natural hot springs tuscany, fosso bianco, bagni san Filippo, wild thermal baths
The Fosso Bianco hot springs and natural pools in Bagni San Filippo

If there's one thing I didn't expect when moving to Tuscany, it's the multitude of freely accessible natural hot springs. Day spas and thermal baths can be found all over the world. But when talking hot baths in the wilderness my first guess would always have been a geyser in Iceland. 

The generous natural pools near Saturnia and the hot springs in Petriolo taught me differently. Both places are well known in Italy, a fact that can make them packed on weekends and public holidays. If you like to take your bath a bit more privately, move on towards Val d'Orcia and explore the Fosso Bianco hot springs near Bagni San Filippo. The waters are as hot as they should be for some comfortable soaking and high in sulfur and calcium (which explains the formation of the white rock and the name of the place).

Bagni San Filippo in the Orcia valley, circa 15 minutes from San Quirico d'Orcia and Pienza. See our Southern Tuscany Map
To access the wild Fosso Bianco pools, park your car at the beginning of the village (right before the first houses or walk back up from the parking further down). There is a little signed out trail on the right opposite of a small coffee bar. An easy five minute walk down into the valley will get you to the wild pools. The best time to do so is from November to April. The thermal bath & hotel is closed during those months, which results in more water in the wild pools. 

It may be thanks to the big 'DANGER - No Climbing, No Bathing' signs, that the Fosso Bianco natural springs are less busy than the ones in Petriolo and Saturnia. The signs were put up by the council of Castiglione d'Orcia, in case the white calcium rocks ever felt like crumbling. Luckily Italians are quick to find use for a sign like that.
Bagni San Filippo's ingenious towel hooks  

If unlike the intrepid traveler, you'd rather shower after your bath to avoid the smell of rotten eggs in your hair, Bagni San Filippo also offers a 'proper' pool which belongs to the hotel Terme San Filippo. Personally I love to do the wild thing, but I also like the atmosphere of the hotel pool. It's rather lay-back, and the blue and white tiles make for a nice sixties vibe. That also counts for the pricing: hard to find lower entree fees to a thermal pool anywhere in Tuscany.

Adult day ticket Mon-Fri 10€ / Sat-Sun 12€; Kids day ticket Mon-Fri 6€ / Sat-Sun 8€
Reduced price afternoon tickets are available from 3pm: adults Mon-Fri 7€; Sat-Sun 9€; kids Mon-Fri 4€ / Sat-Sun 6€
The public pool is right next to the hotel at the end of the small village.
The Bagni San Filippo pool and hotel normally close from beginning of November to the end of March. Check for current opening times on their website. If you happen to be in the area during cold months you can always try the lovely pool in Bagno Vignoni. More expensive but open during most winters. 


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