- The cities of Etruria formed highly centralized aggregations of population, particularly in the south. The five southern cities of Veii, Caere, Tarquinia, Vulci, and Orvieto had surface areas in the range of 80 to 190 hectares and dominated their immediate hinterland. A recent estimate has been given of 32,500 hectares for the size of Veii, 25,000 for Caere, 20,000 for Tarquinia, and 15,000 for Vulci. The towns within the territories of these large cities were very much smaller and only a few, such as Bisenzio and Acquarossa, on the boundaries of the territories of the large cities reached as much as 30 hectares in size. The northern cities of Vetulonia, Populonia, Roselle, Chiusi, Volterra, Cortona, Arezzo, Fiesole, and Perugia ranged in size from 30 to 150 hectares and had a less dominant effect on their hinterland, tolerating a range of smaller settlements. Recent population estimates have been 25,000 for Populonia, 17,000 for each of Vetulonia and Volterra, 12,500 for Roselle, 6,000 for each of Perugia, Cortona, and Arezzo, and only 5,000 for Chiusi. These estimates are also broadly in line with carefully considered estimates based on excavations at Aquarossa.The city often granted the archetypal status of the Etruscan city, Marzabotto, lies to the north of the Apennines on the approach to Bologna. The planned, rectilinear layout of this city was only partly achieved in other Etruscan settlements. At Tarquinia, a planned layout was partly superimposed on the earlier, less-regular development of the city. At Musarna, a smaller town did achieve this regular layout because, like Marzabotto, it was laid out at a relatively late date. At Prato Gonfiente in the Arno Valley, the newly discovered planned area appears currently to be much smaller and short-lived. The settlements of Bagnolo S. Vito and Spina also have elements of rectilinear planning. In many cities there were trends toward formalization of the structure of the city from the sixth century BC onward within the constraints of previous history, including the regularization of the street network, the addition of drains, paved areas, and pavements, and the insertion of public and ritual spaces. Etruscan cities thus contained monumental buildings, principally temples, some high-status buildings, and domestic architecture. The cities were often surrounded by city walls, as seen most effectively at Tarquinia, which were often secured by impressive gates that have been best preserved in some of the northern cities such as Perugia and Volterra. The cemeteries were typically arranged in a ring around the city, visible from all the approaching access roads.See also DODECAPOLIS.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.