Val D'Orcia and Bagno Vignoni private tour - Car rental with driver
(Municipality of San Quirico d'Orcia; altitude 306 metres above sea level)
Bagno Vignoni is a small thermall locality that rises from the nearby Orcia River. The unique and spectacular square of the hamlet consists of a large pool into which hot water flowsfrom the springs. Around it there are antique buildings from the Medieval and Renaissance eras and a small church, dedicated to St. John The Baptist. The town, with its
The origins of the baths are very ancient: probably the Etruscans knew of it and certainly they were used by the Romans: in fact there are numerous inscriptions that testify to their presence, one on a plaque attached under the portico of Santa Caterina, has a dedication to the waters to the Nyinphs. The central position the Spa of Bagno Vignoni enjoyed, by being on the Via Francigena (Pilgrim 's Way) that connected the north of Europe with Rome, became a destination for pilgrims and travellers, who utilized the water for both therapeutic and hygienic purposes. In the second half of the 1300's the locality was the holiday settingfor the young Caterina Benincasa, who
The waters that feed the natural pool are rich in mineral salts, above all sulphur and calcium bicarbonate and magnesium. Their average temperature is 38°C (100,4°F) andflows at 20 litres a second. The illnesses that can benefit from the hydrotherapy are traumatic afflictions, rheumatism and osteoarthritis, and those that occur in both the male and female genitais, dermatological, and lung bronchitis.
around a century later was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Pius II. Caterina was taken to Bagno Vignoni by her mother, who tried to distract her from her strong vocational religious tendency by frequenting this Spa environment, to ensure that she made acquaintances and met with young peoploe of her own age. Legend tells that Caterina, instead, chose the hottest waters, to transform the pleasure of the bath into an ulterior penitence. Testimony in the XV century to the importance achieved by Bagno Vignoni was given by the illustrious presence of Pope Pius Il (Enea Silvio Piccolomini), who commissioned the architect Bernardo Gambarelii, called Rossellino, the creator of Pienza, to construct a palace, which today still exists. Towards the end of the 1400's aiso Lorenzo the Magntficent, often frequented the baths to cure his gout and rheumatism. The establishinents then became developed by the Sienese State and by the family of the House of Lorraine, but the use of the baths in the modem sense started only in the XVIII century.
In the pool of the main square of the town, closed on one side by a covered loggia with the chapel of Santa Caterina, there are various springs: the principal one has a temperature of 51°C (123,8°F). Swimming is not permitted in this pool, but it is possible to use the same water in the canals that descend down to the Orcia River for a relaxing footbath, and to bath freely in the natural pool at the base of the valley. The water temperature slowly diminishes as it distances itself from the springs. In the past all the waters that flowed down this slope towards the Orcia River served to work mills. In the Middle Ages Bagno Vignoni represented an important point of reference for the economy of the entire valley thanks to the inexhaustible character of its mills that were constantly fed by the waters. In 2000 work commenced on the careful restoration and recuperation of these milis that constitute an interesting testimony to a pre-industrial economy.
remarkable original historical centre, has been used as a natural settingfor numerous films such as: "Nostaighia" by Andrei Tarkovskij, "Al lupo al lupo" by Carlo Verdone, "Affettuose lontananze" by Sergio Rossi etc.