Sovana is so small, it’s made up of only two streets, but hidden in those two streets are some of the most incredible historical treasures.
The second of the three Città del Tufo, Sovana can trace its origins back to between the 7th and 6th century BC and its history could inspire even those who never thought they’d take an interest.
During the Bronze Age, the Etruscans shaped Suana (Sovana) into an artistic and cultural city so inspiring that it was quickly taken over by the Romans, who used it as one of their territorial capitals.
The Sovana we know today was built in the Middle Ages under the extremely powerful Aldobrandeschi. They left their mark by erecting an impressive stone wall that once encircled the entire town.
While these walls remain standing in few places, the isolation Sovana felt during the Middle Ages hasn’t left it and few residents live in the town today.
Unaffected by the changes brought by population growth or modernity, Sovana remains as it was when the Aldobrandeschi and Orsini Counts walked its streets.
I guess you could say it’s almost a ghost town, but, this isn’t really a problem for visitors. To be honest, it’s more of a bonus.
There are few towns in the Maremma that have maintained both their history and original splendour like Sovana. The sand-coloured streets, battleworn, but effortlessly characteristic buildings and unassuming old centre are honest and simply beautiful.
Everything here is completely tourist-gimmick free.
If you have time, wander outside the borders of Sovana. Concealed in the rolling hills and forests of the nearby countryside are miles of ancient Etruscan ‘Vie Cave’ roads, necropolises, crumbling settlements and other archaeological sites that date back millennia.