A Hidden Etruscan Tomb

06/12/2013 04:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Orvieto guide was excited to surprise me with a visit to a very special and obscure site: the underground, fresco-covered, Etruscan tomb of the Hescanas family, which dates back to the fifth century B.C. It happened to be a tomb I knew very well, as for many years (back in the 1980s and 1990s), I would bring my tour groups here. We'd knock on the farmer's door, and the old man would bring us through the fields, where we'd climb underground into this amazing tomb carved from the tufa rock in the middle of nowhere. We also filmed here in 2000. Today the farmer is gone, his house is abandoned and overgrown, and a local group of archaeologists has the key to the Hescanas tomb. And with the help of my guide, Manuela, I enjoyed a wonderful bit of tour guide nostalgia.