Pitigliano, Tufo Town in southern Tuscany
Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
14Trip End Jun 13, 2010
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Pitigliano lies in the southern corner of Tuscany, yet it is not your typical Tuscan landscape.. with small farm houses on soft rolling hills. It is quite a stunning medieval town, perched atop a tufa ridge over 300 m above sea level. Etruscan tombs dot the cliff face and valley. The town is also known as Piccola Gerusalemme, or Little Jerusalem, because it was heavily populated at one time wtih Jews fleeing persecution in Rome
Palazzo Orsini is a 14th century fortress near the town's entrance. It's now a museum housing artworks, Etruscan finds, and a medieval torture chamber. The 15th century walls surrounding the medieval town are part of the Orsini Fortress.A 16th century Aqueduct runs along the side of town and across Via Cavour that supplied the town with water Chiesa di San Rocco is the oldest church in town, dating from the 12th century. During recent reconstruction, an ancient tomb was discovered. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was built during the Middle Ages and remodeled in the 16th century in Baroque style. Several good artworks are inside. Underground Tunnels and Caves dug into the tufa beneath the city have been in use since Etruscan times when the cliff was dotted with tombs. There's also a Christian cave chapel dating from about 400 AD that's said to be the oldest in Italy. Piazza Becherini , apparently is the best place to go for views of the valleys surrounding the city.
I want to go back to explore some of the underground tunnels and caves and the Orsini's fortress among other things, as we didn't have time. I also would like to stay late enough to see the lights come on to light up the city walls, which looked spectacular in pictures but wasn't going to happen until 930 or 10 pm the night we were there and we had dinner plans back at our B+B. But the smell of pizza in the piazza and the pictures of the town all lit up were both very compelling.. so it's back on my list of places to visit!