After our relaxing lunch in Saturnia, we detoured on the way home to explore Pitigliano. You might think we’d seen enough gorgeous medieval hilltop towns perched on tufa rock but it’s not something I could ever tire of.
The town is also known as Piccola Gerusalemme or Little Jerusalem, as it became a haven for the Jews escaping from the ghettos of the cities in the 16th century. They lived happily here until 1622 when the residents were confined to the Jewish Quarter and remained so until the Jews were emancipated in the mid 19th century. Many of them moved to the cities and by World War II none were left. Houses seemed to emerge from the rock
as we made our way into town.
We didn’t get far before our attention was diverted by La Dispensa del Conte (The Count’s Pantry), a wonderland brimming with local produce.
With a few purchases in our bags, we wandered to the edge of town
and discovered a spectacular structure with two large arches and thirteen smaller ones incorporated into the walls of the town. The Medici aqueduct was built between 1636 and 1639 to bring running water to the village and the Lorraines added the series of small arches in the 18th century.
From there we had a great view of the road into town and the stunning arched bridge over which we would soon be driving.
Adjacent to the aqueduct, the 14th century Palazzo Orsini is now a museum. The twenty one rooms are filled with antique furniture, jewellery and wooden sculptures as well as sacred art and precious fabrics.
As we drove out of town, there seemed to be one gourmet paradise after another.
It would have been wonderful to spend more time in Pitigliano, there was so much more to see.