Pitigliano is located in a territory full of interesting sites, with archeological and natural itineraries, good food and excellent wine and olive oil. It is therefore the ideal starting point for unforgettable trips and tours to discover landscapes, fragrances, flavours and traditions of Tuscan Maremma and beyond.
The village seen at sunset from the church of the “Madonna delle Grazie”, that was built as a votive offering during the plague of 1580, is an unforgettable sight. Even the air is permeated with civilizations and cultures that changed through unpredictable logic of the times: the prehistoric and the Etruscan ages, the Roman period that unified different people under a single order; the Medieval world of the Aldobrandeschi, the largest Central Italy dynasty, lords of the Maremma for almost half a millennium; the Renaissance grandeur of the noble Roman family of the Orsini, and after a brief presence of the Sienese, the Medices and their heirs, the Lorraines. The village is dominated by the Orsini palace-fortress. The sixteenth century church of San Rocco is at “Capisotto”, while the baroque cathedral stands in the square named after Gregory VII. The Jewish Synagogue is at the “ghetto”.
• The Etruscan in Tuscany
Etruscan origins of Pitigliano are documented by the very regular blocks of tufa embedded in the circle medieval wallsand visible to the gateway named “Capisotto”. Around the city, several cemeteries extend inside tufa rock, a typical material of Vulci area too. Like Sorano and Sovana, Pitigliano have numerous and spectacular Etruscan “cuts”, roads carved into the tufa, which is the dominant geological feature of this area of southern interior Etruria. In 1995 an Archaeological Museum which houses a thousand pieces, mainly from nearby necropolis of Poggio Buco was inaugurated in Pitigliano.
• Necropolis di Poggio Buco
Poggio Buco is located about 8 km from Manciano not far from the main road leading to Pitigliano. There was certainly an important Etruscan city, perhaps the Statonia mentioned by Pliny: in fact in a grave were found numerous rocket-acorns (lead bullets that were fired with a slingshot) with over them the name “statnes” that could be precisely the Etruscan word translation of Latin Statonia. The cemeteries are big and testify an Etruscan presence already since Villanova with a period of greater prosperity between the VII and VI cent.
• Saturnia SPA
Saturnia thermal baths are famous in the world for the remarkable hot springs. It is sulphurous – carbonic – sulfate – sodium bicarbonate – alkaline and earth water that flows from underground at a rate of 800 liters per second at a constant temperature of 37 °. Thanks to its special composition and its natural temperature, the water of Saturnia has stimulating and healthy effects on the skin, respiratory and musculature-skeletal system. You can bathe in the famous Mill Falls, waterfalls and limestone formed from the natural spring located in the middle of the countryside a few miles from the center of Saturnia.
Scansano is an ancient medieval farm settlement, located on a hill, which overlooks the surrounding areas. In addition to buildings of architectural interest, Scansano certainly has the merit of being the area of producing a wine that, year after year, has conquered a place of honor and a special mention among the renowned wines of Tuscany: Morellino of Scansano. Scansano, thanks to the many wineries and restaurants, offers a visit particularly suited to wine.
The area of Sorano is rich in traces of the past, from prehistoric caves to the Etruscan necropolis, until the settlements and monuments of medieval and Renaissance period. It’s still strong presence of the past that characterizes the area and is appealing. A bit from anywhere in and around Sorano artificial caves are used since ancient times as houses or to guard the urns (the famous “columbarium”). Tufa was transformed here in every way, from the Etruscan “vie cave” to the wine cellars that each farmer digs with a hammer and chisel in order to preserve the wine (often you get to go 50 meters deep!),from the numerous decorations and shields to the architectural details placed in the most unexpected sites, as far as the most important works as the imposing fortresses of Sorano and Pitigliano, or whole mountains moulded as sand castles (called Masso Leopoldino around which is perched the village of Sorano).
Primitive settlement of farmers and shepherds on banks of ancient river Armine (now called Fiora), became a flourishing Etruscan city in the seventh century B.C. with the name of Suana. Conquered by the Romans in the third century B.C., though the inhabitants preserved culture, art, language and script of the Etruscan civilization. From the ninth century was the cradle of Aldobrandeschi family and home to Pope Gregory VII, but reached the peak of its glory to the thirteenth century with counts Umberto and Guglielmo. In this period the most important buildings were built in the main square. With the death of the Countess Margaret Aldobrandeschi dynasty died and for next century the Orsini Counts dominated the territory, until 1411 when the city was conquered and sacked by the Republic of Siena. Risen in recent decades thanks to the discovery of an important Etruscan necropolis, Sovana is now a picturesque village with about 100 residents visited by researchers and tourists.