Orvieto Specials - Out of town -
Porano – The Golini and Hescanas Tombs
The charming village of Porano dates back to the Middle Ages.
Its most impressive buildings are without a doubt Castel Rubello (from Castrum Bellum), a fortress that dates back to the Romans, and the architectural complex of Villa Paolina, with its large grounds laid out in the 17th and 17th century that include a number of rare and established plants.
But most of the countryside around Porano is scattered with Etruscan archaeological remains.
The large number of sumptuously painted burial chambers indicate that this was a favourite area for the aristocracy of Volsinii to build their villas between the 4th and 2nd century BC.
Visitors should certainly visit the three painted Etruscan tombs:
Golini I, Golini II (which take their name from the man who discovered them in1836) and the Hescanas Tomb, from the name of the family to whom it belonged. A number of inscriptions bearing the family name appear within the tomb, such as the one reading Vel Hescanas on a funerary urn, and Laris Hescanas, who is pictured on a chariot pulled by horses riding through the Etruscan underworld.
Although the painting decorations in the Hescanas Tomb are artistically of a fairly modest standard, the symbolic decorative motifs featuring winged deities from the underworld and players of wind instruments are an interesting insight into the importance this family placed in announcing its high social rank and political power.
This is the only painted tomb to have been found in the entire region surrounding the ancient city of Volsinii. Some of the Hescanas paintings have remained in situ.
The remainder have been detached and are visible at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Orvieto.
Tomba Etrusca Hescanas
Località Molinella - 05010 PORANO
By appointment only on request
[special thanks to Sig. Paolo Pastore archaeological specialist]