The territory

A magnificent town in the “Tufo Area” (built in tuff), located in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, Pitigliano is one of the most fascinating historic villages in Italy and a “must go” on a trip to Tuscany.
The town is located 313 meters above sea level on a tufaceous promontory of suggestive beauty, bordered by green valleys crossed by the Lente and Meleta rivers.

Pitigliano is also called Little Jerusalem, here the Jewish community was always very well integrated with the local population. The link with Jewish culture comes from afar: the first community to find refuge in the area dates back to the late fifteenth century when they built the Synanagogue, it was in 1598. Unfortunately, its original structure was partially destroyed during the Second World War but was later restored . The signs of this long coexistence can be found in the Jewish Ghetto: an evocative path in the historic center of Pitigliano that testifies to the life of the Jewish community.
Although there are very few Jews left in Pitigliano today, there is still a strong link with the town: from the restoration and conservation of Jewish monuments, to the choice of producing kosher wine at Cantina Cooperativa di Pitigliano, to the establishment of the Association “La Piccola Gerusalemme“, that promotes initiatives for the enhancement of the history of Pitigliano.

What to see in Pitigliano and surroundings

What to see in Pitigliano and surroundings

Pitigliano has been awarded with the recognition of being “One of the most beautiful villages in Italy”: the infinite series of alleys, streets, small stairways and views that open overhanging the cliff below, make it a unique and enchanting destination.

There are many monuments to visit in the historic center, among them: the Medici Aqueduct, the Orsini Fortress, the Orsini Palace, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Church of Santa Maria and San Rocco, the Jewish Ghetto. Outside the walls there are remarkable spots such us: the Jewish Cemetery, the Alberto Manzi Outdoor Archaeological Museum, the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, the Orsini Park and, the extraordinarily beautiful, “Vie Cave”.

The “Vie Cave” (Hollow Paths) are unique testimony from the past, a heritage of enormous historical and cultural importance and an irresistible attraction. They are Etruscan open-air paths, corridors dug into the tuff that can be traveled on foot or on horseback. Walking along these paths feels like entering the earth, between vertiginous walls and an enveloping nature, with a primordial charm. Here a particular microclimate has developed favoring the growth of vegetation typical of humid and shady environments: ferns, mosses, lichens, ivy and lianas that contribute to increasing the fascination of this magic place. There are a few dozen of “Vie Cave” around Pitigliano, they vary in size, between two and four meters wide, some are almost twenty-five meters high and are up to a maximum of one kilometer long.

In the vicinity of Pitigliano you can visit the Medieval Villages of Sovana, Sorano, Montemerano, as well as the Etruscan Archaeological Park of the “Città del Tufo” (the Tuff Town) with its splendid Monumental Tombs and the “Vitozza Park” (the largest rock settlement in central – northern Italy with its 250 caves).

From Pitigliano it is certainly worth organizing a day at the “Terme di Saturnia” (Natural spa), about 20 minutes by car from Pitigliano. The naturally hot thermal waters with beneficial effects need no introduction, the waterfalls and natural pools are famous all over the world.

Very close to Pitigliano, the town of Sovana, with its Archaeological Park of Etruscan origins deserves a special mention. In addition to the amazing Etruscan testimonies Sovana is a beautiful and important Medieval and Renaissance center. The necropolis and the “Vie Cave” are similar in structure to those of Pitigliano and Sorano, however the Sovana area and its Etruscan tombs are truly of rare beauty.