amphitheatre in the late II century BC: part of the large cavea of the theatre, with the rows of steps leading up it, are still visible in the old city centre. Just out of the forum, the amphitheatre was used until the early III century, its public activity documented till the early V century.

The excavations carried out by Escuela Española as from 1994 found lots of information about these monuments, the changes they went through, and the layout of the central area, with the forum square closed south by a large porticoed building. Parts of the walls, tunnels and cisterns, and the so-called “Tiberius’ villa”, a large suburban sanctuary from the Republican age, maybe dedicated to the Dioscuri, have been unearthed all around it.

Several funeral monuments and the numerous villas that dotted the area of Tusculum, belonging to several members of imperial families, such as Tiberius, Nero, Galba and Matidia, stand along the roads that connected Tusculum with Via Labicana and Latina. The last documented building phase dates back to the Middle Ages, around the X century, clearly the result of the political rise of the Counts of Tusculum. Several fairly large, well-made one-storey houses, in tight urban concentrations, were unearthed. This means that it must have been an important settlement. The fortress was destroyed by the Roman municipal army in 1191.

Scientific director:
Valeria Beolchini

Address and Contact details
Via del Tuscolo - Monte Porzio Catone

Comunità Montana Castelli Romani e Prenestini
Via della Pineta, 117 - Rocca Priora
Tel 06 9470820
Fax 06 9470739

Opening hours:

Guided tours of the Forum and Theatre
Saturday 15:30 and 16:30 Sunday and holidays 10:00; 11:00; 12:00; 15:00; 16:00


free to all areas to the Forum and Theatre, compulsory guided tours, € 3

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