Forno delle Azzime
Possibly the Jewish ghetto’s most symbolic destination. It’s here that all the town’s unleavened bread was prepared. Local jews not only bought their bread from here, but like any other Pitigliano local, they also brought their own homemade unleavened bread to be cook in the huge wood-fired ovens. Unleavened bread is simply made with water and flour, without the addition of yeast, salt or sugar.
The bakery was in use until 1939 and has since been preserved as a monument to the local community. Over the door you can see a menorò – the seven-branched candelabra.
Inside, there are two rooms. The first was used to make the dough, while the second houses the original oven and it is here that the unleavened bread was cooked.
The oven was used once a year by the Jewish community, during Easter, for the production of unleavened bread and cakes for Passover.
Keep an eye out for the photos that adorn the walls showing the bakery when it was still in use.
The Medici family in Pitigliano
The Medici of Florence came to power in the County of Pitigliano following the revolt of the population of 1562 during which Count Niccolò IV Orsini was expelled, and they became owners of the county in all respects in 1604.
Once ownership of the county was obtained, the Medici asked for and obtained imperial protection over Pitigliano in 1608, thus protecting themselves from the expansionist aims of Philip III of Spain and the Papal State. Nevertheless, the Papal State always represented a threat to the county of Pitigliano and in 1643 there was a conflict with the pontiff’s troops, defeating them in the battle near the Casone.
Despite having supported the race for power, the population never had that social and economic improvement so desired by the Medici, the distance of the county from Florence and the feudal system still in vogue, led to a profound economic decline for Pitigliano, causing impoverishment forcing part of the population to emigrate.
From the point of view of public works, however, credit must be given to the Medici for having created the imposing Medici Aqueduct, for the water supply to the city of Pitigliano, the works were completed in 1639.