Nel labirinto
Pietro Scarnera
Museo Nazionale Etrusco, Chiusi

Nel labirinto is a comic-strip story set by Pietro Scarnera at the Museo Nazionale Etrusco in Chiusi.

All Micol wanted was a place to shelter from the war. Instead, she stumbled upon so much more beneath the ancient tombs in Chiusi: there’s a whole world down there, a veritable labyrinth populated by enigmas and mysterious, timeless presences. As well as strange meeting after strange meeting! The Harpies, the Canopics, Mr François looking for the legendary treasure of King Porsena… and at the end, she bumps into the beautiful yet terrible Sphinx. Luckily, Micol is a smart little girl, who now has two new friends by her side: young Etruscan Tius, and a little monkey called Ari. What do you think? Is she going to make it?

Museo Nazionale Etrusco, Chiusi

Inaugurated in 1901 in its present premises, purpose-built to house the city’s antiquities, the initially municipal collection became a national state museum by special law in 1962 in accordance with the wishes of the local community.

Its symbol is an elegant Etruscan sphinx (c. 530 BCE) in the local sandstone called pietra fetida.

Together with visits to the necropolises, the department of restoration, the museum of the cathedral and the epigraphic section of the municipal museum, it offers an overview of the history of Chiusi and Its surrounding territory from the proto-historic era to the contemporary period. Above all, the over 2,000 items now exhibited – some of which internationally known and of great aesthetic and artistic impact while others are apparently more modest and less significant – recount a thousand years of Etruscan civilization.

An Etruscan Landscape
“When you see a tree standing on its own in the middle of the countryside, a pine or some other ev-ergreen, you can bet it marks an ancient burial place,” says the Director of the Chiusi Etruscan Mu-seum as she walks me towards the exit at the Tomba del Colle. This is one of the tombs that form the Etruscan necropolis around Chiusi and, indeed, a fabulous pine towers over it. It is odd to think that an ancient population, the Etruscans, left traces in the landscape that remain visible today. Inside the Museum, I thought about how relationships between different ag-es and peoples are more fluid than we think. We usually consider the Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Roman Worlds as being separate, when in fact they traded culture and fashions. So, what if these Etruscans in Chiusi had their own Sphinx, one so amazingly beautiful that many centuries later it starred in a comics story?
Pietro Scarnera
Born in Turin in 1979, Pietro lives in Bologna. He worked for a while as a journalist, focusing principally on social issues. In 2009, he won a competition staged by the Komikazen Festival with his first comic book, Diario di un addio, which came out in Italy and France. In 2014, Comma 22 published his book Una stella tranquilla - Ritratto sentimentale di Primo Levi, for which he won the Prix Révélation at the 2016 Angouleme Festival. Comma 22 also published his short story Rec Play. Pietro is one of the founders of, a comic-strip-based news web magazine. His website is
Canopic jar from Dolciano
7th century BCE Referred to as canopi after the better known Egyptian canopic jars, spherical urns with lids in the form of human heads were used in Chiusi during the 7th century BCE to hold the ashes of the deceased. The one found at Dolciano near Chiusi shortly after the mid-19th century is seated on a tall-backed throne before which there must have been a table laid with food and drink to represent the deceased's eternal banquet in the afterlife. The ossuary was then contained in a large vessel (ziro) placed in a deep hole in the ground.
Urn of local sandstone
Late 6th century BCE Pietra fetida, the local sandstone, has a characteristic pungent smell on being quarried due to the presence of particles of sulphur. It was used in Chiusi during the 6th and 5th century BCE to make urns and sarcophagi decorated with scenes from everyday life, such as the lively depiction of four male figures semi-recumbent at a banquet with a servant proffering wine beneath a canopy whose billowing ends hang down. One of the figures is preparing to play the cithara tied to his wrist while holding a wreath in the other hand.
Tomb of Colle
Early 5th century BCE The practice in Chiusi during the early 5th century BCE was to paint the walls of the burial chambers dug into the hills around the Etruscan settlement. The paintings in tempera show banquets, dances and sporting competitions in honour of the deceased. Examples include the Tomb of the Monkey, named after the painting of a small monkey, and the Tomb of Colle (the place of discovery) with racing chariots drawn by red and black horses.
Skyphos by the Penelope Painter
5th century BCE One of the most important Greek vessels exhibited in the museum is a skyphos, a deep, two-handled wine cup decorated with an image of Penelope in Ithaca weaving a precious piece of cloth on a loom as she waits for her husband Ulysses to return from far away. Their son Telemachus stands beside her longing figure. The other side of the cup shows Ulysses finally back on Ithaca and about to embrace his beloved wife once again in the presence of the servants and the old woman who nursed him as a baby, the first to recognize him.
Scala d’accesso alla Tomba della Scimmia che si trova a 4 km dal Museo 1
La proprietaria della tomba raffigurata mentre assiste a danze e giochi in suo onore 2
Raffigurazione di una scimmia da cui la tomba ha preso il nome 3
Canopi 4
Sfinge 5
Facciata d’ingresso del Museo 6