The Village of Sovana
Sovana is one of the villages of the so-called “Area of Tuffs”, located in the southern Tuscany in the province of Grosseto, in the municipality of Sorano. It was an important Etruscan centre, medieval and renaissance village and Episcopal seat. The village is part of the list of the most beautiful Italian villages sponsored by the National Association of Italian Municipalities.
The origins of Sovana
The first inhabitants of this area were shepherds and farmers settled along the Armine river (today Fiora). In Etruscan times, with the name “Suana”, it was allied of Vulci and supported the struggles against the roman expansion. After the Roman victory of 278 a.C it was elevated to a “Municipium” and with the development of trade and crafts, it lived a long period of prosperity. In the fifth century, with the spread of Christianity, it became a bishopric. The town, as we know it today, rose up in the Middle Ages near the archaeological site of the Etruscan Necropolis. Towards the end of the fifth century, it was conquered by the Lombards (594) and delivered to the Aldobrandeschi. In 1020, approximately, in Sovana was born Hildebrand Aldobrandeschis of Soana became famous in history as Pope Gregory VII. Inherited by the Orsini Family in 1293, it was looted and destroyed by the Sieneses in 1410. With the final fall of the Republic of Siena, it was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany under the Medici control.
To whom loves the history of art and the nature, the must it comes in Sovana as in its old town they can find monuments of great value such as: the Romanesque Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, began in the eighth century and completed in the thirteenth; the Aldobrandesca Fortress, built in the XI century and restored by the Sieneses and the Medici; the Episcopal Palace, seat and residence of the bishops, dated in the Middle Ages; the ruins of St. Mamiliano, the oldest church in the village; the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, dated in the thirteenth century; the Palace of Archive and the Praetorian Palace, dated in 1200; the Lodge (or litte Loggia) of the Captain; the Renaissance Bourbon Palace del Monte and the house where Pope Gregory VII was born. Finally, the Archaeological Area of Sovana and the Etruscan necropolis of Poggio Felceto with the monumental Hildebrand Tomb; the Sopra Ripa necropolis with the Tomb of the Mermaid, the Tomb of the Typhoon, the Tomb Folonia, the Tomb of Silenus and the Tomb of the Colombari; the Vie Cave (Excavated Roads) of Poggio Prisca, the Via Cava called “the Tschafon” (necropolis of Poggio Felceto) and the Via Cava of San Sebastiano.