Pitigliano is a village in the wild Southern Tuscany, perched on a volcanic rock spur whose origins are lost in the past.
The historical origins of Pitigliano, born out of the mists of an ancient past, boast a significant Etruscan center, surrounded by walls dating back to the sixth century.
Located upon a natural spur, Pitigliano was protected and flourished in the Middle Ages under the important feudal families, Aldobrandeschi and Orsini.
Today, the relevant architecture makes for a particularly exciting visit to the historic center. The medieval village consists of an orderly maze of surviving narrow streets and small squares still in use and maintaining ancient traditions and even aromas. Timid rays of sunlight penetrate the alleyways warming sleepy cats while friendly villagers tell their imaginative renditions of the legend of Pitigliano where two Roman refugees, Petilio and Ciliano, founded the village after stealing the golden crown off the statue of Giove Statore in Rome. Told in this way, the legend narrates the symbolism of the viticulture in the region represented by Giove or Jupiter (Pitigliano) who wraps his head with golden vines.
Remember that Pitigliano was the seat of a significant Jewish community, and within the historic district you can visit the Synagogue, the Ghetto and the adjacent Museum of Jewish Culture.
Thanks to the numerous springs and fertile land of volcanic origin, the region offers excellent products derived from the skillful farming in the area. Traditions live on maintaining quality and authenticity in the cuisine and local products. Finding yourself gazing out upon the scenery of Pitigliano is a unique experience. You will be captivated by its authenticity. Undoubtedly Pitigliano is the great treasure of Southern Tuscany, we are not exaggerating by telling you that you will not see anything like it anywhere else in the world!
At dusk, the light of the fading sun out over the volcanic landscape will leave you breathless. The buildings become a mere continuation of the cliff and it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
The etruscan paths around Pitigliano
Outside of the Hilltop towns, Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana, the forest veils the picturesque Vie Cave and the Etruscan necropolis, enchanting places for wandering and exploring for days.
For centuries the “Vie Cave” have been an integral part of the Pitigliano area. They are several kilometers long and 25 meters deep. Entirely dug from tufa, they have allegedly been built by the Etruscans over 2500 years ago and are believed to exist only in this region.
Reasons for the their erection are still uncertain: some researchers affirm that they are proper roads carved from tufa to level the gaps between the valley and the above plains, others consider them monuments built for religious purposes as this land is also considered to be a place where the earth emanates a powerful energy.
Thanks to these activities you will explore this maze with the help of those senses that enhance at night (smell and hearing) and you will discover the paths that the Etruscans have dug just below the Earth’s outer layer.