Sorano

Welcome to Sorano and Sovana, often compared to Matera. In this small village perched on the top of a hill, you can experience magical atmospheres from another era.
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It is no coincidence that Sorano is affectionately called ‘the Matera of Tuscany’. In this small village in the province of Grosseto, located more in Lazio than in Tuscany due to its geographical position, you will really feel catapulted into a parallel reality.

The village is located in the historical area of the Maremma, on top of a tuff cliff, at an altitude of just under 400 metres, and is really very pleasant to visit. In addition, the tourist offer of Sorano is completed by two really interesting destinations: the thermal baths of Sorano, a must for enthusiasts of the genre and travellers in search of relaxation and wellbeing, and the small town of Sovana, which is really worth a visit thanks to the multitude of things to see in a really small space.

From Sorano you can then easily reach a number of attractions in Tuscany that are really not to be missed: these are Pitigliano, another town built on a tuff cliff, and the thermal baths of Saturnia. Therefore, use Sorano as a base where you can sleep, visit it far and wide, and then start discovering its wonderful surroundings: you will then spend a wonderful holiday in Tuscany in the name of culture, relaxation and fairytale landscapes.

Things to do in Sorano

There are many things to see in Sorano: here are the main ones, so that you can enjoy your stay in the town to the fullest before starting to visit the surrounding area.

Historic Centre

The historical centre of Sorano represents a journey out of time: you will find yourself in an urban area surrounded by an unspoilt natural environment, as the tufa walls of the fortress on which it is built contrast with the centuries-old trees around it, in a truly interesting mix.

The historic centre of Sorano has received the prestigious Orange Flag award from the Italian Touring Club, and is well worth a visit. Don’t stop at the main streets, but enjoy the side streets as well, watch the slow pace of life, and stop at every corner to take extraordinary photos.

In the centre of Sorano there is also an ancient jewish Ghetto1, where a synagogue was originally built. Established by the Medici in 1619, the Jewish community abandoned the Sorano ghetto in the early 1900s; later, after the end of the Second World War, the area went through a phase of neglect and degradation, until the 1990s when practically all the buildings were restored and redeveloped.

Masso Leopoldino

2Via Archetto della Rocca Vecchia, 5, 58010 Sorano GR, Italia

Among Sorano’s attractions, the most fascinating is undoubtedly the Masso Leopoldino. It is a large castle built for defensive purposes, located in the centre of the town on top of one of its hills, a true fortified citadel and symbol of the town. The structure was enriched with a terrace and a crenellated tower, complete with bell and clock, between 1820 and 1822, by Grand Duke Leopold II; this is where the castle got its current name.

Saint Rocco's Vie Cave

358010 Sorano GR, Italia

The Vie Cave, built by the Etruscans, are a series of streets and open-air roads carved into the tuff hills. They are located within the Città del Tufo archaeological park, and will lead you to the discovery of Etruscan necropolises, crossing tuff walls up to 20 metres high.

Strolling along the Vie Cave, also known as ‘cut-outs’, will make you marvel at the fact that they were excavated without the aid of mechanical means, thanks to the fact that the tuff, when wet, is easy to work. Some of the Vie Cave are part of an ancient road system that connected the various localities in the area.

Orsini Fortress - Middle Ages and Reinassance Museum

4Piazza Cairoli, 3, 58034 Sorano GR, Italia

In some of the rooms of the Orsini Fortress, an imposing 14th-century building located at the highest point of Sorano at the gates of the historical centre, an interesting museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance has been set up, showcasing the historical past of the town. The room inside the octagonal tower with its frescoes, which according to some was the private room of Count Niccolò Orsini, is very beautiful.

The 16th-century part of the Orsini fortress comprises the Renaissance area of the museum, with the central donjon and the two corner bastions, connected by external and internal walkways, which can also be visited with guided tours. Along the way, you can observe the ventilation shafts built to give air to the dungeons and suck out the toxic gases from the gunpowder.

