History of Sovana

The original name for Sovana was "Svea", later Latinized into "Suana" and then turned into the Italian "Soana" - "Sovana".
Of ancient Etruscan origin, Sovana became a Roman municipium, and from the 5th century, became an episcopal see. In 529-605 was conquered by Lombards and later it became the centre of the county under the Aldobrandeschi family.
Sovana was also home to Hildebrand of Soana (1028 ca.-1085), who was to become Pope Gregory VII .
Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Sovana had a period of great splendour and of economic and building development.
When the county was acquired by the Orsini, (15th century) and moved the capital to Pitigliano, the importance of Sovana is declined.
In the mid-16th century Sovana was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany by Cosimo I de' Medici.
The crisis continued until the 19th century.
Today, thanks to archaeological excavations that have uncovered important evidences related to its Etruscan origins, and its preserved medieval Old Town, Sovana is a major tourist destination.