A primordial settlement made up of agricultural workers and shepherds on the banks of the ancient River Armine (nowadays called Fiora); it became a flourishing Etruscan city in the 7th century B.C under the name of Suana. It was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C. even though its inhabitants continued to use the Etruscan culture, art, language and writing.
From the 9th century on, it became the home of the Aldobrandeschi family and homeland to Pope Gregory VII; it reached the height of its splendor in the 13th century in the times of the Counts Umberto and Guglielmo when the important buildings in the main square were constructed.
In 1243, the city was besieged by the troops of Federico II and its long, slow decline began. When Countess Margherita died, the Aldobrandeschi dynasty petered out. For the next one hundred years, it was ruled by the Orsini counts up until 1411 when the city was conquered and sacked by Siena.
In 1555, it came under Medici domination but its decline was relentless and
unrelenting: invasions, destruction and epidemics caused the depopulation of the city. It has risen again in these last few decades thanks to the finding of an
important Etruscan necropolis and now Sovana is a village of about 500 inhabitants visited by many tourists and scholars.