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Bill Thayer

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Pitigliano (Grosseto province)

A town of southern Tuscany: 42°38N, 11°40E. Altitude: 313 m. Population in 1991: 4300.

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The town at the end of a fall day; mists in the valley of the Lente below.

Pitigliano is one of the most fascinating small towns I know in Italy, and a much fuller website is definitely on its way. For now, these four items:

[image ALT: A stylized representation of a metal hand-mirror, taken from the binding of a book. It is an Etruscan mirror motif representing that book, George Dennis's 'Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria'.]

The serious student with an interest in the Etruscans, and even more so anyone who loves the picturesque, will not want to miss the chapter of George Dennis's Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria. Not that much, oddly, about Etruscan remains, but some interesting old tales and a very good description of the area.

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[ 12/2/98: 1 page, 4 photos ]

Much of the fascination of the place lies in a network of huge artificial scars in the rock, up to several kilometers in length, that radiate from the town in almost every direction. The vie cave are probably not roads, but then. . . I'm getting ahead of myself: read the page, look at the striking photos; then we can wonder together why Dennis doesn't mention them.

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[ 1 page, 10 photos ]

Many centuries ago, very probably in Roman times, someone created an elaborately carved space in the live rock of a tiny cave on the outskirts of town. Is it a "paleochristian tempietto" as often stated? A close look at it — whatever it is.

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[ 1 page, 1½ photos ]

A very slight page on a sundial in the main piazza.

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Page updated: 1 Aug 05