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Co-cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Sovana

Places of worship

One of the most important churches in the tuff rock area in Maremma

The Co-Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, also known as the Cathedral of Sovana (in the municipality of Sorano), is one of the most important religious buildings in the Maremma.
It was built around the 11th-12th centuries, probably founded upon an older church that with the passage of time has undergone modifications and renovations. It has a mixture of styles, including Lombard and Gothic elements. The prevailing Romanesque style confirms that the main period of its construction is around the 11th century, corresponding to the expansion of the Aldobrandeschi family and the papacy of Gregory VII (Ildebrando di Sovana).

For a long time, the Cathedral was the seat of the bishop. This seems to be due to the evangelization work promoted in Sovana by Mamiliano, the bishop of Palermo. His remains are preserved in the small and fascinating tuff crypt, which can be visited today.

On the exterior, the entrance door is on the side wall and is surmounted by a stone arch decorated with sculptural motifs.
Inside, the Co-Cathedral amazes. It develops on three naves, each separated by a row of columns on which arched vaults are grafted. The sculpted capitals show natural motifs, human faces and scenes taken from the pages of the Bible, while marble inserts are placed next to the tuff walls.
Before reaching the altar, on the right, you will notice a baptismal font in travertine from the 15th century.

It seems that the orientation of the church does not adhere to the classical canons for a very specific reason. On the occasion of the summer solstice, the first ray of sunshine would enter from the single lancet window in the apse and cross the nave in its entire length, resting on the opposite wall.

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