One of the villages I wanted to visit while driving through Tuscany was the beautiful Pitigliano. If you’re thinking of visiting as well, I hope this guide below comes in handy!
I don’t know when I first saw a photo of Pitigliano perched above some cliffs, but I was probably researching stops for my Tuscan road trip. Either way, I knew I wanted to come as soon as I saw said photo. After visiting and spending a few hours walking around, I can easily say it was one of my favorite stops on my whole trip, and I’d gladly add it to my list of “Places I’ll Disappear to Write My Novel in.”
Anyway, here are some things to expect if you want to go!
A Little Pitigliano History
The first known record of the name Pitigliano came in 1061, though it’s believe to have existed in some form as far back as the Estruscan civilization (900 BC – 27BC). What makes it stand out besides its postcard-worthy looks is the role it played for Italian Jews through history. Once upon a time its nickname was Piccola Gerusalemme or Little Jerusalem.
Starting around the 1600s, the town was a safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution from the Counter-Reformation in Rome and ghettos in Florence and Siena. At its peak, the Jews accounted for a third of the town’s population, though this declined slowly over the centuries as many left for work in bigger cities. It’s said that even during World War II, Christian townspeople were able to protect the few Jewish citizens left from the Nazis and Mussolini’s regime.
Today, it’s a well preserved historic town that’s perfect for anyone who wants that quintessential Tuscan visit.
Tours to Pitigliano
Pitigliano: Vie Cave and Etruscan Necropolis Walking Tour
This is a cool tour that’ll let you explore Vie Cave and the Etruscan Necropolis as well as Pitigliano. It’s also cool for anyone curious more about Etruscan history. Book here
Civitavecchia: Tuscany Full-Day Guided Trip w/Wine Tasting
This one is nice if you’re not roadtripping but still want to visit a few different towns in Tuscany. Pitigliano is included as well as the Instagram famous Saturnia hot springs and Montemerano. Book here
Private Pitigliano Walking Tour
Get a private tour to learn even more about Pitigliano and check out a number of places mentioned in this blog post. Book here
Tuscan Day Trip from Florence
This is another great day trip option to see multiple Tuscan towns from Florence. Along with Pitigliano, you’ll visit Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio. Book here
That Viewpoint of Pitigliano
I know, I know. If you’re like me, finding this view point is the very first thing you’ll want to when getting into Pitigliano. Luckily for both of us, it’s very easy to find! It’s quite literally marked on Google Maps, and walkable from the main part of town. After I found parking, I walked here and then on to lunch.
Just be careful – it’s quite windy.
Museo Ebraico di Pitigliano
The Museo Ebraico di Pitligiano (or Jewish Museum) is definitely worth a visit while in town even if you have no interest in religion or Judaism. It’s partially located in the former synagogue, which was formed in 1598, and goes into how the Jewish quarter was formed and how the culture grew in this small town. It’s a really well done museum that takes you underground and through a number of exhibits.
If you want to learn even more, you can book this private walking tour.
Cattedrale SS. Pietro e Paolo
Keeping with the religious theme (we’re in Italy, after all), don’t miss the beautiful Cattedrale Ss. Pietro e Paolo or Pitigliano Cathedral. The church has been around for centuries, though it was only dedicated to both St. Peter and St. Paul when it was refurbished under Count Niccola III degli Orsini. What you see now is a more Baroque influence.
Museum of Palazzo Orsini
Another place worth visiting in Pitigliano is Palazzo Orsini. I believe it was closed when I went otherwise I would’ve tried to go inside. It started out as a 14th century palace under the Aldobrandeschi family before being passed to the Orsini family. Inside you can find all sorts of art collections, but the building with its restored interiors seems like the real highlight.
Fontana delle Sette Cannelle
If you want to find the main square of Pitigliano, look for the Fontana delle Sette Cannelle. It’s right in front of Palazo Orsini too so hard to miss. The fountain itself dates back to 1545 and was designed to be part of the Medicean Aqueduct.
The prettiest alleyways…
Honestly, speaking the charm of Pitgliano isn’t necessarily in its notable landmarks but in its many alleyways. I strongly recommend visiting without any major plans. Just come and stroll and see why Tuscany is one of the most charming regions of Italy.
… and door fronts
I should also note – the doorways are pretty stunning too. Just imagining coming out of these every day to go about your business in town.
As a cat lover, I would also like to let fellow cat lovers know that I had luck finding a few cats and kittens hanging out in Pitigliano. One was a sleepy cat near a hotel that let me pet him and another was a tiny family hiding from the sun and people in general. I wish I’d had some string and tuna to get them to come out more!
Other Tips for Visiting Pitigliano
If You Want to Stay Here…
I was on an extended road trip, so I wasn’t staying anywhere near Pitigliano. If I were to go back, I’d stay in town if I didn’t have a car. But if you do, take advantage and stay nearby at one of the many stunning villas and agriturismos a short drive away. Here are some options below.
In the Village:
Outside of Village
- Villa V
- Country House Maremma Nel Tufo
- Agriturismo Locanda Pantanello
- Agriturismo Poggio Al Tufo
- Il Gelsomino Apartment
Getting to Pitigliano & Parking
I’m just warning you that if you drive, getting into the village is a pretty steep and sharply curved incline. If you look at SR74, the road you’ll take to get in, you’ll see it almost looks like rope knotted together. That’s what it felt like trying to drive up!
I can’t remember where specifically I parked, but I know I parked as close to the main part of town as possible without being directly inside the old walls. I used one of the parking apps to pay (it’ll all be on display in the lot) and was able to top up when I got distracted hanging out with the cats. I want to say I parked in Parcheggio di via Cardella, but I’m not 100% sure.
Where to Eat in Pitigliano
There are quite a few places to eat around Piazza G. Garibaldi and along Via Cavour. I had a nice lunch at PanCaciUa before walking around.
And there you have it – a quick little guide to the charming village of Pitigliano. Let me know if you have any questions or added tips below!
For more travel around Italy:
- How to Spend 3 Days in Milan
- How to Visit Trento in the Dolomites
- Where to Eat in Bologna
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