Tuscany has a lot to offer. It can boast a truly great heritage: Florence, Siena, Pisa, museums, pieces of art spread everywhere and worldwide known and loved landscapes.
Here, wishing to suggest an idea to organize a good holiday, I want to introduce you the so-called “villages of tufa”: Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano.
They are located in the heart of Maremma, near Grosseto, only a few kilometers far from Lake Bolsena, certainly outside the routes of mass tourism.
Pitigliano is a bit of everything: City of Tufa, City of Wine and Oil, and also one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia”(nicest villages in Italy). Each lane of the city center shows clearly the structure of medieval streets and houses, but what is under the ground is the really interesting part. It is a second city with interconnected streets, multi-level wells and tombs.
Pitigliano is also known as “Little Jerusalem”, because since medieval times it hosted a large Jewish community (currently composed of a few people). It has always been an example of integration, which is still alive in the Ghetto with the Synagogue, where many couples come to get married from all over the world.
A few kilometers from Pitigliano there is Sovana, a small architectural wonder. It seems impossible that such a small village, crossed by a single road, was once a town, headquarters of a large county, birthplace of a Pope. Nearby there are a famous necropolis and several Etruscan tombs, such as the Tomb of Ildebranda and the Tomb of the Siren.
To close your Etruscan journey, visit Sorano, the oldest of the “villages of tufa”. It looks like an eagle nest perched on a high spur of volcanic rock called Sasso Leopoldino, in precarious balance between rock and dense vegetation.
All around, among Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano, the “vie cave”: a maze of walkways rock tracks dug into the rock by the Etruscans for about twenty meters. They are about 1 kilometer long and three meters wide. What mystery is hidden in these colossal corridors? What has been achieved? What was their function? A sure answer hasn’t been found yet.
A trip to the “villages of tufa” will not only enable you to discover three beautiful and ancient little towns, but also to immerse yourselves in a sense of mystery that surrounds the entire area.
The good wine, the typical cuisine of the place, being away from the traffic and the beauty of the place will get you in touch with one of the peculiar faces of the authentic Tuscany.
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