23 Dec one of the most beautiful and fascinating villages of tuscany, sovana
Spend some vacation days in Sovana and surroundings to visit wonderful tuff stone villages of Tuscan Maremma.
Ildebranda Tomb – Sovana
The Etruscan town sculpted from tuff stone
The smallest of the tuff stone villages, Sovana, whose Etruscan name was Suana, land of green. Important center during the Etruscan as well as the Roman period, consequently land of conquest and her past is pockmarked with less bright times and a long period of depopulation and degradation, until it became part of the larger county of Sorano.
In the historic center you can admire its medieval period and in the surrounding region the remains of the Etruscan civilization are evident. The necropoli and the quarry roads are the most evident testament to the anicent and glorious past of this small village.
The historical palazzi and the duomo of Sovana
Arriving in the small medieval village of Sovana you’ll be welcomed by the remains of the ancient Rocca Aldobrandesca dating back to the 11th century, built from the remains of an older Etruscan building and fell into ruin in the 17th century. Here, walking the main roads of the village like Via del Pretorio, you’ll reach Piazza del Pretorio, where you’ll find the Palazzo dell’Archivio and the Church of Santa Maria dating back to the late roman period. Inisde the church you can admire the pre-roman ciborium, which is among the oldest and best-preserved in all of Tuscany. Furthermore, adjacent to the church there’s Palazzo Boubon del Monte from the first half of the 16th century. Flanking the palace is the Paleo-Christian church of San Mamiliano, the first cathedral of the region, built to preserve the relics of San Mamiliano. Today it houses a museum of the same name and the treasure of Savana, a ceramic receptacle holding 498 golden coins, mostly coming from the Constantinople mint and circulated between the 4th and 9th centuries.
The Ildebranda Tomb
Discovered in 1924 and dating back tot the first/second century B.C., it is considered one of the most important finds of the Etruscan civilization. It’s a burial monument entirely excavated from the tuff stone rock. The identity and history of the powerful man who this imposing funerary monument is dedicated is unknown, but it is certain that through the centuries it has been a sacred place and point of reference for all wayfarers that passed through the so-called quarry road of Cavone.
The birth town of pope Gregorius VII
The most illustrious character of Sovan is certainly Ildebrando di Sovana, who lived from 1020 to 1085, elected pope in 1073, by the name of Gregorius VII. Remembered for initiating substantial reform in the Church, but known also for his battle against investitures. He entered into open conflict with the king of Germany Enrico IV.
In 1606 he was declared saint, being celebrated on May 25th. Considered one of the most important men in the history of the church and buried in the cathedral of Salerno.