PITIGLIANO

The Little Jerusalem of Maremma, Pitigliano , is a village with an ancient charm, unique and particular of its kind, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in Tuscany.

Pitigliano is also one of the most beautiful villages in Italy , its inhabited area is in fact one of a kind, perched on a spur of tufaceous rock seems to be one with the rock, the tuff, which here in this area is extraordinarily common and typical of all the nearby towns, this territory is in fact known as the “Area del Tufo”.

The municipal territory of Pitigliano has been inhabited since the most ancient times, in fact there were important settlements in the Etruscan and Roman times and today the Archaeological Park of Tufo, the Vie Cave and the Necropolis are a very precious testimony.

Walking through the streets of the village you will be fascinated by the wealth of monuments and historic buildings, the Cathedral of San Pietro e Paolo, the Church of San Rocco, the Medici Aqueduct, the Jewish Ghetto and the Synagogue, just to name a few, and the interesting museums of Palazzo Orsini, the Archaeological Museum and the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

A bit of history

The municipal territory of Pitigliano has been inhabited since the most ancient times, as evidenced by the numerous findings found in the area, the Etruscans founded their first settlements here – dating back to the Bronze Age, about XII-XI century BC – the necropolis, the vie cave and the remains of the first villages are today an extraordinary testimony of the Etruscan-Roman history in the area.

There are many legends about the origins of the town of Pitigliano, one of which wants it to be founded by two young Romans Petilio and Celiano, fleeing Rome after a theft, from the union of their two names, that of “Petiliano” was born, then transformed in Pitigliano. Legend aside, we have the first news about the origins of Pitigliano in 1061 when Pitigliano is mentioned as proposed by the Cathedral of Sovana, and placed under the Aldobrandeschi government. Following the marriage between the last member of the Aldobrandeschi, Margherita, and the Roman Count Orsini, Pitigliano passed to the County of the Orsini, former lords of Sovana. In 1574 Pitigliano was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

What to see in Pitigliano

In the streets of the village of Pitigliano it is easy to meet historic buildings and monuments with an ancient charm, a testimony of inestimable value of the history and past of this place …

CATHEDRAL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL:

The cathedral certainly dates back to before 1061, the year in which it was mentioned for the first time in an official document. The building was remodeled in 1509 on commission of Count Niccolò III Orsini. Inside the church houses precious works of art, a painting depicting  St. Paul of the Cross preaching,  dating back to the nineteenth century, two statues depicting  Faith  and  Charity, an image of  San Pietro in Gloria, one of the vaults, painted with the images of the four  Evangelists , two canvases dedicated to the stories of Pope Gregory VII – Ildebrando di Suana – by Pietro Aldi, a famous Manchianese artist, made between 1883 and 1885, depicting  The Predestination of Giovinetto Ildebrando and  Henry IV in Canossa. Of particular interest is a painting by Francesca Ciacci, from the early twentieth century, depicting  the Holy Family , a baptismal font from 1700 and an altarpiece made by the Sienese school painter Francesco Vanni, dating back to 1609 and depicting  the Madonna del Rosario. with Santa Caterina da Siena, San Domenico and San Pio V.  The façade of the cathedral has some valuable stuccoes of the eighteenth century, depicting  the Cherubs Supporting the Cross,  the two niches, one on the right and one on the left, instead house the statues of the two saints to whom the church of San Pietro and San Paolo is dedicated.On the left of the sacred building, there is the Torre del Campanile, built for defensive purposes and then transformed into a bell tower in 1726.

CHURCH OF SAN ROCCO:

The Church of San Rocco is the oldest sacred building in Pitigliano, its origins date back to the 12th century. The current appearance of the church is due to the restoration work carried out by Giovanni da Traù il Dalmata, commissioned by Niccolò III Orsini, at the end of the 1400s. The building has a late Renaissance style facade, while the interior, divided into three naves it shows the coats of arms of the noble families who ruled Pitigliano.

MEDICEAN AQUEDUCT:

Built in the 16th century on a project by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the aqueduct was commissioned by the Orsini, who wanted to improve the city’s water supply. The works for the construction of the aqueduct were more complicated than expected – especially considering the difference in height between the town and the three rivers below – it took more than a century for its construction which was completed under the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, in 1639. The Medici aqueduct is a monumental construction, characterized by the presence of imposing arches, made of tuff.

JEWISH GHETTO AND SYNAGOGUE: 

During the sixteenth century a large community of the Jewish religion was expelled from the Papal State, and chose Pitigliano as a place of refuge, here they found a welcoming people and the possibility of living in peace and harmony, so much so that in a few years they created their own neighborhood, the Jewish Ghetto. Today all the main buildings and sacred places remain of the ancient ghetto, the Forno delle Unzzime, the Milkve Bath, the Kasher Butcher, the Cellar and the Synagogue. The Synagogue is still the hub of the neighborhood today and also houses a museum dedicated to Jewish culture. The construction of the Synagogue dates back to the sixteenth century, inside you can also admire inscriptions that show verses from the Bible, and outside, above the entrance portal, an inscription:

“ And let them make a Shrine for me and I will live among them. Open the doors of justice for me. This is the door [which leads] to the Lord “.

THE MUSEUMS OF PALAZZO ORSINI: 

Built in the 11th century as the residence of the Aldobrandeschi family, the palace passed to the Orsini family about three centuries later, becoming their official residence. During the 1500s the Orsini Counts commissioned Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to carry out the restoration project of the building. Other restoration works, which profoundly changed its appearance, were carried out between the second half of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, under the government of the Lorraine. The Palace now houses two important museums, the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, where paintings, objects and sacred parameters from the Diocese of Pitigliano-Sorano-Sovana are collected and exhibited, and the Civic Archaeological Museum, where finds from the countryside are exhibited. excavations carried out in the nearby archaeological areas.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  www.pitiglianoturismo.it / wikipedia