Top attractions to see in Tuscany Tufo area

The Tufo Area is located in the province of Grosseto, between Mount Amiata and the border with Lazio Region. It is full of environmental and historic features that make it unique in its kind. It is a large area of rolling hills, whose volcanic nature is confirmed by the presence of numerous hot springs.

Attrazioni in Toscana


. Archaeological park of Città del Tufo
. Piccola Gerusalemme (Pitigliano)
. Etruscan wineries
. Vie cave (Pitigliano)
. Tomb of Ildebranda and Demoni Alati
. Cathedral of Pitigliano
. Tomb of Gradone
.  Orsini Park
. Orsini fortress
. Cathedral of Sovana
. Museum of Middle Ages and Renaissance
. Via Cava di San Rocco
. Terme di Sorano

Province of Grosseto: 

San Giovanni delle Contee
Montebuono (Sorano municipality)

area del tufo zona

area del tufo1

The landscape is characterized by massive tuffaceous formations often immersed in a dense vegetation. The territory is dotted with huge tuff spurs, once inhabited and today still used as cellars, warehouses or shelters for agricultural tools. There are sheer rock walls on which several Etruscan tombs were carved. The tuf also exudes radon gas at levels such that the residents often use to keep open the windows of their houses.

The Tufo Area includes the municipalities of Pitigliano and Sorano and small and picturesque villages in the surrounding area. The area is characterized by evocative ancient settlements, villages and medieval fortifications, which arose near major population centers already in Etruscan-Roman period. Very attractive are the small villages clinging to steep slopes and contribute to an unmistakable landscape profile. The area includes a very important archaeological site of the Etruscan-Roman period, now included in the Archaeological Park of Tufo, as well as numerous remains of ancient settlements.

Attractions in Tufo area

sorano1View of Sorano

Localities in Tufo area

pitigliano artePITIGLIANO (GR) – Etruscan settlement and medieval village

Churches: Cathedral of Pitigliano, early Christian Oratory
Monuments: Medici aqueduct
Museums:Piccola Gerusalemme, Museo civico archeologico della Civiltà Etrusca
Archaeological sites:Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo, Museo all’aperto Alberto Manzi e necropoli del Gradone, Statonia,
Spa:Terme di Pitigliano
Parks and Gardens:Orsini park
Itineraries:Via Cava di Poggio Cani
Events:Torciata di San Giuseppe
Products: wine and extravirgin oil
Sports:trekking, cycling

Pitigliano is an incredible village, entirely placed on a high tufa rock. The high walls with many caves, are the basis on which the town is located. Houses and towers overlook the two valleys of the rivers Lente and Meleta. Pitigliano is surrounded by deep, narrow valleys along the slopes of which there are many Etruscan tombs, galleries, and cellars mostly dating back to Etruscan times. The town was listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. It is also known as “Little Jerusalem” because of the presence, by the end of the 15th century, a Jewish community. The Pitigliano area also boasts a flourishing wine production. In fact, the vineyards resting on an old rich tuff millennia humus produce a fine white wine: the “Bianco di Pitigliano”, one of the first Italian wines to obtain DOC recognition.

masso leopoldinoSORANO (GR) – medieval village

Castles: Orsini fortress, Sovana fortress, Castell’Ottieri fortress,  Montorio Castle
Churches: Cathedral of Sovana
Monuments and places:Ghetto Ebraico, Masso Leopoldino
Palaces:Orsini palace, Sovana palace
Museums:Museo del Medioevo e del Rinascimento, Museo Archeologico di Sorano, Museo del Tesoro della Chiesa di San Mamiliano, Centro Documentazione del Territorio di Sovana, Museo di Malacologia
Archaeological sites:Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo, Area Archeologica di Sovana, colombari, etruscan cellars, archaeological site of Vitozza, Via Cava di San Rocco
Spa:terme di Sorano
Events:Settimana Soranesi
Hamlets:Castell’Ottieri, Montevitozzo, Montorio, San Quirico, Sovana
Products and Artigianato: cheese, salami
Sports:trekking, cycling, riding

The residential complex is perched picturesquely on a steep tuff rock outcrop overlooking the river Lente and presenting various gradients. The village is characterized by a number of alleys, courtyards, arches, loggias and cellars dug into the tuff which, in Etruscan times, were burial grounds. Later these were adapted to store and wine cellars. The town is also called “Matera of Tuscany”, for the characteristic presence of rock buildings reminiscent of the famous “stones” of the city of Matera (Basilicata region). In the old town stand the Etruscan cellars and the imposing Masso Leopoldino. In the nearby town of Sovana to report the Fortress and the Romanesque Cathedral. The territory of Sorano is part of the “City Archaeological Park of Tufo”, where there are the Vie Cave and important necropolis which Hildebrand Tomb and the Tomb of the Winged Demons.

