Earlier this month, I enjoyed a fabulous weekend escape in Tuscany – in the small town of Bagno Vignoni.
This town was known to the thermal-bath-loving Ancient Romans … and it continues as a spa location up until today. We stayed at the Le Terme Hotel, right at the edge of the town’s central piazza/thermal water pool – the Piazza delle sorgenti. This central bath was created in the 1400s.
The warm water is fed to it naturally from thermal sources of volcanic origins.
In medieval times, the building that now hosts the hotel was the favored spa hangout for Pope Pio II Piccolomini. In my experience in Italy, any place the Popes liked to frequent is well worth an addition to your travel list. This spa town was no exception to the rule, and we loved our stay here.
Bagno Vignoni itself is tiny – less than 100 residents. But it attracts many tourists for its hotels with spa facilities, excellent food and wine, extensive hiking trails and its fabulous location near Pienza, Montepulciano and pisturesque hilltop towns.
There is no dearth of beautiful places to visit. And this is the heart of Tuscan wine country.
The food and wine at the hotel where we stayed was absolutely fantastic. As was the possibility to relax in the thermal baths.
The Etruscans and Ancient Romans both knew about these thermal waters. It was the Ancient Romans who first diverted the thermal waters in small channels to power mills, and this practice grew in medieval times.
You can view thes remnants of these mills at the edge of town, and a walkway going down the hillside to the river allows you to see the ruins better. Unfortunately, the day we were walking around was a bit rainy, so we skipped out on this walk … but we’ll definitely go next time.
I highly recommend a stop-off or a stay in adorable Bagno Vignoni when you’re next in Tuscany. As for me, I’ll definitely be back to Pope Pius’ favored escape…