bagni di san filippo

Where are you going for your next trip? How about gorgeous, old Tuscany? Why not? Here, you have beautiful natural landscapes, historical cities, mouth-watering food, and delicious wine. Do you seek art, history, culinary delights, or natural beauty? Either way, Tuscany promises an unforgettable journey. Where will your Tuscany adventure take you?

The Saturnia hot springs might be at the top of your travel bucket list. But before you wander off during the peak holiday season, there’s no harm in checking for alternatives. After all, you certainly don’t want to spend your time fighting the crowds. Let me tell you where to go.

Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs: Off the Beaten Path

Bagni San Filippo might be the less-noticed cousin of Cascate del Mulino. Nevertheless, it’s no less dramatic. Its hot springs are a magnet for local and international tourists despite being further away from major landmarks.

The white limestone deposits have shaped remarkable rock formations and cascades over the centuries. With inviting water temperatures around 25 °C, indulge in a delightful swim in the river of Bagni San Filippo, surrounded by a unique forest atmosphere. Discover the beauty and tranquility of this idyllic hot spring retreat.fosso bianco

A spa hotel featuring thermal pools adds to the village’s allure. Named after Prior Filippo Benizi, credited with discovering the springs, the village’s history dates back to 1271 when Prior Filippo is believed to have documented the springs in writing for the first time.

Regarded as the world’s oldest spa, Bagni San Filippo is a unique blend of natural wonder and human craftsmanship, drawing directly from a hot spring. Nestled within enchanting woods, the site offers a serene retreat where you can unwind in the azure pools of a gently heated river. Steeped in history, it is believed that even the Etruscans and Romans indulged in bathing here. The impressive white cascades and sinter pools create a captivating spectacle, contributing to the almost surreal ambiance of this timeless location.

Presently, there are a total of five active hot springs in the vicinity of Bagni San Filippo. These thermal waters flow into the Fosso Bianco (White Ditch), forming a series of gentle cascades and shallow basins. The whitish-blue thermal water then drains just beyond the eastern edge of the village.

Heading to Bagni San Filippo

To go to the hot springs, you must head to Southern Tuscany, specifically the base of Val d’Orcia at the eastern side of Monte Amiata. From Rome and Florence, Bagni San Filippo is about a two-hour drive. Driving from Siena or Orvieto will take about an hour. bagni san filippo

When you find yourself in a village called Bagno Vignoni, you can search for a parking space. Spots are available along the one-way road through the town, and you’ll need to pay at the machines and display the tickets on your dashboard. Alternatively, there’s a paid lot at the far bottom end of the town.

The trail entrance sits across the street from Bar La Cascata, a charming little bar. If you see some picnic tables, you’re at the right spot. Walk past them on your right (you’ll be going slightly downhill at this point) until you reach a bridge. Cross it and continue on.

Soon, you’ll reach a ticket counter. You have two options here. Either pay €2 to access the famous baths or head to the other baths for free. Do note that younger kids are exempted from paying the entrance fee.

Listen to the advice of a seasoned visitor to the Bagni San Filippo hot springs. You won’t regret paying €2! I’m assuming you’re picking this option. Head left!

After a short walk, you’ll reach La Balena Bianca. This massive sulfurous formation is a sight to see. You can stop anywhere you’d like, especially if crowding isn’t an issue. Suppose you’d prefer a bit of privacy. Walk further downhill for more pool options.

Now, you’ll notice some fenced-off areas. Don’t try to be a hero and use them. Keep to the designated sections.bagni san filippo hot springs

Getting the Most Out of Your Visit: Tips

Who’s a frequent visitor to the Bagni San Filippo hot springs? Me, of course. I’ve made all the mistakes possible. Ready for some tips to avoid some pitfalls?

