Planning a trip to Tuscany and find yourself asking “Is Pitigliano Italy worth visiting?” Yes, Pitigliano is worth visiting because it is one of the most beautiful, non-touristy towns in Tuscany, Italy. Plus, it’s located just 35 minutes from the Saturnia thermal baths making for the perfect day trip in the Grosseto region of Tuscany.
Why Pitigliano is Worth Visiting
Pitigliano, Italy dates back to 1636! This means the Centro (city center) streets are too small for modern cars. The silence is poetically peaceful in Pitigliano making it one of my favorite non-touristy towns in Tuscany. Lori Zaino in fact, recently named Pitigliano one of the 19 most beautiful villages in Italy in her article for The Points Guy.
Pitigliano, Italy Photo Gallery
See the most beautiful non-touristy town in Tuscany.
Getting to Pitigliano from Florence
So why have so few American tourists heard of Pitigliano? Location! Pitigliano is one of the sides of Italy that fewer American tourists have the time to see because of its remote location.
Getting to Pitigliano from Florence takes two and a half hours by car and five hours by train. Getting to Pitigliano from Rome takes two hours by car and an inexplicable six hours by train. Plus, parking in Pitigliano is minimal and most of it is outside the city center (centro).
Unless one is prepared to drive in Italy, this gem might indeed remain hidden. The reward for those willing to travel out of the way just a bit? Pitigliano is the Loveliest Non-Touristy Town in Tuscany!
Pitigliano is Famous for Being the Little Jerusalem of Italy
Known as Italy’s “Little Jerusalem,” Pitigliano rises out of volcanic rock, a village founded by the Etruscans that once had a thriving Jewish community. A walk through the Jewish quarter is a must, as well as a trip to the Orsini Palace and Museum.LORI ZAINO FOR THE POINTS GUY
What Pitigliano is Known For That Makes it Worth a Visit
Pitigliano is also one of the architecturally most stunning towns in southern Tuscany. Driving into town, Pitigliano rises out of the side of a tuff spur.
It is Worth Visiting Pitigliano Because it’s a Tuff Rock City
Like Sovana and Sorano, Pitigliano is a city carved out of Tufaceous or “Tuff” rock (volcanic rock). Collectively these cities are known as Città del Tufo (Cities of Tufo).
Medici Aqueduct of Pitigliano
Made entirely from locally sourced volcanic tuff rock, the Medici Aqueduct is one of the most iconic monuments in Pitigliano. Built between 1636 and 1639, the Medici Aqueduct brought running water to Pitigliano. Commissioned by the Medici family it has remained an artfully built example of early aqueducts. 13 small arches were added during 18th-century restorations, connecting the aqueduct to the walls of Pitigliano.
This is the Acquedotto Mediceo (Medici Aqueduct) of Pitigliano at sunset.
I love the poetic empty space. In Italy even when no one is around, water still flows from the fountains. It’s hard to believe something so graceful can be so strong and so old!
What is an Aqueduct?
Oxford defines an aqueduct as an artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge across a valley or other gap.
Fun fact, the first aqueduct in Tuscany was the Asciano Aqueduct in Pisa, Italy dating all the way back to 1592. Curious to see a giant aqueduct? Paolo also captured pictures of the Spoleto, Italy Aqueduct in Umbria.
I’m dying to hunt down details around Pitigliano like this fountainhead that I saw on the Medici Aqueduct. Can’t you just see getting your daily water supply from this guy?
Pitigliano Is Famous For Being The Little Jerusalem of Italy
In a recent article about nicknames for Italy, I noted that Pitigliano nicknamed Little Jerusalem. Historically a fraction of the Jewish community fled persecution in Rome and found refuge in Pitigliano. The Pitigliano Synagogue they built in 1598 became an important monument in Italy’s history.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Pitigliano
Perhaps the best part of visiting Pitigliano, Italy is its central location which offers countless options for day trips. Pitigliano is near the Saturnia thermal baths, Sorano, and the most beautiful section of the Tuscan coast, Porto Ercole.
For Italian villages, there is no correlation between beauty and the number of tourists who get to see it. If anything there is a correlation of opposition. The more beautiful a little village in Italy is, the fewer tourists get to see it. There are sides of Italy only revealed to people who live here. Those who are not in a rush and have no other place to be.
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