It is probably the most characteristic hamlet of the municipality of Sorano. Located in the southwestern area of the municipality, thanks to its very rich history, Sovana completes the triptych of the so-called Città del Tufo with Sorano and Pitigliano.
Made famous by its imposing monumental tombs and its vast necropolis, Sovana, in addition to being a very important Etruscan center, became a flourishing and important city in medieval times, as evidenced by the numerous religious and civil buildings that can be admired here.
At the entrance to the town stands the Rocca Aldobrandesca, built around the 11th century. retains part of the tower and the perimeter walls. The entrance portal, now dismantled, was in peperino stone and was equipped with a drawbridge.
Continuing along the main street you reach Piazza del Pretorio which is overlooked by the main monuments. On the left side is the church of S.Mamiliano built around the fourth century. A.D. on the remains of an Etruscan and then Roman building, it is certainly the oldest religious building in Sovana. Next to it is the Palazzo dei Marchesi Bourbon del Monte with a large arcade with three arches and the 12th-13th century church of Santa Maria. notable above all for the presence of a rare pre-Romanesque ciborium placed above the main altar. To the right of the square in addition to the Loggia del Capitano decorated in 1570 with the coat of arms of Cosimo I de ‘Medici is of particular interest Palazzo Pretorio also dating back to the 12th-13th century. for the presence on the facade of nine coats of arms bearing the names of the captains of justice and of the successive commissioners under the dominion of Siena and Florence. In the center of the square between the via del Duomo and the street called “di Sotto” stands the Town Hall or the Archives surmounted by a small bell gable.
Continuing along the main street at the end of the town, in an isolated position, you reach theCathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. The building dating back to at least the 11th century as evidenced by a bull of Pope Niccolò II, immediately numerous interventions. Here, in fact, it is possible to observe the presence of different styles from both an architectural and a decorative point of view: Gothic, Romanesque, Lombard.
Not to be missed
Le Vie Cave
The uniqueness of the entire area of the tuff cities in the municipalities of Sorano and Pitigliano are the vie cave ancient Etruscan roads consisting of deep paths obtained by cutting the tufaceous rock. There are also dozens of them in the Sorano area, including Il Cavone, Via Cava di San Sebastiano and Via Cava di San Rocco. The Cavone is located in Sovana inside the Archaeological Park, just past the tomb of the Tryphon. The Via Cava di San Sebastiano is always found in Sovana in the Archaeological Park, the entrance is located a few tens of meters after the former church of San Sebastiano. Via Cava di San Rocco is located in Sorano (also in the Archaeological Park) and connects the town with the San Rocco rock complex
San Mamiliano Museum
In the heart of the ancient village of Sovana, during the restoration work carried out by the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage and Landscape of the provinces of Siena and Grosseto for the structural recovery of the church of San Mamiliano and its transformation into a museum container, it was carried out in the last decade an archaeological investigation which revealed a site of great interest. In 2004, during the excavation activities, in addition to the discovery of a thermal plant from the Roman era, the discovery of an extraordinary late-antique monetary treasure consisting of 498 gold coins that can be classified in the fifth century. AD, prompted the Sector Superintendencies and the Municipal Administration to modify the original exhibition project that involved the construction of the Etruscan Museum. In fact, provision was made for the museumization of the former church, leaving an important part of the excavation visible, and for the exhibition of archaeological finds referable to the Roman phase of the city, leaving a large exhibition space for the monetary treasure.
Città del Tufo Archaeological Park
The Città del Tufo Archaeological Park is in turn made up of three parks located in the territory of the Municipality of Sorano: the Etruscan necropolis of Sovana, the Rock Settlement of San Rocco and the Rock Settlement of Vitozza.
Located near the hamlet of Sovana, the Necropolis area extends for about a kilometer and a half and has an almost uninterrupted row of cube and half-nut tombs. Among these stand out some monumental tombs with a colonnade and aedicule with a decorated pediment: in Poggio Prisca (Polaetomba Tomb of the Winged Demons); at Poggio Felceto (Ildebrando tomb); at Poggio Stanziale (tomb of Typhon). The necropolis is crossed by the Via Cava called Il Cavone and is easily reachable from the provincial road that connects Sovana to San Martino sul Fiora.