  • Don’t leave any valuables in your car. I lost my camera once, and you know how that turned out.
  • There’s no proper changing room at the hot springs, so change into swimwear prior to your visit.
  • Pack some water and snacks. You can stock up at grocery stores in Vivo d’Orcia and Abbadia San Salvatore. There are no vendors at the pools. Picnic tables are available at the start of the trail.
  • Before entering the springs, pay a visit to the loos in the village’s restaurants or bars. You won’t find toilets at the hot springs.
  • While walking the trail to the hot springs, wear appropriate footwear to manage the muddy and steep places. You don’t want to risk slipping and falling.
  • Plan your visit to the pools for the daytime. The hot springs are closed at night.

Bagni San Filippo Accommodations

You’ll find a few homes and apartments available for short-term rentals, but truthfully, accommodations are limited in Bagni San Filippo. It would be wiser to broaden your search to nearby towns. For example, you could stay at these places (10 km or less from Bagni San Filippo) and get more out of your trip to the region:

  • Campiglia dʼOrcia
  • Vivo dʼOrcia
  • Radicofani
  • Siena
  • Abbadia San Salvatore
  • Seggiano
  • Pienza
  • Castiglione dʼOrcia

Are you really into thermal baths? I am, too! Here’s some glorious news: some hotels double as spas. They include the Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort, Fonteverde, and Adler Spa Resort Thermae. Agritourism is a proud practice in the region, so take full advantage of it!bagni san filippo hot springs

Visiting the Hot Springs With Kids

The pools themselves are great for children because they’re shallow and beautiful. However, it’s getting to them that’s the issue. The path to the hot springs is frequently muddy, with roots blocking the way. So, visiting with young children is going to be a challenge, especially if they aren’t as confident on their feet. If you ask me, kids aged five and above should be fine, but not younger.

Another important point to note is the lack of facilities at the hot springs. There are no toilets or places to buy food and water down by the pools.

What to Do Around Bagni San Filippo

The hot springs will be fun for a day (or two, at the most). So, what do you do for the rest of your trip? Here are some options:

  • Visit the historic center of Pienza, where you’ll enjoy some delicious pecorino.
  • Check out Val d’Orcia, which has played host to pilgrims since the Middle Ages.
  • Enjoy Terme Bagno Vignoni.
  • Go for a wine-tasting tour in Montepulciano.
  • Take a walking tour around Bolsena.
  • Learn how to make pasta the local way.
  • Ride a horse around Val d’Orcia.
  • Go for a cheese-making tour. bagni san filippo hot springs

Is the Road Less Traveled for You?

Do you consider the hustle and bustle of crowded places quite a turn-off? I hate feeling like I have to fight for a spot to stand or sit! I made the mistake once of heading to Rome during the summer, and it was overwhelming. That’s why I love hidden gems like Bagni San Filippo.

As a longtime resident of Tuscany, I consider myself fortunate. Weekend getaways with my family of four are a breeze, thanks to our car. We embark on frequent road trips, ensuring plenty of quality time and fun together.

Living in the region allows us to avoid the crowds easily. How does enjoying the warmth of the hot springs while escaping the cooler air sound? If so, a visit to Bagni San Filippo in March or October is perfect. A trip with a length of two days is easy to fill. If you’re a foodie, consider adding a cheese and wine-tasting tour to make the trip even more memorable!


  1. How long should I stay at Bagni San Filippo?

There isn’t much to do in Bagni San Filippo besides visiting the hot springs, so you won’t need to stay more than two days unless you plan to check out the nearby towns.

  1. Does it get crowded at the Bagni San Filippo hot springs?

Depending on when you go, it can get crowded at Bagni San Filippo. Nonetheless, it’s a less popular place than Terme di Saturnia. If you plan your visit early enough in the morning, you might escape the crowds altogether!

  1. Will the hot springs smell bad?

Like most thermal water spots, you’ll smell the rotten egg scent of sulfur at Bagni San Filippo. Your swimming clothes and towels will, too. However, that’s something you can easily handle when you notice the beauty of the hot springs.

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