A village “carved” into the stone: Pitigliano
Pitigliano is a medieval town that seems born from the mind of a writer of fantasy books. Saw in the distance the village seems to escape from a huge block of tuff as if it were the work of one sculptor. It’s visually striking the alignment of the houses on the overhanging cliff!
The Western side of the historic village, the one defended by cliffs, is occupied by houses. The town has a typical medieval style urban structure centred on three main roads almost parallel, connected by a dense network of minor roads.
On the eastern edge of the village there is what was the fortress of the Aldobrandeschi. This castle is located, not surprisingly, in the place naturally less protected.
The history of Pitigliano
The site has been inhabited since the time of the Etruscans and Romans. In medieval times, Pitigliano was part of the domains of the Aldobrandeschi who provided city fortress and defensive walls. In 1293 the town passed under the family Orsini that, in 16th century, restored both the fortress that the other defensive devices. In 1604 Pitigliano became part of the Granducato di Toscana.
Particularly important in the story of the town the presence of a Jewish colony formed in the 16th century, in fact the city is also know as the “little Jerusalem”.
Things to do in Pitigliano: the guide
The entrance to the old town is from piazza Petruccioli through a beautiful portal surmounted by the coat of arms of the family Orsini. Here is impossible not to notice on the left the beautiful aqueduct that runs along the first part of our path. Passed the aqueduct, you will reach Piazza della Repubblica. The southern side of the square is occupied by the monumental Fontana delle sette cannelle.
Leaving behind the fountain you will cross the square until you arrive in front of the former fortress of the Aldobrandeschi: Palazzo Orsini. The building we see today is the result of a long history of renovations dating from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century. Inside the palace, that is als the seat of of the diocesan curia, are hosted two museums: the Museo Diocesano di Arte sacra and the Museo Civico Archeologico della Civiltà Etrusca.
The 18 rooms of the museum are home to a large collection of artwork and liturgical furnishings that coming from the Cathedral of Pitigliano and the churches of the area.
closed from 8th of january to 16th of march
winters opening hours: 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-17.00
Summer opening hours: 10-13.00 and 15.00-18.00
10-17 august: 10.00-20.00 and 12.30-24.00
Closed on monday
Tickets: regular 4,50 euro; groups (15+ people) 3,50 euro; under 10 3 euro; under 6 free
Civic Archaeological Museum
Gallery but also restoration workshop, this small museum hosts artifacts from Etruscan times coming from excavations of the necropolis of Poggio Buco and from the findings of Pitigliano.
January-April: holidays and the day before 10.00-18.00
May-Julay: friday-sunday 10.00-19.00
At the moment only these times have been published for this year; for the remaining hours we suggest to consult the website of the municipality.
Tickets: regular 3 euro; reduced 2 euro
Cumulative ticket (Museo Archeologico della Civiltà Etrusca and Museo Archeologico all’aperto “A. Manzi”): regular 6 euro; reduced 3 euro.
The visit to the town of Pitigliano
Continuing the visit, from the square take via Roma and continue until the end. Here, in Piazza Gregorio VII, there is the Cathedral of the Saints Peter and Paul with its baroque facade. Continuing along via generale Orsini, you reach the westernmost area of the village, the rione Capisotto. In this old neighborhood we suggest you to taste the typical constructions and living pattern of the town. The center of this neighborhood is the Chiesa di Santa Maria. On its right runs one of the main streets of the historic center, via Zuccarelli, who takes us up to the Jewish quarter. The Ghetto with the rione Capisotto, is the oldest part of the town.
Jewish Museum, synagogue and ghetto
The synagogue, built in 1589, s open to visitors as part of a tour that documents the life of the jewish community of Pitigliano.
April-September: 10.00-13.00 and 14.30–18.00
October-March: 10.00–12.00 and 15.00–17.00
Closed on saturday
Tickets: regular 5 euro, reduced 4 euro
Museo archeologico all’aperto “Alberto Manzi”: la città dei vivi e la città dei morti
(Open-air Archaeological Museum “Alberto Manzi”: the city of the alive and the city of the dead)
Born from the idea of protecting the environmental and historical heritage, the Museum is structured so as to make known the history of the settlement (he city of the alive), before reaching the Etruscan necropolis of the Grandone (the city of the dead).
March: last two weekend 10.00-18.00
April: holidays and the day before 10.00-19.00
We suggest to check the opening hours on the website of the municipality.
Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced 2 euro.
What to visit near Pitigliano
Close to Pitigliano, less than ten kilometers, there are the town of Sovana and Sorano. Very interesting is also the walk through the etruscan path called “vie cave degli etruschi“ that leads from Pitigliano to Sovana.
How to get to Pitigliano
By car: from Florence (190Km) highway A1 and exit to Chiusi-Chianciano, than take the SP478 cross Sarteano, than Strada Provinciale della Montagna di Cetona, SP321, SP20 and Strada Provinciale Pitigliano – Santa Fiora in the direction of Pitigliano.
From Grosseto (71Km) SP159 till Scansano, then turn on SS323 until you take the SP159, SP10 and SR74 Strada Regionale Maremmana in the direction of Pitigliano.