Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Pitigliano covered in Flowers, infiorata & more

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Never would I have imagined a stunning Italian town in Tuscany, perched on top a volcanic cliff of ‘tufa’ covered in beautiful carpets of flowers. My first experience of ‘infiorata’ a famous religious festival that takes place all over Italy was a wonderful one, all based around celebrating Corpus Domini. This is hands down one of the prettiest places I have seen in bella Toscana, the caves cut into the cliffs make quite the impression, plus the general vibe and people (of course it was festival season) made me think that there is just something special about this town. I was there with my good friend Alexandra from Arttrav, and Maremma expert, who graciously hosted Frenchy and I for a fun seaside-filled weekend, her post about the event is awesome! Coming to Pitigliano was sort of a last-minute decision but oh my marbles, I am so happy we came ;-).

Pitigliano’s 2014 Infiorata in action!

 I am constantly amazed at how beautiful Italy is and this feeling never ends, especially when just a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know this place existed. We snapped more pictures than my memory card could handle and finally made our way inside to explore this place first hand. Already the infiorata was hard at work, being the final day the religious procession was due to take place over these organic carpets later that day at 5pm.

I also recommend checking out this fun storify by Maremmans, an initiative looking to promote the region of Maremma and all there is to offer!

The best meal in Maremma?

Obviously Alexandra wasn’t going to steer us wrong for lunch and if I’m honest, looking at all of these people hard at work at the festival made me work up an appetite, and I didn’t do a thing! We headed to Hostaria del Ceccottino in the heart of the city for a meal that I probably will never forget for a number of reasons. We each ordered the typical ‘crespelle’ or Tuscan crepes, a cheese platter and some truffle and cheese panini that looked nothing of the sort. From the local vermentino white wine to the scrupulous bread bowls holding melted pecorino cheese and delectable summer truffles, this was a magical lunch. The presentation of each dish was flawless, you must eat here if you come to Pitigliano!

Hosteria del Ceccottino: Piazza San Gregorio VII, 64, Pitigliano Grosseto. Tel: 0564 614069

The Jewish Quarter

Another recommend stop when in Pitigliano is the Jewish ghetto of the city which contains a beautiful synagogue, only 2.5 euros to visit. The town has a rich Jewish heritage, dating back to the 16th century when many Jews escaped ghettoes in Rome and Florence for Pitigliano. It was considered one of the liveliest Jewish areas of Italy, numbering up to a third of the local population by the 19th century. However by World War II the population dwindled to almost none.

 

This is where our trip ended, sadly enough, Nico had to literally pull me away, I would stayed in this town all weekend long and for good reason. There are other sites to see which include the beautiful Palazzo Orsini, a 14th century fortress, now a museum, near the town’s entrance. The 16th century Aqueduct which runs along the side of town and across Via Cavour, the Chiesa di San Rocco which is the oldest church in town, dating from the 12th century, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul containing some impressive artworks. Everyone recommended visiting the underground caves and tunnels inside the tufa beneath the city which can be done via walking tours (ask the tourist information office).

Getting to Pitigliano

While it’s not exactly your next-door neighbor in Florence, Pitigliano is about 2 1/2 hours away from Florence and well-worth a visit, by car take the A1 heading south and exit Orvieto, following signs to Pitigliano. Apparently you can also take a bus (change at the grossetto train station with RAMA from the SITA station in Florence, times are here, Florence to GrossettoGrossetto to Pitigliano. I would head to the info desk at SITA and ask if times and/or buses have changed. You can also take the train to Grossetto and take a bus to Pitigliano, make it an overnighter! A car is your best bet so you can also discover the Etruscan tombs and passageways like Vie Cave in nearby Sovana. Stopping at the curve in front of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie to take in the glory of this town at it’s best.

Have you ever been to Pitigliano or one of the famous infiorata festivals? If so let me know what you thought of it! 

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0 Responses

  1. Beautiful pictures. Reading your posts is like extensions to my previous trips to Italy.

    1. Thank you Gil! this was a real pleasure to write, Pitigliano blew my mind, it was such a beautiful and interesting place. Make this a MUST your next Tuscany trip!

  2. This reminds me of a tradition in the part of England where my parents live – Well Dressing. Each village or town ‘dresses’ the wells of the area with floral masterpieces. Instead of horizontal on the floor like this though, they are big, vertical boards, like frescoes made of petals and natural materials. The boards are covered in clay collected from the rivers, and the petals, wool, seeds etc are pushed into the wet clay. They usually depict religious scenes too, but can be anything, depending on the theme of the year. I recommend googling it. My mum gets involved every year and loves it!

    http://breakfastattrinitys.blogspot.it

  3. Unfortunately I have yet to go to Italy but it certainly is a must after my wedding.
    These photos are amazing and the buildings are breathtaking. I was born and raised in the Bahamas and you don’t see much glamorous architecture here.
    Your post(s) are a fantastic window looking into Italy for me!
    I’ll soon be itching to go if I keep this up 😉

    1. Hello Nicole, thank you for your kind comment! I am sure being raised in the bahamas means you too, are full of adventures, I’ve actually always wanted to visit myself! I’ll try and give you as much motivation as possible to come visit 😉

  4. Thanks, Georgette, for this wonderful post! The infiorata is beautiful and from your descriptions it looks like like Pitigliano is worthy of a weekend visit, particularly during this festival. Those artists are doing amazing things with flower petals, it must have been lovely to see them firsthand! Always enjoy you informative posts and great photos!

    1. Thanks Bob! The infiorata is famous all over Italy and if I would have known before just how amazing it is, I would have visited one much sooner. Apparently there is a really cool one in Sicily that might or might not be UNESCO protected 🙂

  5. the info was great about another town to add to my list when i go HOme to Italy….and thank you for including transportation info. most of do not have cars in Italy

    1. Not a problem, I know how frustrating it is when everything seems available only by car, this seems to be actually doable by train or bus plus you can always stay overnight in grosseto 🙂

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Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico, our newborn Annabelle and Ginger the beagle. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with a fair amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland). Find me on IG @girlinflorence @girlinzug

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