All around here are tombs and designated trails can be taken throughout the hills surrounding the town. They are to see the Etruscan carved out quarters that they used for tombs and to live in, or store goods. It is kind of eerie going into the pathes because it gets dark from the overgrowth of vegetation and things are green and moldy due to lack of sunlight. Most of the tour areas are between Pitigliano and Sovano, a small village close to here. It has the Etruscan Archaeological Necropoli park.
The main street separates right after the Orsini fortress location. You can go up the slight hill either way and arrive at the top. Along the way are shops and typical houses for residents in an everyday living environment. The good thing about the town is there was not a lot of tourists in October and trinkets were kept to a minimum.
The main entrance to the town is right at the walls of the Orsini fortress. In fact this is a crossroads for travelers going up further into the hills and another that goes through the back streets of the more "modern" town and up to another via to the hills. It is cramped to say the least with traffic and people trying to make the turns up the sheer winding streets. Buses have to make about three tries to make a turn.
The town is older than rock-litteraly at least the same age. It was first used in 2000BC and the Etruscans made it a growing community about 6th century BC. They dug out caves in the tufa stone to live and as tombs. As well then, the town was evolving on top of the hill, which is 1000 high. The Aldobrandeschi family got control after the Roman era around 1100 AD, and held the territory until around 1300 when the Orsini family took over the area through marriage contract. In 1604 Fernanando I, the Grand Duke of Tuscany wrestled control of the area from Orsini's.
It is one of the more popular pictures taken due to the magnificent panorama of the town sitting on top of the stone cliffs. A Jewish population settled here in late 1400's/moved out later/due to the tolerance from persecution.
The Orsini fortress is a second revamped from the first in 1545. It has a very nice museo at the first level, and a Dicocesan Museum of Scared art works/paintings. The fortress area combines with the Duomo on site. It overlooks rest of village and has great views of the surrounding area. The tour inside is nice a a fair amount of things to see. Worth the money. The rest of the town walking up toward the peak of the hill is all residential and some small shops of local residents. It is a very nice stone facings of round rocks.
In nearby Sorana and Sovana there are some wonderful evocative Etruscan remnants and, for me, none more so than the Via Cava.
This oh-so-ancient via is carved out of the tufa and even today you can imagine people and livestock walking along this amazing track. Here and there are tombs hewn out of the rock, tempting one to ponder on who was buried here and why.
I like to think I have a "feel" for history and this is a place where I found it wondrous and almost overwhelming. Over 2,000 years ago people walked on this very trail and I was there on my own while a light snowfall drifted all around me. It was one of those unforgettable moments of travelling.
This here was a first for me, when we got to this place I thought something was wrong, The water was going over the road instead of under, it toke me a moment to realize that?s what it was suppose to do, that there was nothing wrong. But still wired. Well at least the road is clean all the time, and here you can see a fish cross a street lol
And here is that view of the only road in town and that leads to the parking lot I was just talking about in my last tip. So you cross the bridge up the winding road and drive along the side of the town to where I am right here.
Here you see the main square, as soon as you enter the town by car, here there is a big parking area where you can park your car not free. And then go and see the town. There was this wonderful fountain with crystal clean water in the center of the parking lot on one side, it was very nice. Up ahead under those arches is a wonderful view that you will see in my next tip.
Ah finnaly the bowl of soup a was talking about yummy, It?s making me hungry just looking at it. It was really good it was a been soup, but he added some spices and some olive oil on the surfaces and the bread went down really well. How much 7 euros that?s 9$60 Canadian so 4 would be 38$55 that?s just the soup no drinks or desert. I look at my wife and thought this guy is robbing us, is it because he knows where tourist and he wont see us again. But I paid and learned later that. # 1 you ask how much before you order # 2 it doesn?t matter where you go the price of a bowl of soup is between 6/7 euros. # 3 when in a restaurant in many places they will give you a menu with no prices so ask for one with the prices # 4 in some restaurants it is cheaper 1/2 euros to take takeout, then to eat in the restaurant. So a learned this the hard way. lol
This was funny when my son Ricardo saw this car he thought it was a toy and not real. So he opened the door that was not locked and jumped right in. I came over and said hey what are you doing this is a real car not a toy. And he look at me like, yeh right. Lol
Here we got to the main plaza deep in the town of Pitigliano where we all had a delicious bowl of soup (well at lest I did) at the restaurant with the yellow sun umbrella. My wife and kids did not like the soup very much, but I put it down pretty good and then my wife?s and thene one of my kid?s, Man I was full lol. It was really good soup. They had something ells to eat.
Now as we where driving down the road we came to a lookout point of Pitigliano, and we where wow away of the amazing view of the hill town. It is really beautiful to see from afar. And it look's like it is growing from the rock that is it's foundation
per il momento ve lo dico in italiano :
Pare che la presenza ebraica in questo paese, risalga al 13° secolo e sia legata al fatto che il medico personale del conte Orsini fosse, appunto, di religione ebraica.
Ottenuto il permesso di seppellire i propri cari nei pressi della città, si venne a creare una piccola comunità che esiste tuttora.
The history of the Jewish community of Pitigliano is extraordinary. Since the middle of the 16th century more and more Jews came to Pitigliano. Partly owed to the fact that they were forced out of the Papal States (the border to Latio, a former papal territory is only 5 km away) As time passed a flourishing Jewish community life developed here.
Underneath the cathedral, in the former Ghetto (entrance just past the tunnel on Via Zuccarelli) you can visit the restored synagogue and the Forno delle Azzime (a disused kosher bakery), evidence of the once flourishing Jewish culture of Pitigliano.
This town has a definite medieval feel to it, reminiscent of, say, Gubbio or Assisi and nowhere is it better exemplified than in the Piazza S. Gregorio VII where the wear and tear of ages can be seen in the weathered buildings and the bear statue (symbol of the Orsini's), dated 1490, shown here.
Even the narrow laneways lined with shops leading to the piazza evoke thoughts of times past.
This is the main road into Pitigliano, enticing you onwards away from the valley of Lente as the town towers above you, looking distinctly medieval.
By the roadside however, you can't help but notice storage areas dug into the tufa. These are converted Etruscan tombs and, here and there, you can glimpse the old Etruscan roadways.
In this photo you can clearly see the storage areas right next to the winding roadway.