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Pitigliano

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Inhabitants in 1991: 4.316

The municipal of Pitigliano extends for 102,89 square kilometres in a hilly zone in the province of Grosseto on its borders with Lazio. Seigneurial dominion of the Aldobrandeschi and the Orsini it was Vicariate Seat in modern times and, from 1660 Seat of the Sovana Bishops. It has not suffered important changes to its territorial borders.

Of very ancient origins Pitigliano was an Etruscan and Roman city. Sometimes it is identified also with the vicus Torianu from the Longobarda era, but reliable historic attestations only go back to 1061, the year in which Pope Noccolò II confirmed the possession of the parish church of Pitigliano to the Bishop of Sovana. Even though the history of the location is obscure until the beginning of the XIII century, it is known for certain that the castle had belonged for some time to the Aldobrandeschi Counts, who defended it at length from the territorial expansion attempts by the municipality of Orvieto.

In 1274, with the act of division of the Aldobrandesca county, Pitigliano was assigned to the branch of the Counts of Sovana, who had already made it centre of their Dukedom. In 1293, with the marriage between Romano Orsini and Anastasia Aldobrandeschi, began a long period of the Orsini ruling over the county of Pitigliano and Sovana, comprising also the castles of Sorano, Saturnia, Manciano, Orbetello and Piancastagnaio. During the 1300s the Orsini managed to maintain the county territory integral, safeguarding it from the expansionistic aims of Orvieto and Siena, until in 1455, at the end of long series of wars provoked by the Sena republic in the preceding forty years, they witnessed their dominion being reduced to only the territories of Pitigliano and Sorano. Only in 1562 did an uprising of the pro Medicea people put an end to the Orsini domination. At the beginning of the XVII century Pitigliano became part of the Grand Duchy of Toscana. The community saw the birth of Francesco Zuccarelli (1702-1788) landscape artist and founder of the Royal Pictorial Academy of London. In the Giolittiano period Pitigliano developed a strong rural movement, which brought about, among other things, the cultivation of fallow lands. During the resistance partisan formations operated in the territory.

Places to visit:
The Aqueduct, spectacular building from 1543, erected by Gian Francesco Orsini on the design of Sangallo.
Palazzo Orsini, Medieval structure, today the Seat of the Curia Espiscopate.
Museum of the diocese of Sacred Art, collects precious works and finds from the churches in the area.
Civic Museum of Archaeology, it is particularly well cared for with modern exhibition criteria . A collection of important Etruscan finds.
La Synagogue, finished in 1589 it has been recently restored and reopened for worship.
The Cathedral, named for Ss. Pietro e Paolo, reworked several times, has a Baroque style façade. It has an imposing bell tower.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Picture by Sandro Santioli
Translated by Ann Mountford

 
 
 
   
 
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