Church Museum of San Mamiliano

This is the oldest church in Sovana, dating back to the 6th century, it was the first episcopal seat of the diocese. The construction of the Church dates back to the early Christian period, built on a pre-existing building from the Etruscan-Roman era.

Following the transfer of the bishop’s seat to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the church of San Mamiliano was progressively abandoned.

The church located in Piazza del Pretorio had a single nave and three altars (one dedicated to San Mamiliano). The perimeter wall located to the north, on the lower part, has large stone blocks and the colonnaded crypt with reused capitals. This architectural technique can be considered as the oldest nucleus dating back to the early Christian era, the era of evangelization of Sovana thanks to the monk Mamiliano (5th century AD).

Since 2004, thanks to the Superintendence for architectural and landscape heritage (the church was now a private building used by a local family as a chicken coop/warehouse), a series of restoration and recovery works were started on the Church which has become a museum since 2012.

In this museum there is a section dedicated to Lombard ceramics from the tombs of the Villa Biagiola in Sovana and a series of interesting finds from the Museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in the Orsini Fortress of Sorano, in addition to the very famous “Treasure of Sovana”.

The Treasure of Sovana

In 2004, an exceptional discovery was made during some excavations carried out underground in the Church of San Mamiliano. Under the floor, some burials from the Renaissance period were discovered and, deeper down, some remains of a spa building from the Roman era.

But the most beautiful thing was found even further down where a container containing 498 gold coins came to light. These were gold coins from the 5th century, minted under Leo I and Anthemius, almost entirely coming from the mint of Constantinople.

Some scholars maintain that this treasure is the one mentioned by Alexandre Dumas in the novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”, or the famous “Monte Cristo Treasure”. In fact, legends say that on the island of Montecristo, right in the monastery dedicated to San Mamiliano, there was a hidden treasure that had never been found, this is because (we are in the field of legend) it was found right in the Church of Sovana and not on the island of the Tuscan archipelago.

Today part of the treasure is found in this museum, part in the National Archaeological Museum of Florence. Leaving aside the legends, in 2019, unfortunately, some pieces of the treasure were stolen from the San Mamiliano museum (65 coins), the remainder are always divided between Sovana and Florence.

Museum opening hours

-Every day 10:00-13:00/19:00, closed on Wednesdays


-Full price 2.00

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