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Pitigliano
—  Comune  —
Comune di Pitigliano

Coat of arms
Pitigliano is located in Italy
Pitigliano
Location of Pitigliano in Italy
Coordinates: 42°38′N 11°40′E / 42.633°N 11.667°E / 42.633; 11.667Coordinates: 42°38′N 11°40′E / 42.633°N 11.667°E / 42.633; 11.667
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Province of Grosseto (GR)
Frazioni Casone
Government
 - Mayor Dino Seccarecci
Area
 - Total 102.89 km2 (39.7 sq mi)
Elevation 313 m (1,027 ft)
Population (31 May 2007)
 - Total 4,014
 - Density 39/km2 (101/sq mi)
 - Demonym Pitiglianesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58017
Dialing code 0564
Patron saint St. Roch
Saint day August 16
Website Official website

Pitigliano is an Italian town and comune of province of Grosseto in the Maremma area of Tuscany. The town stands on an abrupt tuff butte high above the Olpeta, the Fiora and the Lente rivers.

Contents

History

Pitigliano and its area were inhabited in Etruscan times, but the first extant written mention of Pitigliano dates only to 1061. In the early 13th century it belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, and by the middle of the century it had become the capital of the surrounding county.

In 1293 the county passed to the Orsini family, which signaled the start of a hundred and fifty years of on-again, off-again wars with Siena, at the end of which, in 1455, a compromise of sorts was reached: Siena acknowledged the status of county to Pitigliano, which, in exchange, placed herself under the suzerainty of Siena.

Palazzo Orsini.

From thence onwards, the history of Pitigliano resorbs into the gradually wider ambit first of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1562), then of the united Kingdom of Italy.

Main sights

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Etruscan remains

Pitigliano is home to a series of artificial cuts into the tufa rock to varying depths ranging from less than one meter to over 10 meters. At the bottom of these cuts (Italian: tagliate) are carved channels, apparently for water, although some take the form of steps. The purpose of the cuts is not known: the three main theories are that they were roads, quarries, or water conveyance schemes; they radiate outward from the base of the butte of Pitigliano, down to the rivers then back to the top of the plateau that surrounds the town. A few very brief Etruscan inscriptions are said to have been found on the walls of the cuts, but are ill documented.

Medieval and Renaissance monuments

  • The former Cathedral of SS. Pietro e Paolo.
  • The church of Santa  Maria.
  • The Orsini Fortress, which achieved its present state in 1545 but represents a reworking of the earlier medieval fortress
  • the town's walls and gates, the best preserved of which is the Porta Sovana.
  • remains of a tall and very visible aqueduct at the very top of the butte.

Synagogue

For several hundred years Pitigliano was a frontier town between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, to the south, the Papal States. For this reason, the town was home to a flourishing and long-lived Jewish community, mostly made up by people fleeing from Rome during the Counterreformation persecutions. Although there are almost no Jews left in town, not enough to provide a minyan, the synagogue (1598, with furnishings of the 17th and 18th centuries) is still officiated from time to time. It was restored in 1995.

The "Tempietto"

The Tempietto ("Small temple") is a small cave, probably of natural origin but considerably reworked by human hands, lying a few hundred meters outside the central district, yet far above the Lente valley. Its purpose and builders remain unknown. Locally it is referred to as a "paleochristian tempietto", but this has never been confirmed; it must date to Late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages, although it may replace an Etruscan or Roman arcosolium[1].

See also

External links

Photo galleries

  • at Webshots.Com: 123

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Pitigliano is a city in Tuscany.

The town is situated on a steep tuff rock, 313 metres above sea-level. The area of Pitigliano and far to the south of Rome is characterised by tuff stone, a hardened type of volcanic magma. The typical Tuscan landscape with small farm houses on soft hills is rarely found here. South Tuscany is wild and many sided, similar to neighbouring Latio, the area around Rome. Small creeks have cut steep valleys into the landscape and there is a lot of woodland. Not far from Pitigliano is Lake Bolsena, a huge water-filled crater and the largest Italian lake. From Siena you can see Mount Amiata, an isolated volcano 1738 metres high, and a favourite skiing area in winter. Near the coast are extended flat zones, which were notorious for malaria contamination up to the 1930's. This was the area that was home for famous bandits like Domenico Tiburzi. Nowadays the Maremma coast 50 kilometres from Pitigliano has beautiful beaches that are hardly developed.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PITIGLIANO, a town in Italy, province of Grosseto. Pop. (1901), 4416. It is the cathedral city of the bishopric named after the neighbouring town of Sovana, and possesses a 16thcentury cathedral and a church of the 11th-15th centuries, Pitigliano was originally a fief of the countship of Sovana, which in 1293 came by marriage into the possession of the Orsini. In 1410 Sovana, was taken by the Siennese, but by the terms of a peace concluded in 1417 the Orsini retained Pitigliano, Gentile Orsini (assassinated 1434) assuming the title of count of Pitigliano. The most famous of the line of counts was Niccolo III. (1442-1510), a celebrated condottiere. Under his successors Pitigliano became the scene of ceaseless family feuds culminating in assassinations. In 1562 the Medici of Florence seized part of their territories, and acquired the rest by exchange in 1580. The Orsini stronghold still stands in the town.


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