800px-Duomo_di_Sovana_-_internoRight at the end of town, this Cathedral, dedicated to St Peter, sits at the feet of a Roman road, which astute observers can make out from the dark, almost entirely-eroded stone paving.

But don't get too distracted by the road as Il Duomo is truly something you can't miss.

Tradition has it that the bishop of Palermo, Mamiliano, converted the pagans of Sovana into Christians in the 4th century. This work of evangelization earned the city its own bishopric in the 6th century.

It might sound like a random fact, but this religious history, regardless of whether it's true or not, is the reason why such a small town has such a big and splendid cathedral.

The Duomo di Sovana was built in 8th and 9th centuries, but redecorated and renovated in the following centuries.

However, the rustic beauty of the Cathedral was not destroyed during these renovations and the interior still possess the almost-cave like quality it had in the 11th century.

Inside, it's divided into a Gothic-style cross. The interior is covered in white marble and cream-coloured tufo rock and the high ceiling just looks so grand. It is honestly one of the most spectacular sites in the Maremma.

All of the marble pilasters that hold up the cathedral are carved with spirals and symbolic geometric decorations that were common design elements of the period when it was built. The artwork on these pilasters allude to the Eucharist and are so ornately carved that you could spend hours admiring them.

At the heart of the central nave is a grandiose altar inlaid with gold and pearl embellishments. It's extravagant and ostentatious and it perfectly suits this incredible building.

To be honest, everything is bigger and better in this cathedral.

The artwork is stunning, the hulking stone font is imposing, and the entry is even guarded by a small crypt with the remains of a now unknown bishop.

Search