Pitigliano has been the first stop of #TooMuchMaremma and I got stunned from its beauty, but also from its unknowing about travelers and tourists.
Pitigliano, the rupestrian city of Maremma
Legend has it that the city got its name from two Romans took here to escape from Rome with a gold crown, that were called Petilio and Ciliano. But the origins dates back earlier in the Prehistory as attested by several rupestrian caves.
Because of its strategical position Pitigliano became very important in the Middle Ages and later on thanks to the Orsini family, important Roman family who lived here. Then in 1562 the city passed under the control of the government of Florence and the Medici family and then became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Since it it has been the frontier town between the Grand Duchy and the Papal States for sever hundreds years, Pitigliano has been home of a large Jewish Community, that nicknamed it the Little Jerusalem.
TooMuch to see
Every single street is an incredible view. On the first day I took more than 300 pictures in a few hours because of its stunning beauty. So the first suggestion is to walk all around and get lost in the maze of the old center.
Then start your visit to the main museums, monuments and sightseeings, such as the imposing Palazzo Orsini, large complex built in different ages housing the Diocesan Museum and the Archaeological Museum. In the main square you can see the Medicean aqueduct and the Fountain of the seven taps.
On the opposite side of Piazza della Repubblica there is a spectacular panoramic terrace where you find also the statue to the Villan with his donkey, that is the center of the old city. Then move to the Duomo, that has a nice Baroque facade and a tall clock tower, while on the side you can admire the Column of the Orsini family, richly decorated.
Going on following the street you arrive to the oldest church of Pitigliano, the Church of Santa Maria and San Rocco, dating back to 13th century. From the church take the street on your right heading back to Piazza Repubblica to visit the Little Jerusalem, the Jewish district. Nowadays the Jewish community is non longer alive, and the entire district has been transformed into a large Jewish museum where you can admire the beautiful Synagogue, the ancient wine cellars and bakery. Next to the museum there is a bakery where you can still buy Jewish food.
TooMuchPictures – where to take the best pictures
To take great pictures of Pitigliano you should drive to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, about 2 km from the center where you get it all and walk to Via San Michele, in the new part of the city.
As I said before, just get lost and walk all around the center because every single street and door should be pictured!
In the old center there are several shops where you can buy souvenirs and other gifts, such as the nice bags by Jutta Dorste (i got a lovely gray shoulder bag). Then I suggest you try the restaurant Il Tufo Allegro, where the chef Domenico guides you through the traditional cuisine with local and organic food. Everything is made by hand with passion and high quality products. Every day you have fresh pasta, bread and grissini, as well as dessert and pastries! Try one of the special menu, so that you’re sure to taste everything and don’t forget to order fagioli del purgatorio, delicious small beans served with oil and leave space for the ricotta cheese dessert ;).
Last but non least I recommend the lovely B&B La Casa dei Carrai, owned by Cinzia and her cute daughters. The atmosphere is familiar and cozy, rooms are clean, comfortable and furnished with love and lots of beautiful details. I really felt home!
The pink house was her grandma’s house and she really cares about it. Each room has a different name and its own bathroom. It’s furnished in a fancy antique style but with all the modern comforts, such as free wi-fi connection! Also breakfast is good, especially the handmade jams and fresh cakes. In addition you can use the kitchen if you want to prepare your dinner or lunch.
If you’re in PItigliano for a few days I then recommend you visit the Archaeological area Manzi and the Via Cava of Gradone. Then you can experience a bit of Maremma thanks to Just in Toscana, organizing coll activities in the area. For more information Raffella at Pro-Loco can help you!
Good and bad news
What I like are the numerous fountains around the city where you can drink and fill in your bottle. What I didn’t like about Pitigliano is the cultural ignorance of local people. They really don’t understand what means to live in a stunning place like Pitigliano, failing to preserve it. For example they drive through the old center ignoring bans, tourists and so on. Be patient and visit this great city in Southern Maremma!
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