Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana are better known as the “Tufa Towns“, an archaeological park in the heart of Tuscany, which contains various necropolis connected to each other by several intriguing networks of passageways hollowed out of the rocks, “The Vie Cave“.
Pitigliano it’s like a “love at first sight” experience. The road you’re driving suddenly turns to the right and the old tufa town appears to you in all its beauty. A view very difficult to forget. This is a journey to Pitigliano. 200km from Florence, nearly 160km from Rome and 90km from the coast of the Maremma.
A journey that leads to the heart of Tuscany, telling you the stories of how our ancestors built a city where nobody thought could exist. Pitigliano is situated on a tufa hill. None can resist its charm. Even if you only want to stop for a shot, you will suddenly want to park your car and wander through its narrow streets, touching its walls steeped in history.
The lightened city is breathtaking.We could have stayed hours to contemplate its colours. Enchanted by the sunset, that paints tufa walls in pink.
Visit Pitigliano: practical tips
How to get there: Unfortunately the only way to get to Pitigliano is by car. So if you’re visiting Florence or Rome you should hire a car and drive approximately for 2 hours. Pitigliano is in the south centre of Tuscany, nearly 70km far from the city of Grosseto and you can get there following SS1 till Orbetello and then SS74 until you arrive on site.
Parking: we suggest parking your car outside the ancient walls, where there are many parking lots, but if you’re lucky you can leave your car behind the market area, which is for free all day long.
Where to eat: these are amazingly beautiful alleys, so wherever restaurant you choose to have lunch or dinner, you won’t disappoint. Take your time and taste all the flavours of antiquity at sunset. If you are visiting Pitigliano during high season (generally speaking Easter, May, August or during Christmas holidays), we highly recommend you to book your table, otherwise be ready to chase for a free one!!
We had a heavenly dinner at Hostaria del Ceccottino. High chair aside, there are no other facilities for babies or kids, but the experience is definitely super!! Gorgeous food, atmosphere, courteousness of the staff and – not least – the price.
What to taste: being so close to the Tuscany Riviera not means that the cuisine of Pitigliano is entirely dedicated to seafood. In fact, the must taste dishes are the ones that come from earth! Meats, mushrooms and wild boar are the undisputed protagonists, along with the traditional flavour of Acquacotta: a poor man’s dish that you must not miss! Acquacotta is the Italian for “boiled water” a dish that comes from the old peasants’ tradition. It’s a delicious soup made up with simple ingredients for an ancient recipe: stale bread, vegetables and just one egg. A real treat that comes from the past!
Festivals: Pitigliano does its best during the country festival, so tick in your calendar those 3 appointments:
- Torciata di San Giuseppe – Saint. Joseph’s Festival that takes places every March 19th,
- Palio dei Somari – Donkey Festival in August
- Festa delle Cantine Wine Festival that takes place during the first weekend of September
What to visit: even if you are visiting Pitigliano on foot or by bicycle as we did, we suggest you get lost among the narrowest streets looking for unrevealed details. Take your time to admire the Roman Aqueduct, the Cathedral and Palazzo Orsini. Do you know that since the XIX century Pitigliano has been renamed “The Little Jerusalem”? We did not, so if you would like to enrich your journey, schedule at least 2 hours to visit the Jewish Ghetto and for a walk through the ancient walls. It’s a real jump back in the past centuries. This path is very suitable for kids and families.
And if a Tufa Town is not enough for your exploring spirit, jump on board Sovana e Sorano are just a few miles away!