posted Nov 8, 2011, 10:43 AM by Stefano Capoccioni
Pitigliano in Tuscany

Even before entering the city, Pitigliano welcomes us with a dramatic panorama. Medieval houses stand abrupt on a wall of tuff, hanging above the bluff woody valley dug by the the Olpeta, the Fiora and the Lente rivers. Every house has several floors, many under the street level. The underground is crossed by a labyrinth of cellars and caves, used by humans since the mists of time.

The city bears the signs of the Orsini family and the rule of the city state of Siena. The dwellings of the ancient town date back to the Middle Age, from the 14th century Duomo to the 16th c. Acquedotto Mediceo.

One of the most interesting district is the Jewish quarter, with steep, narrow streets that suddenly end above the rock, giving astonishing panorama of the valley below.

Hidden among the woods surrounding the town, invisible to cursory glances, from the bottom of the wall start several mysterious paths carved in the rock. Those are the “vie cave”, ancient road whose aim is still unknown. Have they been dug for road networking? Or for ritual purposes? Were they channels to dominate the water flow? They've been probably excavated by the Etruscan, and many of them can be found in the neighborhood, from Pitigliano to Sovana, Sorano, but there is no reliable information about them. We can just walk and merge with the history.