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Comune di Pitigliano

Coat of arms
Location of Pitigliano in Italy
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Province of Grosseto (GR)
Frazioni Casone
 • Mayor Dino Seccarecci
 • Total 102.89 km2 (39.73 sq mi)
Elevation 313 m (1,027 ft)
Population (31 May 2007)
 • Total 4,014
 • Density 39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Demonym Pitiglianesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58017
Dialing code 0564
Patron saint St. Roch
Saint day August 16
Website Official website

Pitigliano is a town in the province of Grosseto, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south-east of the city of Grosseto, in Italy. The municipality covers an area of 102.89 square kilometres (39.73 sq mi) and has 3,971 inhabitants, with a density of 39 inhabitants per square kilometre.

The quaint old town is known as the little Jerusalem,[1] for the historical presence of a Jewish community has always been well integrated into the social context that here had their own synagogue.


Pitigliano and its area were inhabited in Etruscan times, but the first extant written mention of Pitigliano dates only to 1061. In the early 13th century, it belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, and by the middle of the century, it had become the capital of the surrounding county.

In 1293, the county passed to the Orsini family, signaling the start of 150 years of on-again, off-again wars with Siena, at the end of which, in 1455, a compromise of sorts was reached: Siena acknowledged the status of county to Pitigliano, which, in exchange, placed herself under the suzerainty of Siena.

Palazzo Orsini.

From thence onwards, the history of Pitigliano resorbs into the gradually wider ambit first of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1562), then of the united Kingdom of Italy.

Main sights

Etruscan remains

Pitigliano is home to a series of artificial cuts into the tufa rock to varying depths ranging from less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) to over 10 metres (33 ft). At the bottom of these cuts (Italian: tagliate) are carved channels, apparently for water, although some take the form of steps. The purpose of the cuts is not known: the three main theories are that they were roads, quarries, or water conveyance schemes; they radiate outward from the base of the butte of Pitigliano, down to the rivers then back to the top of the plateau that surrounds the town. A few very brief Etruscan inscriptions are said to have been found on the walls of the cuts, but are ill documented.

Medieval and Renaissance monuments

  • The former Cathedral of SS. Pietro e Paolo.
  • The church of Santa  Maria.
  • The Orsini Fortress, which achieved its present state in 1545 but represents a reworking of the earlier medieval fortress
  • the town's walls and gates, the best preserved of which is the Porta Sovana.
  • remains of a tall and very visible aqueduct at the very top of the butte.

Synagogue and Jewish community

For several hundred years Pitigliano was a frontier town between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, to the south, the Papal States. For this reason, the town was home to a flourishing and long-lived Jewish community, mostly made up by people fleeing from Rome during the Counterreformation persecutions. Jews of the town used one of the caves for their ritual Passover matzoh bakery, the "forno delle azzime" described in detail in Edda Servi Machlin's "Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews." [1] After the promulgation of racial laws under Nazi influence, all the Jews of the town reportedly escaped capture with the help of their Christian neighbors.[2] Although there are almost no Jews left in town, not enough to provide a minyan, the synagogue (1598, with furnishings of the 17th and 18th centuries) is still officiated from time to time. It was restored in 1995.


The Tempietto ("Small temple") is a small cave, probably of natural origin but considerably reworked by human hands, lying a few hundred meters outside the central district, yet far above the Lente valley. Its purpose and builders remain unknown. Locally it is referred to as a "paleochristian tempietto", but this has never been confirmed; it must date to Late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages, although it may replace an Etruscan or Roman arcosolium[3].

Physical geography


The municipal area of Pitigliano lies in the western part of 'Area del Tufo. It is bordered to the north by the town of Sorano, south-east with the municipalities of Latium Farnese, Ischia di Castro, Latera and Vale from which is bordered from the north end of the Lamone, west with the town of Manciano.

Arriving by sea in Pitigliano, Maremma climbing the Highway 74, visitors can see the features houses that protrude from a large outcrop of tufa, very sheer. The cliff of Pitigliano is surrounded on three sides by many ravines, full of caves dug into the tuff in the valley flow the rivers lens, and Meleta Prochio.

The municipal share rises to hills that vary between 300 and 663 metres (984 and 2,175 ft) above sea level of Poggio Evangelista, which marks the border with Lazio at the east end, and the area of the Paduletto Pantanello has undergone rehabilitation in the Lorraine period.[2]

  • Hardness: Zone 3 (low seismicity), PCM Ordinance 3274 of 20/03/2003


The municipal area of Pitigliano, while presenting diverse local situations on the basis of 'topography is characterized by rather low winter temperatures, which can occur during prolonged periods, despite the daily maximum values are often pleasing on the contrary, in summer the heat can be very intense, though usually accompanied by low relative humidity.

