A land of spas and volcanoes
Steaming waters and millenary volcanoes tell the story of an unusual and ancient Val d’Orcia that today offers rest and wellbeing in a fairy-tale atmosphere.
The views of the Val d'Orcia hide a steaming soul, where sulphurous waters quietly flow and the rocks bear witness to the activity of ancient volcanoes, by now dormant. Between the gentle sloping ground and the stands of elegant cypresses there is a resolute and mystic land, where relaxation and adventure co-exist to provide unforgettable stays.
What remains of the activity of Mount Amiata, the millenary dormant volcano that rises on the panorama over the valley, cannot be found on paper or in the collective memory: but it is still there in the spa waters that flow under the ground and among the woods, creating natural swimming pools where it’s impossible not to stop to bathe in wellbeing. Embraced by trees and reachable by trekking are the free spas of Bagni San Filippo, a spectacle for the sight as well as for the body: leaving behind the first pools, where water is not particularly hot, you reach the Fosso Bianco area, where there is a calcareous formation of great charm. The Balena Bianca (White Whale) - this is what it is called - is an incredible sight of a pure white rock and vapours. The waterfalls that were created over the centuries invite you to plunge into the pools in the enchanted atmosphere that surrounds this place.
Time did not save much of the Radicofani volcano, eroding its walls to turn it into a rock that stubbornly remains to watch the land born of its ancient activity, enclosed between the river Orcia and Paglia.
Gentle and relaxing are the spa waters that distinguish the small village of Bagno Vignoni. The swimming pools you find there contain an almost tamed water, different from the wilder streams that feed the Balena Bianca, more suitable for moments of deep relaxation. Here, many centuries ago, many historical heroes used to come, among whom stands out Saint Catherine of Siena, whose family used to visit Bagno Vignoni when she was still a little girl.
The great pool that serves as the square of the village invites you to stop and breath calmly, admiring the reflections of the ancient dwellings that mirror themselves on the surface of the water. Very close is the Parco dei Mulini (Mills' Park), a natural area with a short trekking route that runs along small hot waterfalls and ends near some swimming pools where the water does not reach very high temperatures.
In addition to these springs, Val d'Orcia is crossed by clear streams of cool water, like the one that starts from the Vivo water spring, at the shade of the woods that cover the small hills of the valley.
Experiencing the spas of the Val d'Orcia means seeking wellbeing and regenerating rest, together with long strolls in the woods or along the Via Francigena, and ending with a dinner based on typical products and excellent local wine.
Discover the stories, excellences and small secrets kept in villages and in the landscape of Val d'Orcia.