A tuff treasure in the Tuscan countryside
On a tuff cliff in the Tuscan countryside stands the profile of Pitigliano. The entire village is built out of the local stone, which the Etruscans dug into to create tombs, hypogea and the mysterious Vie Cave, gigantic paths carved into the tuff rock.
The historic centre is a maze of alleyways and squares. The 18th-century Pitigliano Cathedral features a medieval bell tower. The 16th-century Fontana delle Sette Cannelle fountain was built by the Orsini family, who also owned Palazzo Orsini, which today houses the Museum of Etruscan Civilisation. We also recommend visiting the Medici aqueduct, with its 15 arches.
An unusual way to explore the city is by walking along the panoramic footbridge between Via Santa Chiara and Piazza della Repubblica. At 400 metres long and running along the cliff, it offers spectacular views of the valley.
Don’t miss a tour of the Jewish Ghetto. Pitigliano was nicknamed Little Jerusalem because of the large Jewish community that took refuge there after being expelled from Rome in the 16th century. You can still visit the Synagogue and try Sfratto del Goym, a traditional Jewish stick-shaped cake filled with nuts and honey.
If you are in Pitigliano on the evening of 19 March, you can witness one of its oldest traditions: the Torciata di San Giuseppe, a pre-Christian rite that celebrates the beginning of spring by setting fire to a straw effigy symbolising the dying winter.
Just outside the town are the megaliths of Poggio Rota, the Etruscan necropolis of Sovana and the hot springs of Saturnia.