sorano

Sorano has and always will be one of the Maremma's most impressive cities.

Already inhabited during the Bronze Age, Sorano has more than its fair share of archaeological splendours, and they're all located in what can only be described as a picturesque and completely unspoilt landscape. Some places get all the luck, right?

If you weren't already feeling a little green with envy, Sorano is also one of the few places in Italy to still have all of its pre-Roman structures more or less intact.

The countryside is littered with necropolises, ancient cities, the Vie Cave roads and sites that were once used for religious rites.

While archeologists still don't know what exactly it was about Sorano that drew the Etruscans and Romans, they have found evidence to suggest it was an important rest stop in the middle of a highway between the two civilisations.

Even if you have no interest in ancient history, the countryside is still worth a visit, if only to walk through the tall oaks and experience the wild and prehistoric atmosphere that defines the Maremma.

Sorano itself has made no attempts to rein in this antiquated vibe.

From the time when the Romans seized control to the days of the medieval Aldobrandeschi and the rein of Fernando II de'Medici, Sorano has always been a city of great prominence  and even greater beauty. No ruler has been able to take that away.

Let's put it this way - things don't get much more genuine. Today, the city is one of the three Città del Tufo - a title it has earned thanks the building material that defines its walls, shapes its streets and adds character to its buildings.

With its tufo rock, sharp red rooftops and impressive history, Sorano is the Siena of the Maremma. Only far older and imbued with the sort of country charm and authenticity that tourist-swamped Siena wishes it had.

The locals are as unique as the city itself. More refined than their 'contadini' neighbours, in their estimation anyway, the residents of Sorano are always ready to educate foreigners on the finer details of local history, tradition and, of course, cuisine.

Sights

Masso Leopoldino

Impossible to miss, the Masso Leopoldino rises far above Sorano’s skyline and watches over the town like a hawk, just as it has for centuries.

Chiesa di San Niccolò

Construction of the Chiesa di San Niccolò began in the 13th century and ended in 1509. And when you walk inside, you’ll see just why it took so long.

Palazzo Comitale

Home to the Orsini Counts before they moved to the Massa Leopoldino in 1466, this converted palazzo is still as luxurious and grand as it was centuries ago.

Fortezza Orsini

If you can only visit one thing in Sorano, visit this fortress. It’s one of the most exquisite examples of Renaissance military architecture in the country.

Parco Archeologico

Part nature park/part ancient city, this outdoor museum is so vast that it takes days to explore. Let’s just say it starts with the ancient Etruscan Vie Cave roads.

Events

Tra Tufo e Birra

July

When art, culture and delicious food meet, you should expect marvelous things. Just ask the hundreds that attend Sorano’s Tra Birra e Tufo festival year after year.

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