Bagno Vignoni is a tiny village in the heart of Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. And when I say tiny, I mean veeeeery tiny. It only counts 30 inhabitants.
Since the Roman era, the thermal waters of the village were renown among the many pilgrims who walked along the Francigena road, the road leading to Rome. Also in the following centuries, it was a popular destination. For example, Lorenzo de’ Medici used to come here to relax a bit between a conspiracy and a philosophical discourse with his intellectual friends. 😉
You can immediately realize how important is the water here, as soon as you arrive at the core of the village. Where in a normal Italian town there is a square, in Bagno Vignoni there’s a huge pool of smoking hot water! In fact, the square is called Piazza delle sorgenti (meaning Sources).
The rectangular basin dates back to the Renaissance age and the entire village is still preserved as it was back then.
You may have seen it in a movie called Nostalgia (1983) by Russian director Tarkovskij. This was his first movie out of Russia, after his decision to leave his country never to return. The film well expresses the nostalgy of the director towards his motherland. I had to watch this movie when I was a student and… let’s say it’s not my kind of movie. Very, very slow and heavy going. Nevertheless, it won the Grand Prix du cinéma de création in Cannes.
Bagno Vignoni is full of shops, cafés, and restaurants. I can’t recommend any of them, cause we only stopped for an hour, during a road trip to reach the Viterbo area.
But I hope to go back one day and take my time to relax at the thermal baths, have dinner in one of the quaint restaurants and enjoy the village at a slow pace.
Bagno Vignoni thermal baths
As for the thermal baths, you have the following choices:
- The free hot springs of Parco dei Mulini (Mills Park). In order to reach them, you simply have to go south of the main “water square”. Take via dei Mulini and then walk down the gravel road. There you will find some small basins, the laghetti (little lakes). But, I warn you, they are just 10-20 centimeters high. And there are no facilities. But you can spot, carved in the stone, the four old water mills.
- The establishments of one of the hotels in the village. The hotels are 3. And all 3 offer the possibility of a day spa entrance also for non-guests: Albergo Posta Marcucci, Albergo Le Terme, and Adler Thermae Spa & Resort. You will surely find them on Google.
- Wait for the construction of the Public Thermal Baths.
Since the visit to the village is rather quick, if you do not think of taking advantage of the thermal facilities, I suggest you combine it with another one of the splendid little villages of the area. Among the possibilities:
- Pienza, the ideal city of the Renaissance, is only 20 minutes away by car
- Sarteano, a little, genuine town I loved (40 minutes)
- Pitigliano, the little Jerusalem is another interesting alternative, just a little further (about 1 hour).
- Or take a look at my posts about Tuscany!