Next to the Tuscany article series, I would like to share with you my journey to visit Pitigliano — a beautiful little vnillage that has captured my heart. This is a village located in the mountains, with wonderful scenery. All houses and buildings of the village is made of tuff (a type of rock formed of volcanic ash) that looks like a beehive, it looks very weird. That is why it is also known as the “City of Tuff rock” (Città del Tufo). My friend said that Pitigliano was the inspiration for Ghibli’s “The Castle in the Clouds”. The combination of Italian architecture and culture with natural materials makes Pitigliano as an ideal day trip from Florence, similar to Volterra and San Gimignano. So, what to do in Pitigliano tuscany and how to plan a perfect budget trip to the medieval village Pitigliano italy for the first-time? Let’s check out our Pitigliano travel blog with the fullest Pitigliano travel guide from how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do to find out the answer!
- Tuscany travel blog — The fullest Tuscany travel guide for first-timers
- Italy travel tips — 21 what & things to know before going to Italy
- A quick guide to Florence — Florence travel tips & what to do in Florence for first-timers
- A quick guide to Positano — Positano tips & what to do in Positano
- Matera travel blog — The fullest Matera travel guide & what to do in Matera, Italy
Located on a rocky mountain formed from volcanic ash and about 300m above sea level, Pitigliano village is an ancient village halfway between heaven and earth. This place only has a single entrance and narrow alleys. Pitigliano is also impressed by the ancient tombs carved for hundreds of years that still standing until now.
How to get to Pitigliano Italy village?
Pitigliano can be reached from Florence and Rome. But I recommend you should depart from Florence, because Pitigliano is located in Tuscany region. So in this article I will only guide on how to travel to Pitigliano from Florence.
Option 1: Self-driving
Similar to getting to San Gimignano, I recommend you rent a car and take the initiative to drive. Rent a car from Rentalcars, drive and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the road. This route is especially great because of Pitigliano location on the mountains. You will drive through the green road with a vast view. Although the road here is quite deserted, but it it the mountain road, so you should still be careful to drive.
Option 2: By train
The best way to get from Florence to visit Pitigliano is to transfer train once at Grosseto railway station. From Grosseto, you can take the bus of Tiemme company to reach Pitigliano. Timetables can be found on this page. This is the train + bus combo ticket. Total price for one way is around 15, 16 euros. Important: It takes about 4 hours.
So, I highly recommend you or drive yourself to Pitigliano from Florence (or other points), it takes about two hours on average. Or choose Pitigliano as a base – that is, after satisfied of exploring Tuscany, then come to rest in Pitigliano, from there to explore the Lazio region or other surrounding spots. This is the ideal place to stay to going to Chianciano Terme (The thermal baths of Chianciano).
What to do in Pitigliano Tuscany?
Of the wonderful villages in Tuscany, I find Pitigliano the most worth visiting. This is an almost perfect “Italian” style village, full of mysteries. I visited Pitigliano twice, but both “during the day”. However, I recommend you take Pitigliano as a base point to explore the whole Tuscany region.
Tasting wine! Try as much as you can
The entire area surrounding Pitigliano is filled with premium-quality vineyards. Moreover, due to topographical features, Pitigliano’s cellars are made of volcanic rock (tuff rock). What’s that mean? The wine here is limited in quantity, has a special taste that cannot be found anywhere else, and is so delicious, savory. My friend used to drink it and said it had both grape flavor, fruit flavor, and the strong and the “earth” taste of the volcanic rock cellar. I’m not an expert in wine, I don’t understand much, I just found it’s good to drink (haha).
In particular, September is the month of wine lovers. Because in September there will be the SettembrediVino festival, which means all Pitigliano’s cellars will be open! And the whole month will be spent for a wine tasting event!!!
The two most famous Pitigliano wines are Morellino di Scansano and Sovana DOCs. Both are red wines.
Strolling around Pitigliano
To talk about Pitigliano is difficult to put into words. The whole village is full of mysteries. For example, around the village there are many natural caves and renovated by humans. Those are huge works, extremely labor intensive because hundreds of tons of volcanic rock have to be moved. To this day, historians and geologists still do not understand why the ancients created these structures for purposes.
Most of the houses here are made of volcanic rock. Villagers still live in volcanic rock houses. From here, I encourage you to try again: Dining in an underground restaurant.
Dinner in the ground, between volcanic rock walls.
I strongly recommend Il Tufo Allegro restaurant (Address: Vicolo della Costituzione, 5, 58017 Pitigliano GR, Italy/Hours: 12:30–2:30PM, 7:30–9:30PM; Tuesday: Closed). In my opinion, when visiting Pitigliano, you should not miss the opportunity to dine in a unique local setting. Although sitting on the balcony of the city wall overlooking the vast space also feels great, but sitting underground is also a somewhat rare opportunity.
As always, visit Pitigliano, we always order beef steak and red wine. My friend is a friend of the restaurant owner. He suggested to me that in Pitigliano there were only three things worth eating: beef, pasta with truffles, and wine. Everything else is just added to the menu for variety. If you want to make sure it’s delicious, then just call these things are fine. And especially beef, just say rare beefsteak, that’s the best!
Trails through caves
Another thing to do is to go down to visit caves, trails to discover ancient stone works. When I wrote this part, I was very confused. Because not everyone likes to walk and see the mountains or rocks, if they don’t know their history (but knowing is not sure, because the road is full of… rocks). Moreover, it must be clearly stated that if you consider Pitigliano as a day trip destination, you can only go around the village, admiring daily life, stop by alleys, take photos, drink wine, eat… you must spend a whole day.
However, I still recommend to you another option is trekking. On this page is a list of trekking routes with the base of Pitigliano. Unfortunately it is only available in Italian. If you want to try it, contact me. I will advise the most suitable route according to your time and interests.
Partying at night
Dinner and dinner parties are the two biggest reasons I encourage self-drivers to actively visit Pitigliano. You will be able to slowly enjoy dinner deep in underground, then go out to watch Pitigliano light up in the night like in a fairytale, and finally stroll through the squares to party with the locals. That’s the strange thing here, during the day there are only tourists, but at night, all activities start to become bustling, the streets are full of music and people start to going to bars and pubs… It feels so different!
Where to stay in Pitigliano Italy?
If you want to spend a night in Pitigliano Italy, below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Agriturismo Eco-Bio Villa Vacasio (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Locanda Pantanello (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Hotel Relais Valle Orientina (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
So you have a basic draft of Pitigliano already! Let’s go here now to enjoy this mysterious town.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Florence you can refer to
- Duomo Monumental Complex Direct Access Ticket in Florence with Guided Visit
- Florence Duomo, Baptistery, and Museum Tour
- Small Guided Tour with Fast Track Entry to Duomo and the Secret Terraces
- Val d’Orcia Tour from Florence
- Pisa Half Day Tour from Florence
- Chianti Afternoon Tour from Florence