Consequently, the town has been classified in zone E with a sum of 2195 degree days, allowing the power of heating between October 15 and April 15, up to a maximum of 14 hours per day.

According to data available for the 30-year average 1951–80 for the only weather station located within the municipal area and in the table below,[3] the average annual temperature is about 14.1 °C (57.4 °F) at 313 metres (1,027 ft) above sea level in Pitigliano, while the average annual rainfall is 926 millimetres (36.5 in).

Location Elevation Thermodynamic temperature
average annual
average annual
Reference average
Pitigliano 313 metres (1,027 ft) above sea level 14.1 °C (57.4 °F) 926 millimetres (36.5 in) 1951–80
  • Climate classification: E Zone, 2195 GG
  • Atmospheric diffusion: high, Ibimet CNR 2002


Religious architecture

Old town

The historic center is characterized mainly by the 16th-century synagogue, in which the Aron stand on the back wall and the center Tevah; preserved inscriptions on the walls are Bible verses while overhead the women's gallery is reserved for women. Under the Jewish temple are the venues for the ritual bath, the striking of unleavened oven, the kosher butcher, the kosher winery and Dyeing. The ancient Ghetto revolved around the synagogue along the present path Zuccarelli and in some lanes that originate from this road onto the alley Goito you reach the Old Mill Pelliccetti who was serving the Jewish community.
Church of Santa Maria and San Rocco
Built in medieval times on an old pagan temple and restored in the late-Renaissance forms, occurs in an unusual classroom trapezoid divided into three aisles which are preserved some traces of frescoes.
Cathedral of Pitigliano
The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was built in medieval times, remodeled during the 16th century and profoundly changed in subsequent periods. The late Baroque façade is flanked on the left from the bell tower that has plastered the bottom over which it has maintained its original appearance in tufa from the medieval times. The interior of the cathedral, baroque nave with side chapels, houses various works of art ranging mainly between the seventeenth and the 19th century. The cathedral overlooks the Piazza San Gregorio, which is home to the Palace of the Community and the Palace of Justice.
Oratory of the Holy Cross
Small 17th century religious building located not far from the Cathedral Square in Gregory VII, which can be accessed from the loggia of the Palazzo della Fiscaleria towards Via Manin.
Church of St. Anthony
Religious building built during the 13th century on Via Zuccarelli, was transformed and used as a civilian after his final abandonment and subsequent desecration. On the front there are elements that testify to the religious past.
Church of San Rocco
Built during the Renaissance and the alley between Via Vignoli of San Rocco, was also transformed as a result of its abandonment and subsequent desecration. The facade has remained a niche containing a statue.

Outside the walls

Oratory Rock
At the gate of Sovana are found stretches of Etruscan walls and numerous caves dug into the tuff, once Etruscan tombs that were later transformed into the current wineries, among them is to remember the quaint Oratory Rock, small cave used as a place of worship dating back the 4th century that opens in a rock along the road to Sovana.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta
19th-century church built outside the walls, in Piazza Dante Alighieri, in the eastern suburb that was developing at that time. Romanesque Revival style, is remarkable for its bell tower, which rises near.
Church of San Michele
Built in medieval times along the road outside the walls of the same name, the religious building was expanded during the 18th century with the construction of the rectangular nave. After being abandoned, has been modified, transformed and used for civil purposes.
Church of Our Lady of the Flowers
Built as a chapel during the Renaissance, is along the same name on the outside walls. In later centuries, the religious building was enlarged, while retaining the original design elements discretely from the 16th century.
Jewish cemetery
Beyond the stream Meleta that borders the village to the south, is worth visiting the Jewish cemetery, built in the second half of the 16th century when the Orsini conceded that land to their family doctor for a Jewish burial of his wife. Near the Jewish cemetery lies the open air museum Alberto Manzi.
Chapel of the Holy Apostles James and Philip
Encircled just outside the town along the Vie Cave Gradone the south of the historic center, is a small rural chapel recently restored, which has retained the stylistic elements typical of the period of construction.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace
Pitigliano is situated on a cliff of tuff, its spectacular scenic view, coming from Manchester, the hairpin before the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace. This religious building, built in the late medieval period as a rural chapel was transformed into a shrine to the Virgin during the 16th century and expanded in subsequent periods when the site became home to a community of Franciscans until the second half of the 18th century.
Church of San Francesco
Built outside the walls during the Renaissance, and together with the nearby monastery of the same name at the behest of the Orsini, was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The religious building, partially destroyed by fire in the early 20th century, stands on the hill Strozzoni north of the center.
Convent of St. Francis
Also situated on the hill Strozzoni just outside the historic center, is located near the church of the claim is coeval. Currently used as a rural dwelling, retains the impressive cloister century designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.

