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Pitigliano

(3.8/5 based on 950+ reviews for 8 attractions)
Things to do: religious sites, historic sites, sightseeing
Pitigliano is a town in the province of Grosseto, located about 80km south-east of the city of Grosseto, in Italy. The municipality covers an area of 102.89km2 and has 3,971 inhabitants, with a density of 39 inhabitants per square kilometre.The quaint old town is known as the little Jerusalem, for the historical presence of a Jewish community that has always been well integrated into the social context and that have their own Synagogue.HistoryPitigliano and its area were inhabited in Etruscan times but the first extant written mention of it 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, signalling the start of 150 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.From then 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 sightsEtruscan remainsPitigliano is home to a series of artificial cuts into the tufa rock to varying depths ranging from less than 1m to over 10m. 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.
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