CITY OF TUFF
where the sun rests
Corridors that absorb and envelop in an endless vortex of depth and time. Monuments soaring downwards to earth.
Through the ancient cities of Tufa from Pitigliano, Sorano, Sovana, built on cliffs surrounded by streams, rocky ramparts, empty and full: alleys, stairs, passages, courtyards and loggias duplicate inside the rock, where a city is articulated in negative. The beauty and the mystery of the cities of Tuff is nourished by this balance made of inside and outside, of what is seen and not seen.
In order to go from one city to another, in ancient times people used to walk along the “cut” roads: real monuments that slant downwards to earth. A soft light falls from above and illuminates the curves of the labyrinthine path, but still does not illuminate the mystery of their construction. We are left with experimentation of walking as a physical, temporal and symbolic prayer, and perhaps this is the meaning that the Etruscans gave to this “ante litteram” form of Land Art.
We will enter the depths of time and earth, walking inside the testimonies of ancient civilizations that blend and mingle with a landscape that seems immune to the contamination of our contemporary world: the “Vie Cave”, narrow paths carved into the earth characterized by walls up to 20 meters high.
The Vie Cave, also defined as “cut” roads, are a creation we still know little about brought to us by the Etruscan people, population of which many aspects are still obscure. The Vie are semi-subterranean tunnels that wind in mysterious and suggestive paths, dug into the tuff that characterize the territory of the Maremma hinterland.
These unusual monuments, have no equal in any other civilization, they are especially found in the middle valley of the Fiora river, in the areas of Sorano, Sovana, Pitigliano and Saturnia. Historians and archaeologists have hypothesized various explanations for these enigmatic works of genius: corridors for conveying rainwater from the raised plateaus to the valleys, simple ways of communication, secret passages to escape an enemy attack, paths for processions, ceremonies and collective rites of communication with the divinities of the earth and with the world of the dead (in many civilizations of the past the idea of the labyrinth was associated with afterlife and going through it was equivalent to a sort of initiation into the mysteries of rebirth).
We will be able to choose between tourist itineraries, archaeological-trekking routes along the famous Vie Cave Etrusche, itineraries along the river Lente in search of the ruins of Vitozza, the so-called “Lost City” or not to choose and experience it all and more, making us distil, step by step, the history of a magical population and its imagination.
We will then stand like utopias on tufa rocks where, without continuity, stone and imagination have given life to the miracle of Pitigliano. These deep paths formed by all the lost steps of ancient civilizations that echo on each other, can be understood as a sign that time may dilute, but does not vanish: it grows in depth!
In the nature and philosophy of our travel, each route can be modulated from 2 to more days according to your needs and the pace at which you want to enter into history.
For an Etruscan everything was animated, the entire universe was alive and the task of man was to live within that life, drawing on the great vital forces that roam the universe