In the region

Chapel of San Lorenzo
Located at the eponymous farm near the south-east of Pitigliano, is a church desecrated, which was built during the 17th century as a rural chapel, which have been preserved architectural elements dating back to the source.
Church of St. Paul of the Cross
Built as a chapel near the rural town of Casone, was totally transformed and expanded in the early 20th century, with neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic style elements and the addition of the bell tower and sacristy.
Chapel of Pian di Morrano
Small 18th-century chapel, built at the farm of the same name, the claim is located on the back. In the past, was a place of prayer and celebration of religious functions for factors and for workers.
Church of Santa Maria in Vinca
The archaeological remains of the church of medieval origin located at the necropolis of Poggio Buco. The religious building was built near the existing Etruscan town, by some scholars identified with the ancient Statonia.[4]

Civil architectures

Medicean Aqueduct
The impressive aqueduct was built from the mid-16th century to pump water from nearby streams to the town. It was only completed in the next century when Pitigliano had passed under the domination of the Medici.
Fountain of seven taps
Feature fountain built in the mid-16th century at the head of 'Medici Aqueduct, which receives the water that feeds it. The monumental fountain closes the south side of Piazza della Repubblica.
Twin fountains
Pair of fountains, one located in the north and the other in the south of Republic Square. Were built in the early 20th century, recalling elements from the Baroque period.
Palazzo Orsini
Entering the old town on the east side, introduces the ancient fortress of Bastion of the Citadel Square, now called Piazza Garibaldi, where the building that houses the Town Hall and the Teatro Salvini. The area of the castle extends up to the Piazza della Repubblica and is dominated by the imposing Orsini Palace, seat of the county, which was built on an old Franciscan monastery and is presented in the 16th century forms of intervention Antonio da Sangallo occurred during the Renaissance. The complex, elegant lines, houses the Diocesan Museum, which houses various works of art ranging from the late Middle Ages, baroque era, in another wing you can find the Archeological Museum of the Etruscan civilization which houses various artifacts from nearby archaeological sites, particularly that of Poggio Buco, where stood the ancient city of Statonia. On the south side of Piazza della Repubblica is a water tank dating from the 18th century, which corresponded to the ancient sources, from this side of the square is a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. The external current is greatly compromised by bad plastering imposed by the Superintendency of Artistic and Cultural Heritage of Siena and Grosseto.
Well Palazzo Orsini
Characteristic well-tank Renaissance, located in the courtyard of the Palazzo Orsini. It is characterized by fine bas-relief decorations depicting the lineage of the Counts of Pitigliano.
Teatro Salvini
Town Hall
Sadun palace
Imposing building built in the late 19th century in the town square next to town hall and under the rock. The family Sadun, of Jewish descent, had interests in mining and agricultural character. It has a square shape and has massive elegant stucco cornices and moldings.
Palace Lucci-Petruccioli
Dating palace
Palace of the District Court
Hall of Justice]]
Old hospital
Hospital of the Poor
Palace Vignoli
Writing of fortresses
Palace Bruscalupi
Palace Santelli
Palazzo del Monte di Pieta
Orsini Gate Park
Farm plan
Farm Terralba
Fattoria di Pian di Morrano

Military architecture

The primordial walls were built by the Etruscans from the 7th century BC. Later, in medieval times were extended by the Aldobrandeschi and further fortified by the Orsini in the Renaissance period, when he commissioned the Florentine architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to give a more impressive structure of the entire defensive perimeter. Entire circle still remain some stretches, with bastions and gates.

Port of Sovana
The gate was built in the 13th century by the Aldobrandeschi, near the stretch of the Etruscan walls, to allow access to the village to those who came from Sovana, then capital of the county aldobrandesca through the Vie Cave.
Gate of the Citadel
The gate was built during the 16th century during the work on retraining and upgrading of existing defenses. The door is a real gallery that crosses one of the south-eastern ramparts, which allows access to the village from those coming from the east and south.


  • Eagle Castle, an ancient medieval fortress located in a wooded area near the river Fiora, which are preserved the ruins.

