The Vie Cave of fratenuti and madonna delle grazie

Today we will talk about a trek between 2 Vie Cave of Pitigliano

First of all, what is a Via Cava? Well, it is a real canyon whose depth can reach up to 25 meters and it has been carved by hand, human hands.

These huge canyons are large and walkable and they run for an average of about 2 km.

Each of these routes is unique and have been used for thousands of years as communication routes because they connect the so-called “Tuff Villages”, namely Pitigliano – Sovana and Sorano, with one another. The original architects of these structures were the Etruscans who, however, did not excavate them at the current depths, but carved them human sized, that is, at a height of about 1,70 meters (the Etruscans were not particularly tall).

These “roads” carved into the rock continued to be used for over 2500 years, with continuous modifications and maintenance that brought them to their current depth.

A very simple and pleasant hike

is the one that stretches from Pitigliano to the Via Cava of Madonna delle Grazie (and therefore to a panoramic viewpoint from which you can enjoy the view of the entire village).

This trail then rejoins the parallel Via Cava of Fratenuti. I recommend to take the route following this direction and not in the opposite one as Madonna delle Grazie, on the way down, is steep and can be slippery, therefore not recommended for people who have little experience with trekking or suffer from leg or back problems.

The hike is very simple and is about 6 km long. It begins from the Porta di Sovana (Sovana’s Gate) in Pitigliano. There you follow the signs for Via Cava of Poggio Cani, taking the left at the first crossroad that you will find along the way. At the end of this Via Cava, you will find the asphalt road and, crossing it, the signs for the Madonna delle Grazie. Once you reach the top of the Via Cava, you can choose whether to follow the asphalt road towards Fratenuti, or take the new trail that runs parallel into the woods and connects the two Vie Cave.

Once you have entered Fratenuti, be careful because at the end of the path there is a small creek that you will have to wade. Soon after that you will once again find yourself facing the asphalt road you left at the beginning and, a little further on, the entrance to the Via Cava di Poggio Cani which it will take you back to the village.

But why were the Vie Cave carved and how?

What legends lie behind the names of the Vie Cave?

If you want to know more about these legends and mysteries then all you have to do is to book a hike with me!

Below you will find two screenshots of the trail. The second image refers to the link road between the two Vie Cave.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top