acquedotto mediceo

This aqueduct might not be Roman, but it is Pitigliano‘s most striking architectural feature, located in a piazza with the best city views.

Construction work on the aqueduct began in the 16th century, following the designs of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. It was the Orsini Count’s idea to improve the water supply into their residence and that of the entire city.

Unfortunately builders struggled with the harsh terrain around them, finding it impossible to cross all the rivers. Work continued for many years and the aqueduct wasn’t finished until the beginning of the 17th century, when the city passed to the the Medici.

The Medici promptly took all the glory for the project. They also added the incredible architectural details that you can still admire today.

While most aqueducts are quite bland, this one is anything but. Not only is it in the centre of the city, it’s also impressive enough to catch your eye from miles around.

The 13 tall, round arches are all supported by a curtain wall of tufo rock that was almost certainly an integral part of the medieval walls. It therefore blends in beautifully with the surrounding buildings and looks more like a majestic bridge than an above ground piping system.

If you walk a couple more metres to the middle of the piazza you’ll also get an unparalleled glimpse of the valley below Pitigliano.

I’m convinced this is the best place to truly take in the splendor of the countryside, and I’m not alone. The Pitigliano council has also cottoned on to just how beautiful this spot is.

To welcome visitors, they planted a bright and coloured wild flower installation at the base of the valley, which can be perfectly admired from above in the piazza.