Mountains have always represented union between people as opposed to separation. The relationship between the peoples of Central and Northern Italy, over the Apennines and Alps, were very intense beginning back in the Villanovan period. The Apennine passes, on the geographical border with Etruria, were travelled regularly in later historic periods to the point that one of the largest Etruscan cities ever to be discovered, Marzabotto, lies on the Pian di Misano plain, on the left bank of the Reno River.
On the other side of the Apennines stands another major city, currently being excavated, near Gonfienti. The Roman colony of Pistoia is situated on the site of an Etruscan settlement, albeit smaller in size. Via Marzabotto and its trading partners in the Arno Plain, Etruscan products, especially wine and bronze banqueting jars, reached Central and Eastern Europe.