Bagni San Filippo: the Italian Pamukkale
Thermal springs in the Orcia Valley as the well-known Turkish attraction
Did you know that Bagni San Filippo is considered the Pamukkale of Italy? In this suggestive corner of Tuscany, the sulphurous springs of the free baths of Bagni San Filippo, create the same spectacular natural phenomenon that is found in the famous Turkish site of Pamukkale.
In the heart of the Orcia Valley, the spring waters flow at a temperature of about 48°, creating limestone deposits and giving the rocks an intense white color that causes a clear visual detachment from the wooded context in which it is located.
The similarity with Pamukkale is given by the effects that the thermal waters of these two places, thousands of kilometers away, have created in the morphology of the territory by modeling them with natural pools and modifying their chromatic aspect.
Bagni San Filippo cannot compete in size and spectacularity with the wonderful Pamukkale, however there are few countries in the world that can boast such a natural phenomenon and moreover free access to visitors.
In this regard, Tuscany boasts the largest number of thermal springs in Italy and in the Maremma area, in addition to Bagni San Filippo, we find the most famous thermal baths of Saturnia which are quite successful among visitors for the presence of many natural pools that welcome numerous bathers, and for their favorable position and easy access.
In fact, to access the free thermal baths of Bagni San Filippo, you need to reach the homonymous hamlet of the small town of Castiglione d'Orcia and take a short but not easy path inside a luxuriant wood that hides and wisely protects this masterpiece of nature.
The warm waters that flow from the rocks are deposited through a network of small waterfalls inside natural pools. Some of these come into contact with the colder waters of the Fosso Bianco stream and this allows different temperatures pools.
The presence of these thermal water pools in Bagni San Filippo is an added value that pushes many visitors, in any season, to enter the woods with swimsuits and towels and then relax immersed in the temperate water known for beneficial properties for the body.
The sulfur smell of these sulphurous waters that can be perceived already entering the woods, can be annoying at first but, if the sense of smell gets used immediately, this cannot be said for the sight that, in front of this spectacle, hardly make you leave.
The most beautiful limestone formation of Bagni San Filippo is certainly the White Whale which makes this scenery unique and it is from the top of this white rock that the hot water comes out helping to shape the landscape and relax visitors.
Like any good thermal spring, even in Bagni San Filippo, the beneficial sulphurous waters bathe the ground from which precious muds can be obtained, very useful for skin treatment.
If I had visited Bagni San Filippo before having been to the UNESCU site in Pamukkale, the emotion would certainly have been greater but I still recognize that the Tuscan spas represent yet another pleasant Italian surprise. Unlike the Turkish baths, which enjoy a considerable reputation and make them a real tourism industry, Bagni San Filippo is a hidden gem that is still little known and for this reason it has managed to convey the thrill of discovery to me!
Mustsee places near Bagni San Filippo:
- San Quirico d'Orcia (21,3 Km/13,2 mi)
San Quirico d'Orcia is a village of Etruscan origin, a UNESCO heritage site and one of the main stops on the Francigena Way.
- Saturnia (54 Km/33,5 mi)
Saturnia is known for the presence of spectacular thermal waterfalls which create natural swimming pools with a constant temperature of 37°.
- Bagno Vignone (17,8 Km/11 mi)
Bagno Vignone is a characteristic village where the thermal waters flow into a sort of square between the houses of the town
Bagni San Filippo where to eat: