A small fraction of the Municipality of Sorano in the province of Grosseto, Sovana is a real gem of this southern area of Tuscany. We are located about thirty kilometers from Lake Bolsena in one of the three Maremma tuff cities (Sovana, Sorano, Pitigliano).
As mentioned, the village is very small, with about 400 inhabitants, but its history (which starts from the Etruscans), its characters and its beauty that has reached the present day make it an unmissable place.
In Etruscan times there was already a city called “Suana” which was later raised to the status of a town hall under the dominion of the Roman Empire. From the fifth century Sovana became a bishopric and during the Middle Ages an extremely important center on a national level, especially under the Aldobrandeschi. As evidence of all this there are the numerous religious and civil buildings that can still be admired. Also in Sovana, in medieval times one of the most important historical figures was born: Ildebrando di Sovana, Pope Gregory VII.
As soon as you arrive in Sovana you can already see the remains of the Rocca Aldobrandesca from afar, but the central point of the town in terms of tourism is its main square: Piazza del Pretorio. Almost all the most important buildings stand here. The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Church of San Mamiliano (now also a museum with part of the famous Sovana Treasure inside), Palazzo Bourbon del Monte, Palazzo dell’Archivio, Palazzo del Pretorio, the Loggia del Capitano.
Continuing along the main street that leads to the Cathedral you can see the house of Ildebrando da Sovana Pope Gregory VII and at the end of this street we will find the very particular Dome. This is the most important sacred building in the country, of medieval origin, its origins are traced back to the 11th century. To make this church even more fascinating is the particular orientation at an astronomical level, since it does not respond to the medieval rules of the Church of Rome but follows the canons of Nordic cultures (Celtic-Germanic and / or Lombard).
To visit exiting the inhabited center there is the Etruscan Necropolis, certainly the richest in the area with many tombs such as, among the most important, that of the Siren, the Ildebrando tomb, the tomb of Silenus and the tomb of Typhon. The necropolis as well as the Museum of San Mamiliano is part of the museum network of the Municipality of Sorano “Città del Tufo Archaeological Park“. Another unique attraction of this area are the vie cave, uniqueness that can only be found in the three cities of Maremma tuff. These are ancient streets of Etruscan origin carved into the tufaceous rock. In Sovana we point out Il Cavone and Via cava di San Sebastiano, both of which are located within the necropolis.
The village of Sovana is also “rich” in restaurants and wine bars to taste the typical products of the tuff and Maremma lands and hosts many events throughout the year. Among these, one of the most evocative is the Summer Solstice which takes place as per the calendar every 21 June at dawn, at the Cathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.