rocca castello ottieriCASTELL’OTTIERI (Sorano – GR) – medieval village

The old town is placed on a tufa rock. Of note, the Rock of Castell’Ottieri, ancient home of the Ottieri family, and the Church of St. Bartholomew (16th century) which houses a Madonna in glory with St. Bartholomew and St. Nicholas fresco dated 1590, and a large referable frescoes the school of Nasini brothers (17th century).


montebuonoMONTEBUONO (Sorano – GR) – medieval village

The town was founded at the beginning of the fourteenth century, just when the local castle was the center of a dispute between the Aldobrandeschi family and Pope Boniface VIII. Of note, the Church of the Madonna del Cerro, built in the late seventeenth century and the beginning of the next, in memory of a miracle. According to legend, a painting of the Virgin appeared on the branch of a tree. The building retains, in fact, the painted panel, over which a piece of the tree trunk.The church became a place of pilgrimage and veneration of the effigy, now believed to be miraculous.

parco archeologico città del tufoSAN QUIRICO (Sorano – GR) – resort town

Archaeological sites:Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo,  Archaeological site of Vitozza
Sports:trekking, ciclismo, equitazione

Currently San Quirico di Sorano is a modern town with an increasing flow of tourists. To note the Archaeological Park “Città del Tufo, where inside are the ruins of the ancient city of Vitozza and one of the most important ancient settlements of Italy with more than 200 caves.

area archeologica sovanaSOVANA (Sorano – GR) – medeival village

Castles: Rocca Aldobrandesca di Sovana
Churches:Duomo di Sovana
Palaces: Palazzo comunale di Sovana
Museums: Centro Documentazione del Territorio di Sovana
Archaeological sites:Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo, Area Archeologica di Sovana, colombari, etruscan cellars
Sports:trekking, ciclismo, riding

Located in the heart of the so-called “Area del Tufo” and made famous by the impressive monumental tombs and the vast necropolis, the town was an important Etruscan center and, in the Lombard period, a thriving city. Here was born the reformer monaco Hildebrand, who later became pope under the name of Gregory 7th. Both theEtruscan necropolis that the historic center of the town are an important archaeological site and art history. Noteworthy is the Cathedral of Sovana, splendid construction in Romanesque style (9th century), the Town Hall, the Treasure Museum and Archaeological Park “Città del Tufo”, where are the Vie Cave and Ildebranda graves and Demons Alati .

Tufo Archaeological Park

tomba ildebranda parco archeologicoArea: Tufo area
Municipalities: Sorano and Pitigliano (GR)
Type: sito archeologico etrusco
Phone: +39 0564 614074

The park includes a vast area between the town of Sorano (including the towns of Sovana and San Quirico) and Pitigliano. It includes various Etruscan necropolis, connected by a picturesque road network, often set among steep tuff walls in some places as high as up to 20 meters. These ancient streets, called “Vie Cave” or “Cavoni”, constituted an effective system of connection in case of enemy invasions. In Roman times, the “Vie Cave” became part of a system that was connected to the Via Clodia, the ancient road connecting Rome and Saturnia. Within the Vie Cave, the moist microclimate allows the development of mosses, lichens and ferns

parco archeologico vitozza
Le Vie Cave starting from the Porta dei Merli of Sorano and descend to the valley of the  Lente river. Along the Via Cava di San Rocco is a vast Etruscan necropolis with tombs carved into the tuff. Numerous “columbarium” is located between the villages of Poggio San Rocco and Poggio Croce. Inside the park to see the Sovana area with the Tombs of the Siren, the Typhoon,
Hildebrand and the Grotta Pola. The Tomb of the “Demoni Alati” is a real monumental temple with portico with six columns. In the area surrounding the town Vitozza is a rock settlement, considered the largest in central Italy. It includes more than 200 caves, almost all of which are used for housing in the past. The caves follow one another side by side along a path through the woods. Some were “columbarium” almost certainly already made in Roman times for the breeding of pigeons.

The itinerary of the Vie Cave  includes:

First sector
locality of Poggio Felceto where the  Ildebranda Tomb
locality Poggio Prisca dove where the  Pola Tomb and Demoni Alati
locality Poggio Stanziale where the  Tifone Tomb
The Cavone

– Second sector
vie cave San Sebastiano, necropoli of Sopraripa and Tomba della Sirena
– San Rocco
rock settlement
– Vitozza
ruins of the medieval town and rock settlement with more than 200 caves –  locality San Quirico di Sorano.

Itineraries and tour in Tufo area

Tour 2-3 days in Tufo area

TYPE Culture and natural itinerary
AREA Tufo area
ARRIVAL Grosseto
LENGHT 168 km
TRAVEL TIME 2-3 days
ITINERARY Grosseto, Pitigliano, San Quirico, Sorano, Sovana, Scansano, Grosseto
Tourist Office  Piazza Dante Alighieri, Grosseto, Phone. +39 0564 484111