Sorano, the city of tuff in Tuscan Maremma
As well as Pitigliano, Sorano lies on a spur of tufa that guarantees optimal natural defense to the settlement. At the ends of the town rise two impressive defensive bulwarks: the Masso Leopoldino to the north and the Fortezza Orsini to the south. The defensive apparatus is completed by the walls built in twelfth century by the Aldobrandeschi.
The town has a tangle of small streets, underpasses and bleachers strongly influenced by the morphology of the land. On this maze of narrow streets overlook old houses of medieval origin that are situated a short distance from each other. Many of these buildings were dug directly into the stone. For this characteristic Sorano il also called the “Matera of Tuscany“.
Visit Sorano: what to see in Sorano
Coming in town you will walk along the strong ramparts of what was once the rocca degli Aldobrandeschi. Acquired in the end of the 13th century by the family Orsini, la fortezza fu ampliata e rinforzata nel corso del XVI secolo. Today the fortress Orsini is a complex example of Renaissance military architecture in which is housed the Museo del Medioevo e del Rinascimento (Museum of the middle ages and the Renaissance).
29 march-6 october: every day (closed on monday) 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00
7 october-3 november: every day (closed on monday) 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00
November-march: saturday-sunday 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00
Museum and Fortress Orsini: 4 euro
Combined ticket (Archaeological park “Città del tufo”, Museum of the middle age, Fortress Orsini and Museum Complex of Sovana with Museum of San Mamiliano): 8 euro
The entrance to the old town takes place from Porta di Sopra, one of the two gates arranged in walls (the other one is Porta dei Merli). Past the door we continue on via Giovanni Selvi and after few meters we reach the Chiesa di San Nicola (Church of St. Nicholas), located in a high position off the main road.
Il Masso Leopoldino
Continuing on the road, you will reach the area north of the town where stands the imposing Masso Leopoldino. Masso represents one of the most characteristic elements of Sorano; Since the middle ages there was a defensive structure known as the “rocca vecchia” (old fort). In 1801 following a landslide the fortress was damaged so between 1820 and 1822 consolidation works were made. On this occasion the clock tower was built and was created the large panoramic terrace that still sits on top of the Masso.
What to see near Sorano
Is part of the municipality of Sorano, and it is located at a distance of just under 10 kilometres, the pretty village of Sovana. Near Sorano certainly worth a visit is the Parco Archeologico “Città del Tufo”.
South of Sorano, about 3 or 4 kilometres, there are some hot springs known since the middle ages: the Terme di Sorano.