Tuscany has been famed for its curative hot water springs since the Etruscan and Roman times. It is an area of stunning natural beauty: the hot waterfalls, untouched forests, glistening calcium deposits and crystal white-blue pools are not a sight that you will soon forget. |
If that description hasn’t already convinced you to visit, here are more reasons why you should take a Chianti tour from Florence to the hot springs of Bagni San Filippo.
The most breath-taking parts of the springs have taken years upon years to develop into what they are today. The iconic white calcareous deposits were formed gradually over many decades.
Throughout history, people have been drawn to these pools. Kings, popes and tourists alike have all visited the sulphuric thermal waters to take advantage of their curative properties. The springs have also been featured in the work of film directors and photographers.
Make sure you bring your camera on your Chianti tour from Florence!
Bagni San Filippo
This small town in the Val d’Orcia is nestled between the woods and the countryside. Its Fosso Bianco springs are well known by the locals, yet the luscious green pathways surrounding it lie off the beaten tourist track.
There are countless pools here for you to enjoy in relative seclusion, and most are completely free to bathe in. In other areas, you may need to spend a few euros for the experience.
Near the Fosso Bianco you will find one of the landscape’s most unique natural structures, the Balena Bianco (the White Whale).
The hot spring runs into cold river water at this spot, transforming the colour of the pools into an enchanting white-blue. Against the deep green backdrop of the forest, the contrast is striking and undeniably magical.
Don’t miss out on seeing this massive waterfall and calcium formation during your Chianti tour from Florence.
A Changing Landscape
The amount of water and the path the spring takes while flowing down the deposits is constantly in flux. This means that the size and colour of the calcium formations change with the seasons. In the winter, you can expect to see a colourful mix of green and reddish hues streaked across the white calcareous deposits as the thermal springs mix with raindrops.
If you’re visiting in wintry weather, don’t be deterred as the temperature of the water surging out of the ground is, on average, 48°C. Because it’s so warm, you’ll be able to bathe all year round.
Natural Beauty Treatments
Aside from the curative properties of the waters, the pools also offer the perfect chance for you to enjoy a natural face mask. Where locals have gathered stones and branches at the bottom of the waterfalls, artificial pools of warm water have been created. Dip in, cover yourself with thermal mud, and flush the toxins out of your skin with a purely natural beauty treatment. Just remember that the sulphur in the water has a distinctive smell, so you will probably want to stop off for a shower in the local spa before going out to dinner in any of the town’s traditional home-style restaurants.
San Filippo’s thermal springs really are a must-see. Their natural beauty, curative processes, and fascinating history make them well worth a visit.
When booking your Chianti tour from Florence to Bagni San Filippo, using a specialist tour operator is recommended. Having a knowledgeable local guide will really help you get the most from your experience – and ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the best views!
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best Chianti tour from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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