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over the rocks

over the rocks
Photo Information
Copyright: Franco Degani (degani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 0 N: 242] (2673)
Genre: Places
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2008-04-30
Categories: Architecture
Camera: Nikon D80
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-05 0:17
Viewed: 1552
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Coming back from Corse (France) I have been going around Tuscany with my motorcycle and the city of Pitigliano apeared in front of my road without any warning, it was a shock.

From Wikipedia:
Pitigliano is an Italian town and comune of province of Grosseto in the Maremma area of Tuscany. The town stands on an abrupt tuff butte high above the Olpeta, the Fiora and the Lente rivers.
Pitigliano and its area were inhabited in Etruscan times, but the first extant written mention of Pitigliano dates only to 1061. In the early 13th century it belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, and by the middle of the century it had become the capital of the surrounding county.
In 1293 the county passed to the Orsini family, which signaled the start of a hundred and fifty years of on-again, off-again wars with Siena, at the end of which, in 1455, a compromise of sorts was reached: Siena acknowledged the status of county to Pitigliano, which, in exchange, placed herself under the suzerainty of Siena.
From thence onwards, the history of Pitigliano resorbs into the gradually wider ambit first of the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany (1562), then of the united Kingdom of Italy.
Etruscan remains:
Pitigliano is home to a series of artificial cuts into the tufa rock to varying depths ranging from less than one meter to over 10 meters. At the bottom of these cuts (Italian: tagliate) are carved channels, apparently for water, although some take the form of steps. The purpose of the cuts is not known: the three main theories are that they were roads, quarries, or water conveyance schemes; they radiate outward from the base of the butte of Pitigliano, down to the rivers then back to the top of the plateau that surrounds the town. A few very brief Etruscan inscriptions are said to have been found on the walls of the cuts, but are ill documented.
Medieval and Renaissance monuments:
The former Cathedral of SS. Pietro e Paolo.
The church of Santa Maria.
The Orsini Fortress, which achieved its present state in 1545 but represents a reworking of the earlier medieval fortress
the town's walls and gates, the best preserved of which is the Porta Sovana.
remains of a tall and very visible aqueduct at the very top of the butte.
For several hundred years Pitigliano was a frontier town between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, to the south, the Papal States. For this reason, the town was home to a flourishing and long-lived Jewish community, mostly made up by people fleeing from Rome during the Counterreformation persecutions. Although there are almost no Jews left in town, not enough to provide a minyan, the synagogue (1598, with furnishings of the 17th and 18th centuries) is still officiated from time to time. It was restored in 1995.
The "Tempietto":
The Tempietto ("Small temple") is a small cave, probably of natural origin but considerably reworked by human hands, lying a few hundred meters outside the central district, yet far above the Lente valley. Its purpose and builders remain unknown. Locally it is referred to as a "paleochristian tempietto", but this has never been confirmed; it must date to Late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages, although it may replace an Etruscan or Roman arcosolium.

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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Franco! Original Black and White picture. Interesting cityscape. Good point of view. Very original shot. Well done!

  • Great 
  • krahk (22)
  • [2008-05-05 0:51]

amazing site, your composition adds up to it, not showing more to the sides makes the things inside the frame more interesting.
I like how that tower stands in the picture.
The b/w you have works good on the rocks and first ro of houses, after that it makes it slightly less interesting, maybe a bit more contrast on the top part would finish it?

But i like it, i have never seen something like that before.
Keep up the good work!


Nice place and nice picture. Maybe it needs a bit of contrast though. The B&W effect suits it very well. Well done. Ed

Hi Franco

What a stunning place! Amazing structures, it's almost surreal the way the walls seem to rise up from the cliffs, with that high tower a point to which the eye is drawn. I would have so much fun photographing this place!


superb bw, i like the tipicaly architecture of Italy.

hehhe..nice shock!

I like that kind of stuff too!
Great view!



this amazing village excavated directly in the tufa rock never fails to suorprize me ,. and neither do you... always spotting a different and special perspective in which to take pictures...
bravissimo ciao

Caro Franco la nostra bella Italia, tanto vituperata - per le follie di pochi - regge alla grande il confronto con qualsiasi altro paese del mondo. La tua foto nè è una meravigliosa dimostrazione.


  • Great 
  • AKITA Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1523 W: 73 N: 86] (20294)
  • [2008-05-05 14:24]
  • [2]

Dear Franco,
in this POV, as we can see a little shadows on stone walls, the view of walls looks relatively flat, then the set of walls of buildings look one wall of joined one building.
but the basic rocks and the central tower has adequate shadows on themselves. this combination of even and uneven makes interesting space in this image.
this is my feeling as an image of this shot. because this composition is very similar to some paintings of Paul Cezanne.
thank you,

Ciao Franco, altro splendido bianco e nero di questa splendida cittadina che sembra nascere direttamente dalla rupe, magnnifico POV, bravo, ciao Silvio


  • Great 
  • harpya Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6058 W: 174 N: 1935] (7534)
  • [2008-05-07 18:26]

Hello Franco

another beautiful look of this place.
here we have a great vision of him completely.
Very nostalgic and good the choice of the color for the theme.
Amazed with the Beautiful architecture!


  • Great 
  • Dot Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1583 W: 40 N: 3488] (13942)
  • [2008-05-08 5:35]

Hi Franco
What an impressive shot, beautifully captured and turning it into monochrome really adds to the look of ancient almost ruins
TFS really very eductive note

Hello Franco!
Excellent photo!
Very like it!
Kind regard my friend!

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