Marine sponges (Porifera) live in a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms, primarily bacteria. Recently, several studies indicated that sponges are the most prolific source of biologically-active compounds produced by symbiotic microorganisms rather than by the sponges themselves. In the present study we characterized the bacterial symbionts from two Demospongiae, Ircinia muscarum and Geodia cydonium. We amplified 16S rRNA by PCR, using specific bacterial-primers. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of nine bacterial clones from I. muscarum and ten from G. cydonium. In particular, I. muscarum resulted enriched in Bacillus species and G. cydonium in Proteobacterium species. Since these bacteria were able to produce secondary metabolites with potential biotechnological and biopharmaceutical applications, we hypothesized that I. muscarum and G. cydonium could be a considered as a "gold mine" of natural products.