Thermal baths of Sorano

5Filetta, Località S.Maria dell'Aquila, 58010 Sorano GR, Italia

South of the capital, in the heart of the Tufo area, are the thermal baths of Sorano. Actually, the presence of thermal water in the area was already known in medieval times, when the church of Santa Maria dell’Aquila was built above one of the springs.

Much used by the reigning families of the area over the centuries, the Aldobrandeschi and the Orsini, the thermal baths of Sorano were then abandoned for centuries until the 2000s, when a painstaking work began to recover the springs, fortunately still active, with their valorisation and the construction of a thermal establishment.

The springs of the Sorano thermal baths gush out at a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius, at a series of springs located along a stream; the thermal water is magnesium-calcic, particularly suitable for the treatment of dermatitis and circulation disorders.

Inside the spa there is a large thermal pool, as well as wellness areas and a 3000 square metre solarium with lawn, where sun beds and umbrellas can also be used. Very characteristic is the so-called ‘bath of the monks’ pool’, located in the woods adjacent to the establishment and accessible via a path. The curious name derives from the fact that it was used by the friars who lived in the church of Santa Maria dell’Aquila.

Sovana

Do not leave Sorano without first visiting the town of Sovana, administratively part of the same municipality, but located about 10 kilometres to the south-west, easily accessible via the provincial road SP22.

A delightful town in the Area del Tufo, Sovana is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is a tiny village with typical Tuscan features and 460 inhabitants, spread out along three main roads. A real little treasure chest of art and history, mixed together in a combination of architecture and buildings of immense cultural value, capable of recounting the Etruscan and Roman past of this enchanting ancient village.

Although the birth of the village is placed in Roman times, there is no lack of evidence of the previous presence of the Etruscan population, who left a real archaeological heritage, with one of the largest necropolis in Italy.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Where to stay in Sorano

In the historical centre of Sorano there is a major hotel and a couple of small flats; choose to stay in one of these establishments if you want to enjoy the centre as much as possible. Outside the centre, still remaining within the built-up area of Sorano, there are other facilities where you can sleep that will allow you to take better advantage of certain services, such as parking for your car or a private swimming pool.

If, on the other hand, you would like to stay in a more secluded location, the Sorano surroundings are scattered with agritourisms, farms and rural houses, completely restored and refurbished, to better enjoy a relaxing and peaceful holiday in the Maremma.

Finally, don’t forget residence Terme di Sorano, ideal for those visiting this area of Tuscany with the primary objective of taking advantage of the thermal baths.

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How to reach Sorano

Sorano is located at the south-eastern tip of Tuscany, surrounded by the border with Lazio. For this reason, it is easy to understand that it is not easily reached from the rest of the cities: for example, from its provincial capital Grosseto the journey takes more than 1 hour and 20 minutes, crossing much of the provincial territory for a final distance of about 90 kilometres.

From other Tuscan cities, distances are also long: from Florence it takes two and a half hours, travelling south along the A1 motorway to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme and then continuing along internal roads, including the Strada Provinciale della Montagna di Cetona, and the Strada Provinciale Pitigliano – Santa Fiora.

From Siena , it takes almost two hours travelling south along the regional road SR2 Via Cassia, and the same from Arezzo, although the road in this case changes as you follow the A1 motorway to the Chiusi-Chianciano Terme toll booth. From cities on the Tuscan coast, the distance is even greater: from Pisa and Livorno it takes three hours, arriving first at Grosseto and then continuing inland.

For those travelling by public transport, unfortunately there is bad news: Sorano and its surroundings are extremely poorly connected, and the journey implies having to take a train to Grosseto or Albinia, then continue on the local bus lines. The journey time from Florence or Pisa can easily exceed 6 hours.

Sorano Weather

What's the weather at Sorano? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Sorano for the next few days.

Saturday 20
12°
Sunday 21
13°
Monday 22
12°
Tuesday 23
12°
Wednesday 24
14°
Thursday 25
17°

Where is located Sorano

Sorano is located in the province of Grosseto, a few kilometres from the border with Lazio. It is located a few kilometres north of Pitigliano, in the historical region of Maremma.

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