Archaeological Sites

  • Archaeological Park Tuff
  • Vie Cave
  • Statonia (necropolis of Poggio Buco)


Orsini Park
Open Air Museum
The Air Museum "Alberto Manzi" in a green area to the south of the village of Pitigliano, wedged between the Jewish Cemetery and the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace. Is a thematic itinerary of art, archeology and nature, including two pathways referred to as the city of the living and the city of the dead.


Demographic trends

Ethnic minorities and foreign

According to ISTAT data to 31 December 2010, the foreign population was 163 people. The nationalities most represented according to their percentage of the total population were:

Romania 60 1.53%



The following museums are part of the "Network Museum of Maremma" (Fiora and Albegna Hills):

  • Museo Civico Archeologico e d’Arte Sacra Palazzo Corboli (Palazzo Corboli Archaeological and Sacred Art Museum )
  • Open Air Museum
  • Diocesan Museum
  • Jewish Path


  • Eviction of Pitigliano
  • Torsetto with the bubble of Pitigliano
  • Tortello sweet Pitigliano
  • Tozzetto of Pitigliano
  • Cialdino of Tufi, also produced in Sorano and Sovana.
  • Focaccia Bastard of Pitigliano
  • Focaccia Easter Pitigliano
  • Migliaccia of Pitigliano
  • Pancakes of St. Joseph of Pitigliano

The area surrounding Pitigliano is the area of wine production and wine Bianco di Pitigliano Sovana Rosso, each with some variations according to production specifications.

Figures involved in Pitigliano


Torciata of St. Joseph in Piazza Garibaldi.
Costumed and torciatori
  • March 19, Torciata traditional St. Joseph. And 'an event held to coincide with the end of winter to celebrate the arrival of spring and involves, by actors and spectators, the people of Pitigliano. Theatre of the representation is the Historic Centre of the country. Fifteenth in costumes give rise to the Historical Parade. Accompanied by flag bearers head to Piazza Garibaldi, where, in the days preceding the event, is hoisted up a puppet of rods, representing the winter, in the dialect invernacciu. The set is lined up on the steps of City Hall and the flag-wavers perform around all'invernacciu. At dusk, the signal of three blasts on the trumpet, forty torciatori, clothes you know, start to climb towards the country starting from the Vie Cave Gradone, Meleta along the river, ascending from the Selciata, ancient entrance to the country, bringing in shoulder bundles of reeds on. The procession of torciatori, the head of which the porters with the statue of the saint, enter the square. I will have around torciatori all'invernacciu and, after the blessing, with their lighted torches at the base of the doll, they create a huge bonfire, around which is formed of girotorno torciatori. The fire consumed, the ashes are collected and preserved by the women in houses as a sign of good omen. During the festival will savor traditional pancakes of St. Joseph of Pitigliano.
  • in June, festivities in honor of St. Paul of the Cross to the fraction Casone
  • in August, Petilia Festival (the charm of the place, wine, music)
  • August 16, celebrations in honor of St. Rocco, patron saint of the country.
  • first weekend of September (usually Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) we celebrate the new wine with the characteristic opening of the cellar (or "Cantinelle"): locals organize real outdoor banquets, on the terraces or along the narrow streets of the ghetto, with grilled meats, dishes, wine and musical entertainment. Each Cantinella is characterized by a name (e.g. Infernu cellar, cellar cyclist etc.) and themed decorations with festoons and much more (even engines, in the case of pistons burning cellar). This event attracts tourists and inhabitants of neighboring countries.
  • first half of September, celebrations in honor of Blessed Mary of the Graces
  • September 29, the annual fair

Geography anthropogenic


  • Casone, a small rural hamlet settled the eastern end of the municipal area. In the 15th century the Count Bertoldo Orsini built a large and imposing farm house on the property, hence the name. The building is now gone, razed to the ground by bombing in 1944. There stands the church of San Paolo della Croce.




  1. ^ Pitigliano "little Jerusalem"
  2. ^ Folco Giusti (eds.). The natural history of southern Tuscany. Milan, Amilcare Pizzi, Editor, 1993. Page 519-556
  3. ^ Folco Giusti (eds.). The natural history of southern Tuscany. Milan, Amilcare Pizzi, Editor, 1993. Page 148
  4. ^ Aldo Mazzolai. Guide of Maremma. Paths between art and nature. Florence, The Letters, 1997. Page 75

See also

External links

  • of PitiglianocomuneOfficial site of the
  • Peter Petri's site
  • Thayer's Gazetteer of Italy
  • Tuscan Villas
  • The Tuff Jewel in the Tuscan Maremma
  • Photo gallery made by a UNESCO photographer

Photo galleries

  • at Webshots.Com: 1 • 2 • 3
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