Il Cavone – Sovana

The Vie Cave (Excavated Roads)
The Etruscan mystery is not just about their civilization but also about some works came to us. You just have to visit the various Etruscan necropolis to realize that there are special roads called “Vie Cave” also called “Cavoni” or “ Tagliate (Cut)”. The “Vie Cave” are suggestive passages, dig up through tuff walls, taller than 20 meters, about one kilometer long and 3 meters wide. Inside there are ancient tombs, swastikas, shrines and niches. Le Vie Cave are present only in Maremma, in the area near Pitigliano, Sorano, Sovana and San Quirico. The best known are: the Via Cava of St. Rocco in Sorano; the Cavone and the Via Cava of St. Sebastiano in Sovana; the Via Cava of St. Joseph, Madonna delle Grazie and Fratenuti in Pitigliano. These trails have no comparison with other civilizations of the ancient world. The reason for their creation is still not certain: some researchers argue that they are real roads of communication, dig up into the tuff for connecting the towns and minimizing the large differences between the valley floor and the above floor; others researchers consider them as holy routes where every day ceremonies and processions were held to honor the dead; and even others say that they were engineering works for draining the water. The particular climatic and environmental conditions developed over the centuries have favored the growth of various types of ferns, mosses and lichens that give to these routes a striking greenish reflection.