Pitigliano is an old town located in the province of Grosetto, Italy. The town has captured the essence of Italy since the Bronze Age, before 2000BC. It has been inhabited by human beings continuously for millennia, meaning it is the best place to get a glimpse through human history. One of its modern nicknames is Little Jerusalem, a name that came from the large Jewish population. The Jewish population has been around since the 15th century. It is easy to get lost in the magic of Pitigliano, so you can make a list of some places you have to visit. In this guide, we will cover some of the most important things you should do and places you should see in the town.
Pitigliano was home to the Etruscan civilisation at around 500BC. This civilisation was a great influence on ancient Rome, and some of their works can still be seen in and around Pitigliano. The most famous remains are some cuts on the tufa rock. At the bottom of these cuts, you will be able to see curved channels, some of which resemble steps. It is unclear what the people intended to achieve with these tunnels, but archaeologists know that they had to move more than 40,000 tons of volcanic rock to make the curves. Some old documents have indicated that these remains had some Etruscan encryptions, but these documents have never been verified.
Being an old town, Pitigliano has many old structures. Many of these have been maintained properly over the years. Some buildings you need to see include the Church of Santa Maria, the former cathedral of Santi Pietro e Paolo, and the Orsini Fortress. The Santi Pietro e Paolo church was originally built around 1066, but it has undergone extensive reconstruction over the centuries to a point where it now represents 18th-century architecture. The walls and gates around the town are also great representatives of ancient Etruscan and Medieval architecture.
Besides its rich history, Pitigliano is known for its world-famous vineyards and wine production. The soils of the town are able to produce some of the best white wines in the world. Some of the historic Etruscan caves and tombs are used today to store and age wine. The wines in the area are usually celebrated in an event known as the SettembrediVino, where the locals open up wine cellars that are carved from stone. When you visit the town, make sure you take a wine tasting tour in one of the better-known wineries.
Pitigliano is one of the most fascinating places in the world. It has provided a home for a large Jewish population, even in the face of the Second World War. You can visit the historic Jewish settlements in the town to enjoy a trip down memory lane. In addition to the activities listed in this guide, you should make sure you try out the great flavours of the town. You should consider joining a guided tour as they will offer you some interesting details on the history of the place.
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