Pitigliano is set on a tuff promontory, bounded by green valleys through which the Lente and Meleta Rivers flow.
The Etruscan name is not known: perhaps it was derived from Statnes (or Staties) which in Roman times became Prefecture, and was later called Statonia.
The name Pitigliano however, would seem to have been derived from Petilia, an important Roman family who gave their own name to various places. According to an ancient legend, the town was founded by two Romans: Petilio and Celiano: the name of Pitigliano would have been derived by the combination of their names.
Pitigliano is also known with the name of “Little Jerusalem”, due to the presence of a Jewish community that built a Synagogue in the XVI century. Recently renovated it recuperated its furniture, with the Aron (Holy Ark), the Tevà (pulpit), the women’s gallery above. Under the Synagogue, different rooms can be found, dug “in tufa” – the ritual bath, the butchering and the kasher cellar, the furnace for unleavened “azzimo” bread – all recuperated in these last years, when the Exhibition of the Jewish culture was organized. The Jewish cemetery near the Ghetto, hedges funeral monuments of the 19th century.
The Cathedral of Santi Pietro and Paolo, renovated in 1507, is now characterised by Baroque style elements, with paintings by Francesco Vanni and Pietro Aldi.
The early-Christian temple is a rocky oratory, probably built in an Etruscan tomb, with inscriptions made by a Christian community of Goth origins in 397.
Pitigliano is surrounded by picturesque pit streets, old Etruscan streets, deep tunnels into fufa stones.
Among the other monuments, we have to mention the Church of San Rocco, the Fortezza degli Orsini (Orsini's Fortress), the Parco Orsini (Orsini Park) and the Acquedotto Mediceo (Medici's Aqueduct).