Pitigliano is a small town in the Southern part of Tuscany. Together with Sorano and Sovana, it is also known as the tuff town. Tiny yet fascinating, Pitigliano was indeed constructed on a hill made of volcanic soil, which makes it unique. This small town has a lot to offer: from artisanal shops to Jews districts, to wine and archaeological sites. Here’s some important facts you need to know before getting there!
The tuff towns
Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana are called “the tuff towns”. As a matter of fact, these small villages located next to one another were all constructed on a tuff hill, which makes them very peculiar. Set on the top of the hill, they are completely surrounded by nature, with a spectacular view over Maremma. The area is indeed an archaeological Park, and there are amazing deep canyons along the way to the villages. They’re known as “Vie Cave”, and have Etruscan origins. The area also hosts some Etruscan necropolis, all made of tuff.
The small Jerusalem
Let’s focus on Pitigliano, the most famous of the three. This tiny village was influenced by different populations in the past, such as the Romans and the Etruscan, but also the Jews. The last ones came to Pitigliano during the XIV century to escape from the persecutions, and settled down forming a big community. They’re still living in the “Antico Borgo”, and the most important part of social life is organized in their district. They have a beautiful alliance with the Christian community and live in peace. The Jews influence is visible both in the Synagogue and in the hot springs located close to the village, whose decorations remind to the Hebraic tradition.
Bianco di Pitigliano, a wine that describes its territory
Last but not least, Pitigliano is famous for its production of wine. Bianco di Pitigliano is one of the first DOC in Tuscany, winning the Denomination in 1966. We’re dealing with a white wine, which can be sparkling, still or straw (Vin Santo), mostly made with Trebbiano Toscano grapes. It’s produced around the area of Pitigliano and Sorano, a short perimeter characterized by a volcanic and marly soil. Cultivated on a hilly surface, the vineyards get a good exposure to the sun, which let the grapes grow all at the same time, together with a different temperature range between day and night and a ventilated climate that avoid the creation of moulds. The perfume is very delicate and the taste depends on the wine chosen (straw wine tends to be sweeter than the still one, while sparkling wine is characterized by a higher acidity). You won't find a similar wine anywhere else, so if you decide to visit the Southern part of Tuscany, grab a glass and try it!