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Visita il Mugello, culla dei Medici, a due passi da Firenze e le bellezze toscane

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Towns of the area

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Inhabitants in 1991: 4.185

The municipal territory of Sorano extends for 174,60 square kilometres in a hilly zone at the eastern extreme of the Grosseto province. Dominion of the Aldobrandeschi and the Orsini, it originally comprised, within its borders fixed by the Lorenese reform of 1789, the districts of Catabbio and San Martino, aggregated from 1928 to the municipality of Manciano.

Originally an Etruscan locality, there was news of a “fortress” of Sorano in 1172, through a stipulation document between the Counts Giacomo and Ranieri di Bartolomeo, pertinent to a local family of Lords, subsequently tied by vassal bonds to the Aldobrandesca dynasty. In 1210 Emperor Ottone IV confirmed to Ildebrandino degli Aldobrandeschi the possession of the territory already dominated by Ranieri di Bartolomeo and comprising among other things, the castle of Sorano. Assigned to the Sovana branch of the Aldobrandeschi by the acts of division of the county in 1216 and 1274 , Sorano passed, by lineage, in 1293 to the Orsini. Together with the nearby castle of Pitigliano, to whose rise in was constantly tied, it became a point of strength for the Roman family in both the 1416-17 war and that of 1454, when it was repeatedly assaulted by the Siena troops. It remained under the dominion of the Orsini, even if with changing sequences, until in 1608 when it was incorporated definitively in the Grand Duchy of Toscana. Among the historically interesting localities, other that the castles of Montorio, Montebuono, Montevitozzo and Castell’Ottieri, particular interest surrounds Sovana, noted for being the birthplace of Pope Gregorio VII (1020-1085) protagonist in the fore front of the political and religious life of its era. Sovana, an Etruscan centre in VII-VI centuries B.C., became an important Roman settlement from the middle of the III century B.C. It was municipality then Episcopal Seat, then in VIII century centre of a Longobardo territorial district. Between the X and XIII centuries, it maintained its importance under the dominion of the Aldobrandeschi, a branch of which had received from Sovana itself the specific title of Aldobrandeschi di Sovana. It passed in 1295 to the Orsini and, from 1410 under the dominion of Siena successively declined, losing in 1660, the Episcopal Seat. All the subsequent attempts to revitalise the area were in vain, except that of the repopulation effected in the 1400s by the Siena republic through the false hope of fiscal concessions of various genre put into operation in the 1700s by the Lorena with the construction of drainage canals, sewers and aqueducts and with the repairing of the ancient centre. During the Liberation struggle the Sorano territory was the theatre of intense partisan activity.

Places to visit:
The Fortress, imposing construction from 1552, it is a significant example of renaissance military architecture.
S. Nicola, collegiate which preserves in its interior a precious S. Giuseppe.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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