Cultural Trip: Pitigliano and Sorano (Part 1)

Taylor Baciocco
October 21, 2014

This past weekend, most of the students and I went on the first IES Abroad-sponsored cultural trip. We visited the small towns of Pitigliano, Sorano, and Montalcino.

We all met in front of the IES Abroad Center at 7:15 in the morning on Friday morning. It felt altogether too early to be properly functioning, so we all were looking forward to the bus ride for napping.

Upside of waking up early: Watching the Tuscan Sunrise from the bus

We arrived in Pitigliano to a less-than perfect day for a tour. It was misting more than raining and a little dreary, but worth it for the city. Pitigliano is also known as “Little Jerusalem” because of a historically Jewish population. We visited a synagogue and then began exploring underground.

That’s right, I said underground.

Walking around an underground Jewish Ghetto

Basically, Pitigliano amounts to cities built overtop cities and we saw a private collection of antiques that are stored in underground tunnels. And that sounds ridiculously awesome because it is.

Jessie went a little more Indiana Jones than the rest of us

Afterwards we had about an hour for lunch. Jessie and I went into a restaurant where we saw Emilio, the owner of the private collection. He offered to show us the basement of the restaurant where there was an impressive cellar and a few more tunnels.

Here, my friends, is where I had to turn back. Spiders are for me what snakes are for Indiana Jones and I just couldn’t bring myself to pass a rather impressive-looking one.

Indiana Jessie made it past the spiders though

After our exciting excursion, and a fabulous lunch, we all re-boarded the bus and headed to where we’d be spending the night.

Villa. It was a villa. Never in my life did I think I’d sleep in, essentially, a villa.

All of us decided that the thermal baths sounded like a pretty good idea and headed there to relax for a while before heading to dinner.

We were too relaxed to get pictures while we were actually in the thermal baths so here’s a picture of the baths getting filled the next morning.

IES Abroad then treated us to an fantastic dinner (but aren’t they all fantastic in Italy?).

Jessie and Caroline enjoying the meal

I liked this trip because we got to see a lot in a small period of time, but it wasn’t too hectic. Walking around Pitigliano, you have to realize that every time you place your foot on the ground, you’re stepping over ancient structures, caverns, a whole other world beneath the city, supporting it.

Thus ends Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2- Montalcino.

Taylor Baciocco

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! I&#39;m Taylor and I major in English and minor in History at the University of Richmond. I am a novice traveler at best, and have never been anywhere a car couldn&#39;t take me, so I am incredibly excited to be studying in Siena, Italy for the next academic year. In addition to my major and minor, I also am incredibly passionate about music, voice and piano being my preferred instruments, and can&#39;t wait to see what musical outlets I find in Siena. I can&#39;t believe I&#39;m spending an entire year in a city I know I&#39;m going to fall absolutely in love with and I can&#39;t wait to share my perspective of Siena with you!</span></p>

2014 Fall
Home University:
University of Richmond
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