You will be able to see the skyline of Pitigliano with just one glance, but in order to understand this place, rough like the stone it is made of, you should get closer to slowly and respectfully. Travel along the Vie Cave carved in the rock; visit Etruscan necropolis, secret gardens and ancient temples; the Jewish ghetto and the wine cellars in it, where you could taste some wine and oil; taste the bitter flavour inside the typical Pitigliano’s dessert called “Sfratto dei Goym”: only in this way you could state you really visited this beautiful city. Many are the denominations given to Pitigliano, that perfectly describe its essence: “City of Tuff”, “City of Oil”, “City of Wine”, “The little Jerusalem”, “The most beautiful village in Italy” or “Orange Flag”.
This city comes out from a massive boulder of tuff, composed by many houses made by the same material, almost undistinguishable one from the other. Valleys and uplands expand all the way up to Pitigliano, created by water and fires across the centuries; here it is possible to clearly see the three rivers that isolate this massive tuff rock, which has volcanic origins.
This special conformation of the surrounding territory gives unique properties to the ground: thanks to the presence of the tuff, the terrain is particularly suitable to produce a high-quality olive oil, containing a big number of polyphenols. This is one of the reasons why the District of Pitigliano is part of the association called “Città dell’Olio” (Cities of the Oil), which has the aim to protect and promote olive tree cultivation. Even in the agritourism “Le Sorgenti” there are many Olea Europaea Sativa plants and Leccino olive tree, another Tuscan species.
In addition to the olive cultivation, Pitigliano’s area is famous for the presence of many vine variety, such as the Tuscan Trebbiano, Greco, Grechetto, White Malvasia and Verdello, from which the famous Bianco di Pitigliano wine is produced: it is one of the first controlled designation of origin wine of Italy, acknowledged with a presidential decree in 1966.
The origins of Pitigliano date back to the Bronze Age, continuing with Etruscan civilization until Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages it was under the control of the Aldobrandeschi counts and their successors, the Orsini counts. In 16th century or so, many Jewish families expelled from the neighbouring territories moved to the Countship of Pitigliano. Thus, the economy and the culture increased at the same pace with Jewish community, reaching one fourth of the population: for this reason, Pitigliano soon got the denomination of “Little Jerusalem”.
Visiting the Jewish ghetto
Jewish tradition is still very strong in the city, so there you will be able to taste the “Sfratto dei Goym”, a typical sweet prepared only here to remind of the institution of the ghetto in 1622 made by Cosimo II de’ Medici. The sfratto is so culturally important that, currently, it inserted in the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste catalogue. Another product which is worthy to taste is the Kasher wine, made by the Cantina Sociale di Pitigliano, became a solid part of pitiglianese people’s habits.
Nowadays, it is possible to visit the ghetto, the Jewish Museum and the Synagogue with a €5,00 ticket. The museum is opened all year long, while it is closed on Saturdays and during Jewish festivities.
Synagogue and Jewish Museum Vicolo Marghera, cross street of Via Zuccarelli.
Contacts: 0564 614230 – 328 1907173 – www.lapiccolagerusalemme.it
Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art
Inside Palazzo Orsini it is possible to visit the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, organized over three floors in which is possible to admire the rooms composing the ancient dwelling of Orsini counts. Here you will have the possibility to see many works of art, both sacred and not.
Moreover, there are functional rooms, such as the wine cellar, in which an ancient olive-press is stored.
Finally, a part of the museum is accessible by disabled people upon agreement with the staff.
Contacts: 0564 616074 - 0564 615568
Tickets: €4,00 / € 3,00 reduced-price ticket for groups (min. 15 people) / € 2,50 for 8 – 10 years old children
Closed on Mondays
Many pieces of information about Rasenna people are contained inside the two civic museums: The Civic Archaeological Museum of Etruscan Civilization and the Outdoor Archaeological Museum “Alberto Manzi”. In the former, there are many evidences coming from various ancient Etruscan villages and necropolis (entry ticket: €3,00 full price ticket; €2,00 reduced-price ticket); in the latter is composed of the Via Cava del Gradone (an ancient Etruscan outdoor path having different functions), two necropolis, some full-size reproductions of a hut, an Etruscan house and a furnished tomb, where children can learn while playing inside those structures.
Our customer will have a special discount applied on the two museum’s tickets or on every purchase at the bookshops, regardless of the number of people composing the group of visitors.
The “Vie Cave” of Pitigliano
The Vie Cave branch out of the town centre to the countryside: those ancient Etruscan roads are dug in big boulder of tuff that can be even 20 metres high. They are believed to be former way of communication of sacred path, linking Pitigliano with many other place and towns, such as Sovana, Sorano and Poggio Buco, or leading to necropolis.
The charm of these locations is beyond words: the light filters from above, illuminating and colouring the tuff gold, red, pink or even black. Green is the dominating colour where sunbeam cannot reach the ground. Green are the musk and the ferns, born all along the tuff walls.
Down the Vie Cave, the air cools down considerably as compared to the outside temperature: this sensation makes the visitor fell like being in another dimension, belonging to an ancient and disappeared civilization.
Our guests will be able to walk down the Vie Cave accompanied by a professional excursion guide, who organises trekking all along these paths, and get a special discount.
Un luogo così incantato non poteva non ottenere il riconoscimento di “Borgo più bello d’Italia” dal Touring Club Italiano, nel 2015 è anche arrivato quarto al concorso del “Borgo dei Borghi” realizzato dalla trasmissione televisiva “Alle falde del Kilimangiaro” su Rai Tre. Dal TCI ha ricevuto anche la “Bandiera Arancione” grazie al valore del patrimonio storico, culturale, ambientale e all’accoglienza di qualità, che questo paese sa offrire al turista.
Such an enchanted location like this inevitably got the recognition of “I borghi più belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful villages of Italy) from the Italian Touring Club. In 2015 it got the 4th place at the competition “Borgo dei Borghi” (Village of Villages) realized by the Italian broadcast “Alle falde del Kilimangiaro”, transmitted on the Italian channel “RAI 3”. It received the prize “Orange Flag” by the TBNE, thanks to its historical, cultural and environmental value and to the good hospitality it can offer to all the tourist coming to visit it.