Bagni San Filippo
Amidst the beautiful backdrop of the Val d'Orcia are some of Tuscany's most interesting hot springs. Thanks to the geothermal activity at the foot of Mt. Amiata, there are some lovely open-air pools of hot mineral water immersed in the woods where you can enjoy a nice soak. Bagni San Filippo is even named for the baths that have drawn visitors since Roman times. The mineral-rich water has curative and relaxing effects. There are spa facilities and medical-oriented structures where you can get massage, facial and mud treatments along with swimming pools, but the most interesting are the streams of hot water that flow freely in the nearby woods.
The most famous is Fosso Bianco, where two streams of hot water flow together and form pools and cascades over the mineral-deposit formations. Another popular spot is L'acqua Passante along a stream. Both are easily reached by marked trails just outside the village.
The town's name Bagni, meaning baths, but the San Filippo part has an interesting legend. Local lore tells of a certain prior named Filippo Benizi, who was born to a noble Florentine family and entered the priesthood. Upon the death of Clemente IV he was present at the conclave in Viterbo of 1296 to name a successor and when it became evident that he was in line for succession, he fled to the woods of Mt. Amiata where he lived in a hermitage rather than accept the papacy.
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