The name derives from the latin murulus ("Muretto"), with the meaning of "walled place", but it also seems could derive always from the latin "mus" ("mouse") having regard to the rampant mice on the oldest municipal coats of arms.
The territory, exclusively hilly, is comprised between the valley of the Merse and the val d'Arbia. The landscape presents high hills and woodland on the slope of the river Merse going toward the Maremma grossetana; instead, on the slope of the river Arbia, the hills are low and softer typical of Crete Senesi.
Murlo is famous all over the world for its ancient past recounted by the Etruscan settlements. But it is not the only past that this territory can tell. From a remote past rich in man's signs to recent development, Murlo has unique testimonies of all the historical epochs that only seek to be discovered. Poggio delle Civitate, for example, had to be a living place and frequented before Etruscan times: there are indisputable signs of human presence in ancient times. This allows us to assess the possibility that the Etruscan people originated in these territories, and did not come for migration as they normally think. This site, particularly rich in minerals and fertile soil, has been chosen as a settlement, and is a rare example of an "ancient factory" characterized by a large number of different productions. Even the most recent times have left indelible traces in Murlo's history and territory. One of his most important stories is that related to the mines, created towards the end of the IX century following the discovery of carbon deposits in the Pratacci area. There was a real village, with various furnaces. The production plant has had a long life, and has profoundly affected the local economy, until its disposal. Today it is the forest that, in various places, retains the few remaining marks of Murlo's mining economy. In the following centuries and then in the postwar period, many traces have been erased and nature has taken over. At the time, where the woods are today, it was possible to come across not only in mines and tunnels, but also in the springs, in small villages that today seem completely insulated, up to the rails of the carbon rail. Trails and roads that tell a strong and rich human existence and popular culture, which Murlo retains and seeks to pass through the engagement and activity of his people.
Murlo is the land of the Etruscan people, testimonies of Etruscan origin of the town you can admire at the local Museum "Antiquarium of Poggio Civitate" site in the historic center. Genetic analysis carried out on the population of Murlo showed a presence unusually high of typical characteristics of Middle Eastern people, in accordance with the theory of the Anatolian origin of the Etruscans.
From 1189 to 1778 it was the seat of the homonymous fief, ecclesiastical lordship governed by the Bishop of Siena, of which remains the palace and the adjoining the Pieve di San Fortunato where he celebrated the religious rites.
The municipality of Murlo can be considered for certain aspects a scattered municipality as the village that gives its name to this municipality is not the municipal seat, but it is the fraction of Vescovado. The village of Murlo (23 inhabitants approximately) is mostly a tourist center for the presence of the medieval walls, the museum and the cathedral.