Sorano is the easternmost town in the province of Grosseto. It has between three and four thousand inhabitants. The town is best known for the houses dug into the tufa rock. The extremely picturesque historic center is sandwiched between two old castles.
Sorano travel guide
Tourist information office: The town does not have one.
Town hall: Piazza del Municipio, 15 – 58010 Sorano. Phone: +39 0564 633023.
Railway station: Sorano does not have a train station. Once a day the bus between Viterbo and Pitigliano stops in town. The town is also on the bus line between Castell’Azzaro and Pitigliano.
Besides the medieval houses in the historical center, the main attractions are the Cathedral and the Santa Maria Church. Attached to the latter is a historical museum. The Loggia del Capitano and the Palazzo Pretorio are the most important and interesting historical buildings.
Every year in August, the Sagra del Prosciutto takes place.
A brief history of Sorano
Sorano is a medieval town, albeit built around an ancient Etruscan center. A necropolis from Etruscan times can still be seen, and the historic center contains many medieval houses. It was a fief of several noble families until it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1608.
The first settlement built here was of Etruscan origin. A relic of this era is the Sovana necropolis, which dates from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. This, like the ancient village of Vitozza, was carved directly into the tufa (a kind of volcanic stone) rock.
In the Middle Ages, the town developed around the center of Sovana. A large number of medieval buildings and monuments can still be seen in the historic center.
The Sorano Castle is first mentioned in a document from 1172. At that time it was owned by the aristocrat Ranieri di Bartolomeo.
In 1210, the fief was owned by the Aldobrandeschi. These were succeeded in 1274 by a branch of the Sorano family. After this it was the Orsini’s turn.
After the middle ages
In 1608 the town and the surrounding area became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. From then on it followed the history of this Grand Duchy, which in 1815 came into the hands of the House of Lorraine.
From 1860 Sorano became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
How to get to Sorano by car
From Grosseto, take the E80 southbound until you reach Albinia. Here take the SS74 until Pitigliano. From here take the Strada Provinciale Pitigliano-Santa Fiora. From Rome, take the 80 to Montalto di Castro and then the SS312 to Latera. Here follow the SS74 until you reach the exit for San Quirico and Sorano (Via Ricasoli).