Albarese | Parco Naturale delle Maremma


Colline Metallifere

la costa Toscana

Crete Senesi

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore



Montagnola Senese

         Walking in the Montagnola senese


Monte Amiata





          Fonti di Siena



Val d'Elsa

Val d'orcia




          San Quirico d'Orcia


          Walking in the Val d'Orcia

Val di Chiana



Valle d'Ombrone









Sorano, il complesso rupestre di Vitozza

 I T        E N G         N L        D E

Rupestre di Vitozza, Sorano: La Chiesaccia  [1]

Toacana ] Galleria di immagini  
Sorano | Il complesso rupestre di Vitozza

Vitozza is a cave settlement located near the village of San Quirico in the municipality of Sorano, in the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany (Italy), which was inhabited from Etruscan times until the end of the 18th century.


The ancient city of Vitozza was built in the medieval era, most likely at the end of the 11th century, around a castle built by the Aldobrandeschi family within a cave settlement which was most likely already inhabited during Etruscan and Roman times.

In the first half of the 13th century, Vitozza passed temporarily under the control of Orvieto and then the Basque family, before being taken up again by the Aldobrandeschi and included into the territory of County of Sovana in 1274, the year of the division of family assets.

Between the end of the 13th and the early 14th century, the place was conquered by the Republic of Siena under which it stayed until the middle of the 15th century. Subsequently, Vitozza became part of County Orsini, but later there was a move away from the castle and its defensive structures for reasons yet unknown, causing the decline of the settlement. The population gradually migrated towards the nearby town of San Quirico, however, Vitozza was inhabited until the end of the 18th century.

Not to miss is cave No. 15, inhabiteduntil 1783 by Agostina, widow of Bartolomeo Brunetti, called la Riccia ("with curly hair") and with obvious traces of the domestic use of the place.



Mappa Sorano | Vitozza | Ingrandire mappa


Archaeological Area

In the Middle Ages, Vitozza had a fortified castle, at least two fortresses, and places of worship including a major and two minor churches, in addition to the cave settlement.


The cave settlement of Vitozza is certainly the largest and most important of central Italy. It includes over two hundred caves excavated from the local tuff stone.

The caves used for human habitation extend along a path through the woods overlooking the valley of the river Lente. Some are quite close to each other, while others tend to be more isolated.

Depending on their type, caves can in fact be classified in four different types:

The first group is characterized by tunnels with rectangular openings which are often on different levels, connected by ladders and steps, with houses located on the upper levels and animal shelters in the lower ones.

A second group of caves presents rectangular structures destined to house the animals.

A third type of caves was for mixed use - they are characterized by an arched opening, a circular area and attached rooms. The circular part, for animal use, was equipped with a feeder, the other rooms were probably used for habitation.

The northwestern part of Vitozza includes a group of dozens of caves known as columbaria which almost certainly were created in Roman times and remained active throughout the Middle Ages for the purpose of pigeon breeding, a common practice in the territory of Sorano.


Insediamento rupestre di Vitozza (GR)4   Vitozza, Grotte   Secondo Castello di Vitozza (GR)

Rupestre di Vitozza, particolare


  Entrance of one of the caves   The second castle of Vitozza


The primo castello (first castle) is a fortification located along the path that runs through the entire rock settlement. The fortification is the first of two elevated fortifications or rocche shaping the castle ruins of medieval Vitozza. The structure shows thick walls of blocks of tuff, which would take up a door that opened along the access route. The remains of the fortress are visible on both sides of the path that forks just before. On the north side, the building was surrounded by a moat, now rendered invisible by vegetation, which further protected the defensive structure.

The secondo castello (second castle) is a fortified structure located along the path leading to the columbaria (caves used for rearing poultry) and the source of the river Lente. It is situated on a hill which rises to the right of the path, and is better preserved than the first fortress.


The ruins of a church dating back to the Middle Ages, called The Chiesaccia, is situated to the right of the main path near the primo castello. It has a simple rectangular floor plan and a semicircular apse.

On the northern side of the plateau near the church are the ruins of another defensive building, as well as the remains of a gate that controlled access through the road parallel to the ridge.




Comune Sorano and Sovana

Piazza del Municipio, 15
Tel. 0564-633023 | Fax 0564-633033
Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche: 0564 633099




Giuseppe Guerrini (Ed). Torri e Castelli della provincia di Grosseto (Amministrazione Provinciale di Grosseto). Siena, Nuova Immagine Editrice, 1999.

Carlo Citter. Guida agli edifici sacri della Maremma. Siena, Nuova Immagine Editrice, 2002.

  Primo Castello di Vitozza (GR)

The first castle of Vitozza


Album Sorano | Galleria immagini



Ancora un mistero   Sorano - Porta dei Merli - wide   Sorano altstadt

Via cava


  Sorano, Porta dei Merli  

Piazza della chiesa



Walking through the Etruscan necropolis of Sorano | Download pdf 

I sentieri delle Città del tufo | Walking along the Etruscan pathways, the vie cave

Itinerary from Sorano, to the ancient city of Vitozza and San Quirico | 9 km | 2 hours | gpx

Hiking trail Sorano - Vitozza - San Quirico

[1] Foto d Louis-garden, licenziato in base ai termini della licenza  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike  3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic e 1.0 Generic licenze.
[2] Fonte: Parco degli Etruschi |

#poderesantapia #travelingintuscany
La Maremma del tufo è un territorio selvaggio e misterioso, dove si aprono gole e canyon, tra boschi e foreste, intervallati da borghi antichi di origine etrusca. Il fascino e la suggestione del luogo sono alimentati inoltre dalla presenza di numerose Vie Cave.


Questo articolo è basato sull'articolo Vitozza dell' enciclopedia Wikipedia ed è rilasciato sotto i termini della GNU Free Documentation License.