Sorano, Tuscany, Italy

Sorano, a town that flourished in the most prosperous period of the Etruscan age, is a living summary of the good things about ancient Etruscan civilization. Founded on a fortress that the centuries have worn down into more of a natural cliff, and refined by Renaissance architecture, the town is surrounded by imposing walls that made it one of the most secure defensive layers of the Countship of Pitigliano.
It is speculated that Sorano was probably first inhabited by the Villanovan people, the earliest known Iron Age culture followed by the Etruscan civilization. We then lose track of the town until the Aldobrandeschi family in the mid 800’s, when they reigned as one the most powerful feudatories of southern Tuscany for more than four centuries. Briefly you can see that the town changed hands frequently in large part to its strategic position: it was part of the Republic of Siena in 1417; became fully independent in 1556; annexed to the Duchy of Tuscany and final became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
Spending a few days in Sorano isn’t just a vacation. It is above all an experience which will deeply touch your heart and spirit, like a ray of sunshine warming the seeds that will find here the proper conditions to sprout.

This is a magic and hospitable land – volcanic and tranquil, wild and sweet. Here dwells something inexpressible and magnetic which preserves it from any form of pollution.
Naturally this is not perceptible to everyone. In fact, it isn’t unusual to hear distracted tourists say, ” Let’s go. There’s nothing here.” And then rush off to other towns with noisy restaurants, brightly lit windows, discos, and perhaps , flat roads. The secret appeal of Sorano knows how to defend itself by becoming imperceptible.

If you try to “sense” this place, rather than just glancing at it for just ten brief seconds – that brief span of time we normally allow ourselves for looking at a landscape, for we are prey to a greediness which causes us rush on to the next image- thing,– if you stop and look with the tranquillity of those who are not always hurrying, anxious to “see everything” – thereby escaping from themselves — you will discover that Sorano is not only a splendid landscape, but a world vibrating in harmony with something hidden deep in your soul