It is possible to visit a specialised ancient thermal bath every day of the week: Montepulciano,Chianciano Terme, Bagno Vignoni, Bagni San Filippo, and San Casciano are all easily reached on quiet country roads in from 5 to 30 minutes.
The road of Thermal Baths:
BAGNI SAN FILIPPO
The volcanic waters of the green slopes of Monte Amiata of origin carve spectacular, calcareous deposits before they gain their curative power.. Mud-baths, inhalations and balneotherapy are suitable for respiratory, skin, bone, neurological and articulatory diseases. The sulphur waters gush out at 52ºC and reach the swimming pool at 37ºC., whereas the calcareous balustrade, known as the Fosse Bianco, is silhouetted against the vegetation immediately outside: this spectacle is the famous, snowy excrescence, where the tepid water flows down to the valley over low terraces.
The small village can be reached on foot, both from the Cassia and by going down the hill behind Bagno Vignoni starting from S. Quirico. Known for the large bath of thermal waters built in its centre in Roman times, the village is located in one of the most evocative points of the Val d’Orcia with a priceless, panoramic view. Its waters spring forth at a temperature of over 50 ºC , and ear, nose and throat infections as well as respiratory, gynaecological and rheumatic diseases are treated with inhalations, mud-baths and balneotherapy.
SAN CASCIANO DEI BAGNI
This place was well-known from ancient times until the sixteenth century as one of the most important thermal centres in Tuscany. 42 springs spout naturally to create a spontaneous circuit of water basins, whose waters are rich in minerals that cure respiratory, rheumatic and dermatological diseases.
This was one of the most popular baths in Roman times and gave rise in times gone by to legends linked with the Devil, because of the sulphoric vapours which continue to arise from the natural baths, immersed in the tufaceous ground of the area. Nowadays, those same waters cure skin diseases and help restore good blood circulation.
The baths are well-known for the refined atmosphere of its beginnings to Pirandello’s short stories and Federico Fellini’s most famous film “8 e mezzo”, which he filmed here. Mineral water and pelo-balneotherapies in Chianciano are particularly suitable for diseases of the liver, intestines and kidneys. Nearby the spring waters of Sarteano are used in the large pool where the water is continually changed.
In ancient times it was known as the “pole-cat spring” for its river of sulphurous water, the rich mineral properties of which are exploited by an innovative complex, situated on the gentle slopes of the Monti della Maddelena in the village of Sant’Albino, a few kilometres from Chianciano Terme and Montepulciano. These baths, thanks to their active scientific research, have become well-known for their specialist treatments for ear, nose and throat diseases, as well as skin problems.
These ancient baths were used from the 13th century by the most illustrious families in Tuscany, who had chosen the fascinating Valle del Farma in which to cure their own health. Pelotherapy and inhalations are used to treat respiratory cardiopathic diseases and. Mud-baths are considered natural medicine for skin and beauty treatments.
Approaching the valley of the river Ombrone are the ancient baths of S. Giovanni and those of Querciolaia. The benefits of their waters were already known in the 4th and 5th centuries and in 1800 they had become very famous. The wide range of treatments offered (from inhalations to music therapy) resolves problems as regards motor rehabilitation, respiratory and vascular diseases and stress-related disorders.