20 Dec Vacation in the tuff stone village in Pitigliano
Take a few days of rest and come to discover Maremma. A vacation with the whole family on discovery of the tuff stone town, starting from Pitigliano.
A walk in the village of Pitigliano
Legend says that it was founded by two young Romans, Petilio and Celano, fleeing from Rome for having stolen the golden crown of Jupiter. The historical record tells us that this community has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and that the arrival of the Etruscans brought an intense period of development. Embedded in the overhanging tuff stone walls, it houses ancient treasures to explore within, like Palazzo Orsini, having belonged originally to the Aldobrandeschi family, today seat of the Archeological Museum of the the Diocesan Archive and of the Library.
In the courtyard you can admire the monumental well in hexagonal shape with bas-relief showing the origins of the Orsini family. The Duomo dedicated to Saints Pietro and Paolo, and the medicean aqueduct, a work of cutting edge engineering, also deserve a visit.
The Quarry roads, a moving trail
Together with Sorano and Savona, Pitigliano is part of the famous tuff stone cities. The richness and the charm of the past of Pitigliano give visitors moving discoveries and fascinating beauties. The Quarry Roads date back to the Etruscan period, and have been entirely excavated out of the tuff stone rock and represent a work unique to the world.
It is not yet certain why they were constructed or for what end, but it is theorized by some that it was for defensive purposes, and used as ways of communication and trade, according to others they could have been made for the draining of water or for sacred and ritual motives. Fact is that walking one of these trails you’ll be immersed in a fairy tale atmosphere, surreal, these enormous galleries with open ceiling represent an incredible work of human ingenuity.
The Jewish quarter and the synagogue of Pitigliano
The Jewish presence in Pitiglian can be traced back to the start of the 16th century and has had a discreet growth following the papal reigns of Paolo IV and Pio V of 1555 and 1567. The Orsini family, masters of Pitigliano, gave refuge to escaping jews to allow them to build a synagogue in 1598. With the passing down of this region to the Medici family, began the first limitations, first of all the construction of the ghetto, but in the following centuries the jewish community grew and became a vital part of the community of Pitigliano.
After the Union of Itlay the jewish population began to diminish until it was sensibly diminished with the emergence of racial laws and nazi-fascist persecution. Now it houses the Jewish Museum, where objects, texts and holy vestments are displayed, and where you can admire the walls frescoed with stucco works, the pulpit in the center, with behind it the holy ark of wood and the women’s gallery higher up.
Home to culinary and wine excellencies, this part of Maremma is renowned above all for its wines, many of which are wines that benefit from IGP and DOP denominations, one fo the most renowned wines of the region is the white wine of Pitigliano. Notable is also the production and excellent quality of Kasher wine, prepared according to precise rules and requirements by Casherut.
The typical sweet wine of Pitigliano reminds also of the presence of the jewish community in the city, along with the ‘sfratto dei Goym’, a prevalent christmas dessert. Prepared with few and simple ingredients, it is a thin puff pastry with filling of nuts, honey, nutmeg and citrus.