Crafts in Maremma: the handicrafts exhibition held every year in August in Sorano

In the Tuscan Maremma, on the slopes of the Amiata and six kilometres from Pitigliano, is Sorano, a village of medieval origin that rises from a spur of tuff and is bounded on three sides by the Lente river. The village's characteristic feature is precisely its small dwellings that are perched on this sort of tufa rock, so much so that it has been defined as the Tuscan Matera.
Like many other towns in the Maremma area, Sorano too has its origins in Etruscan times but experienced a period of splendour during the Middle Ages and Renaissance thanks to the contribution received from the noble families of the Aldobrandeschi and Orsini.
For a tourist staying in Maremma, in Capalbio or in the immediate surroundings during the summer, Sorano is a destination worth a visit given the artistic interest it offers the visitor and where one can delight in the typical dishes of Tuscan cuisine, appreciating its total authenticity and respect for jealously maintained traditions.

What to see in and around Sorano

As mentioned earlier, the village of Sorano maintains its mediaeval and Renaissance urbanistic appearance intact, offering tourists the opportunity to step back in time.
From Sorano's main square, Piazza del Municipio, it is possible to enter the historic centre of the village by passing through the Arco dei Ferrini, and immediately one is captured by the imposing Orsini Fortress that dominates the village from above. It is possible to visit this building outside the ancient centre, walking along Via San Marco.
This building dates back to the 12th century, and is owed to the Aldobrandeschi family, who occupied it until the wedding between Romano Orsini and Anastasia Aldobrandeschi, when it was ceded to the groom's family, as evidenced by the coats of arms of the two families still visible today. It was the Orsinis who were responsible for the renovation of the fortress as well as its extension, turning it into a truly unassailable seat.
Seeing the building from the outside, this masterpiece of architecture specially fortified for the defence of the territory does not exactly give the idea of its majesty. However, once inside, the visitor will be amazed by the five floors that extend underground and that have been realised by taking advantage of the admirably excavated tuffaceous rock.
A visit is also recommended for the presence of the Museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which preserves evidence of those periods.
In addition to exploring the fortress, it is recommended to visit the 13th-century Collegiate Church of San Nicola, the nearby Clock Tower and the beautiful Palazzo Comitale that rises above the Masso Leopoldino where there is also a belvedere from which to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.

Sorano is known for its thermal baths that unfold within a luxuriant green area of about seven hectares where there is a large thermal pool that receives a continuous stream of natural waters that gush out at a temperature of 37°.
Tourists interested in using the pool and the nearby Wellness Centre can pay a daily entrance fee. Not to be missed are the ancient streets of Etruscan origin such as Via Cava di San Sebastiano, the Cavone, Via Cava di San Rocco and the Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo Archaeological Park consisting of three distinct areas in the municipality of Sorano: the Etruscan Necropolis of Sovana, the rocky settlement of Vitozza and that of San Rocco.
The necropolis occupies an area of about one and a half kilometres where dado and semi-dado tombs are located in a single row. Many of these are monumental in that they have a columned front and aedicula with a decorated pediment, such as the Pola tomb and the Tomb of the Winged Demons at Poggio Prisca and that of Ildebrando at Poggio Felceto.
Those interested in further visits to Sorano can continue by exploring the rupestrian settlement of San Rocco, where there are several rooms excavated in the tufa, some of which were also used by the Etruscans as tombs, while others were used as dwellings in the Middle Ages. Worth seeing at the very beginning of the settlement is the church dedicated to San Rocco, inside which is an admirable late 17th-century fresco depicting the Madonna and Child.
For several decades now, Sorano has been hosting an interesting Handicrafts Exhibition, this year in its 41st edition, which takes place in the historic centre that has always been the cradle of the village's most important economic and artisan activities.
The kermesse will take place along the route that leads from Porta dei Merli to the Masso Leopoldino, where local craftsmen and those from all over the region will display their creations.
Alongside the initiative, there will also be space for didactic workshops, tastings, cultural events, theatrical performances, guided tours and lots of music: in short, a splendid opportunity to get to know a historic village and to delve into the world of handicrafts.

To spend your holidays in Tuscany

The Hotel Residence Valle del Buttero is the ideal solution for all those who wish to reside in the Maremma and feel almost like VIPs in Capalbio.
The hotel offers various types of accommodation, including rooms, suites and two-room flats that are modernly furnished and equipped with air conditioning, wi-fi internet connection, satellite TV with SKY, and other amenities for guests.
It also has a well-equipped fitness area with technogym machines and an inviting swimming pool surrounded by a lush garden. The Hotel Residence Valle del Buttero is a perfect location to experience all the activities in Capalbio, to explore the interesting surroundings or simply to enjoy true relaxation.

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