3000 years before the birth of Rome, the Etruscan civilization began to develop in the fertile and beautiful lands between the Arno and Tiber rivers. Its main settlements were in Volterra, Fiesole, Arezzo, Cortona, Chiusi, Perugia, Orvieto, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci, Vetulonia and Populonia. The authentic Etruscans, natives of the Italic peninsula, a very original and evolved civilization, knew how to enjoy life, were expert farmers, navigators and traders. Many of the independent city-states they built were large and beautiful, with great movement of products coming from all over the Mediterranean. The Etruscans are credited with the most important architectural innovation of their time, the round arch, which was used to build great works such as bridges, aqueducts and city gates. The Etruscans expanded out of Etruria, from Tuscany towards Umbria, southwards towards Latium founding Rome and towards the north of the Italian peninsula, they occupied the area around the Po river valley, the current regions of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and the southern part of the Veneto. From the 4th century B.C. onwards. Etruria (name of the Etruscan territory) and after 150 years of continuous wars, Etruria was gradually conquered and absorbed by the Roman Republic. Its city states received Roman citizenship and slowly Latin replaced the Etruscan language, becoming part of the vast Roman Empire.