Pitigliano the “Little Jerusalem”

Pitigliano is a must-see during your stay at the Argentario.
Only an hour's drive for a fantastic time travel that you won't forget.

The old village

Pitigliano is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and Orange Flag, a recognition of tourist-environmental quality to the small towns of the Italian hinterland that are distinguished by an offer of excellence and quality hospitality.
The town stands imposingly, perched on a tuff cliff.
The view of the town, from the viewpoint in front of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, is spectacular, breathtaking at night!

Heart of the historic center of Pitigliano is Palazzo Orsini is certainly one of the most representative historical buildings of the village, today Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and Archaeological Museum.

An integral part of the walls of Pitigliano is the Medici Aqueduct, a magnificent hydraulic work that allowed the supply of water to the village. The aqueduct is entirely covered in tuff. Built between 1636 and 1639 by the Medici family for supplying water to the town of Pitigliano, it was the first aqueduct of the Maremma.

The Jewish Ghetto

Pitigliano is nicknamed "La Piccola Gerusalemme", due to the historic presence of a Jewish community, which has always been well integrated into the social context. Although Jews are now reduced to a few units, the Ghetto has been restored and Jewish monuments have been preserved:

  • the Synagogue,
  • the oven of unleavened bread,
  • the Kasher butcher,
  • the dry cleaners,
  • the ritual bath,
  • the cemetery outside the village.

The "La Piccola Gerusalemme" Association has dealt with the restoration, which aims to promote initiatives to enhance the history of Pitigliano and the Jewish tradition.

The Etruscan cave streets

The history of the town of Pitigliano is very ancient, the territory was already inhabited since the Neolithic, but it is with the arrival of the Etruscans that the town will know its development. The Etruscans, in addition to the necropolis, built the famous Vie Cave or Tagliate here.
In the Sovana - Pitigliano - Sorano triangle alone there are at least 21 main quarries and at least as many secondary ones.

These are Vie carved into the tuff, with walls often even twenty meters high, some about a kilometer long, with a width of about two or three meters, in some sections closed at the top by the trees that form a shady green gallery.
These fascinating roads have no comparisons in other civilizations of the ancient world.
For this reason numerous hypotheses have been made about their real function: channels to channel rainwater from the plains to the valleys, simple communication routes, strategic passages studied against enemies and ceremonial paths.

These "shortcuts" continue to be traversed by hikers and visitors who are fascinated by their suggestive dimension.

The Alberto Manzi outdoor archaeological museum

The Archaeological Museum at the Open Manzi is an educational path to discover the territory and local archeology. It connects the "city of the living" with the "city of the dead" through the Via Cava del Gradone, offering the opportunity to visit a necropolis.

The project was born by the will of Alberto Manzi who was mayor of Pitigliano from 1995 to 1997. Yes, just that Alberto Manzi, the master of Italians who with the TV show "It's never too late" taught reading and writing in Italy from 1960 to 1968. Considered one of the most important adult education experiments known and cited in international pedagogical literature. Indicated by UNESCO as one of the best television programs for the fight against illiteracy.
"I was not teaching to read and write: I encouraged people to read and write," Alberto Manzi said in an interview, talking about the very famous show.
How many it would take like him today!

The cellars

Lose yourself in the maze of alleys and small squares of the village of Pitigliano. And don't forget the cellars. The red and white wines produced in Pitigliano are among the most famous and appreciated in the Tuscan Maremma. Strictly DOC and IGT.

There are two most important wine-related events:
- Goblets of stars, the night of August 10th
- September DiVino, the first week of September.
In both cases the cellars of the historic center, dug out of the tuff, are open to tourists and visitors.

Pitigliano is also one of the most important Italian locations for the production of Kasher wines.
The local Jewish tradition is carried out by the association La Piccola Gerusalemme, which has a section dedicated to Kasher Wines, prepared following the strict Casherut rules.

In order to be used by the Jewish people, food and wine must be prepared following the Casherut - or Kasher - rules. The term Casherut indicates the suitability of a product to be consumed according to the rules of the Jewish religion. These rules are imposed by the Torah. In order for a food or a wine to be considered kosher, the rules of preparation and management of the ingredients must be strictly followed, for this reason in the restaurants and in the companies that produce this kind of food, the figure of the Mashghiah, or of a supervisor who makes sure that all processes are properly followed.
In Pitigliano two excellent kosher wines are produced, Bianco and Rosso Kasher. The whole manufacturing and processing process is followed by the Rabbi of Livorno.

The "sfratto" of the goyms.

Even the typical and delicious Pitigliano sweet has Jewish traditions.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, when Pitigliano passed under the Medici, the Jews were forced to converge in a single neighborhood. Perhaps to exorcise that sad period comes the "eviction", a long biscuit stuffed with chopped walnuts, honey, orange peel and nutmeg, shaped like a stick, just like the one used by a messenger goym (ie non-Jew) who was beating at the doors of homes to order eviction.

You can buy a freshly baked eviction in the Forno del Ghetto or you can try cooking it at home following my recipe: the sfratto of the goym.

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Post Author: Marilena

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