pitigliano 4

Though it is still far from the usual routes of mass tourism, Pitigliano is perhaps, to the visitor coming from outside, the most uniquely spectacular of all large “borghi” in Tuscany. Perched high on a tufaceous rock spur with a sheer drop on three sides, and surrounded by green valleys below, Pitigliano offers an unforgettable, breathtaking vision from afar. The majestic acqueduct from the time of the Medici, with its large arches, adds to the imposing view. Walking through the many alleys in the village will allow you to come in touch with the diverse traditions and peoples of its inhabitants through the centuries: Etruscans, Romans, and later the powerful noble families of the Aldobrandeschi, Orsini, and Medici. For both its look and ancient tradition (it was home to a flourishing, important Jewish community since the middle Ages) Pitigliano is also known as the “Little Jerusalem”. There is a museum devoted to Jewish traditions, and traces of them can be found also in the typical cuisine of the borgo.

Just a few steps away, also set on a steep tuff spur, are two smaller medieval borghi, Sorano and Sovana, both highly picturesque and surrounded by uncontaminated and luxuriant groves. Their particular position allows one, just turning the corner of a narrow alley or an ancient building, to glimpse impressive views of the rugged rocks and vegetation below. The surrounding area is rich with Etruscan archaeological testimonies, such as rock paintings and architectures, pathways carved in the rock, and necropolis: a new, surprising and slightly uncanny discovery for any tourist.

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