Pitigliano in Tuscany

Sunday, 30 April 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© davide.avesani.74/cc-by-sa-4.0

© davide.avesani.74/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pitigliano is a town in the province of Grosseto, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south-east of the city of Grosseto, Tuscany, 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 has its own synagogue.

Pitigliano 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 sovereignty 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.

Palazzo Orsini © panoramio.com - trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pitigliano Cathedral © Zyance/cc-by-3.0 © Adderoij/cc-by-sa-4.0 © davide.avesani.74/cc-by-sa-4.0 'Little Jerusalem' map, the Jewish Ghetto of Pitigliano © Zyance/cc-by-3.0 Pitigliano-Old_Town-panoramio_com-trolvag-cc-by-sa-3.0
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'Little Jerusalem' map, the Jewish Ghetto of Pitigliano © Zyance/cc-by-3.0
For several hundred years Pitigliano was a frontier town between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, to the south, the Papal States. For this reason, the town was home to a flourishing and long-lived Jewish community (the Europe-wide establishment of Jewish alleys/Jewish quarters speaks a clear language and calls the opposite of “an integral part of the population” in the face, but that’s just the way it is with the zeitgeist and the interpretation of history), mostly made up by people fleeing from Rome during the Counterreformation persecutions. Jews of the town used one of the caves for their ritual Passover matzoh bakery, the “forno delle azzime” described in detail in Edda Servi Machlin’s “Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews.“. After the promulgation of racial laws under Nazi influence, all the Jews of the town reportedly escaped capture with the help of their Christian neighbors. Although there are almost no Jews left in town, not enough to provide a minyan, the synagogue (1598, with furnishings of the 17th and 18th centuries) is still officiated from time to time. It was restored in 1995.

The Tempietto (“Small temple“) is a small cave, probably of natural origin but considerably reworked by human hands, lying a few hundred meters outside the central district, yet far above the Lente valley. Its purpose and builders remain unknown. Locally it is referred to as a “paleochristian tempietto”, but this has never been confirmed; it must date to Late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages, although it may replace an Etruscan or Roman arcosolium.

Read more on The most beautiful villages in Italy, Wikivoyage Pitigliano and Wikipedia Pitigliano (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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