Enjoy a walking tour of Pitigliano and Via Cave. Pitigliano is one of the most beautiful cities of the South of Tuscany. Its area was inhabited already in Etruscan times. 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 sovereignty of Siena.
From then onwards the history of Pitigliano reabsorbs into the gradually wider ambit first of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1562) then of the united Kingdom of Italy.
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.
The Vie Cave (in English excavated roads) are an impressive road network linking an Etruscan necropolis and several settlements in the area between Sovana, Sorano, and Pitigliano, consisting mainly of trenches excavated as nearly vertical cliffs in tuff, sometimes over twenty feet high, possibly serving as an effective defense system against invaders.
In Roman times, the Vie Cave became part of a road system that was connected to the main trunk of the Via Clodia, an ancient road linking Rome and Manciano, through the city of Tuscania, which branched off from the Cassia road in Lazio territory.