Discover Maremma Pitigliano
di Baia Azzurra Resort
In the south-eastern part of the province of Grosseto there is an area of rare beauty and indisputable charm where nature, even more than in other areas of the Maremma, is uncontaminated and engaging. Nestled in the rocks of tuff and surrounded by the hot thermal waters (Terme di Saturnia, Sorano and Terme San Filippo), the Tuff area with its panoramas, its fabulous villages and the wonderful nature surrounding it, is one of the most charming areas of Italy.
The tuff area is famous for the Vie Cave, an evocative road network excavated in the tuff that connects the towns of Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana. Even today it is unknown why the Etruscans built these streets, probably for war purposes or to connect the numerous necropolis and tombs that are found in this area.
Pitigliano lies in the extreme south of Tuscany, on the border with Lazio. Leaning on a huge tuff block and bordered by green valleys crossed by the Lente and Maleta Rivers, it appears to visitors in a fabulous setting. Pitigliano still retains memories of its ancient past, of the various civilizations and cultures that have evolved over the centuries. After the first prehistoric settlements, it was inhabited by the Etruscans, the Romans and then passed under the rule of the Aldobrandesco branch of the Orsini family, and after a brief Sienese rule, the Medici and Lorena families followed and stimulated an important phase of urban development and modernization.
Pitigliano is also known as Little Jerusalem because, thanks to its proximity to Rome, the fleeing Jews often found refuge there and integrated so well with the social context that they had their own synagogue in the city.
The visit can begin of the village from Piazza Garibaldi, following the pedestrian itinerary.
Monuments and many typical shops crowd the alleys and give tourists a journey into the history and culture of this wonderful pearl of Tuscany.
It is well worth visiting the sixteenth century Sette Cannelle Fountain, and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, dating back to the Middle Ages, characterized by a late baroque façade and a baroque interior with a single nave.
You can then continue the visit of the town with the imposing Palazzo Orsini where you can appreciate the works of silver and goldsmiths, canvas paintings, precious fabrics from the area and, in the "Loggette" hall, admire the cycle of frescoes depicting portraits of the Orsini Counts.
Absolutely not to miss is the Jewish path joining the Museum, Synagogue and Ghetto, an authentic journey into the culture of Pitigliano.
Sorano and Sovana
Just a few kilometres from Pitigliano lies the oldest of the tuff villages, also this awarded with the Orange Touring Flag: Sorano.
Grasping onto a tuff spur and bordered on three sides by the Lente River, the village of Sorano offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in a typically medieval atmosphere.
Its uncontaminated nature offers pictorial views and musical silences; the artisan workshops and the visit of the deep ravines flowing through the creek accompany the tourist into the heart of the village, that is gathered around the fortress.
It is well worth visiting the Middle Ages Museum and the Renaissance Orsini Fortress.
About 9 kilometres from Sorano is one of the most beautiful and fascinating villages in Italy: Sovana, village of the Aldobrandesco family and Pope Gregory VII.
Sovana, with its Etruscan tombs and necropolises, is part of the Tuff Cities Archaeological Park.
Among the architectural wonders are the Sovana Duomo, a great cathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, the churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Mamiliano and the chapel of San Sebastiano.
A corner worth visiting is the Pretorio Square where, besides the Pretorio Palace, many of the city's buildings stand, like the Loggia del Capitano and Bourbon Palace.