In the beautiful Val d'Orcia of Tuscany, the town of Bagno Vignoni is distinct among the many lovely hill towns. This one centers not on the cathedral or the castle, but on a large hot springs pool right in the center of the square! In fact, there isn't a piazza, as Bagno Vignoni was created as a spa town, first for the Romans who placed a pool here at the thermal waters' source, and then in the Renaissance as it continued to be a getaway for health and relaxation.
Along the important Roman road, the Via Francigena, that connected the outlying colonies (England) to Rome, the spa was popular. In fact, it still is, even though the beautiful pool that fills with hot water is no longer in use. The canals that transported water out of that pool funnel it down to the Parco dei Mulini, where water mills had been built to utilize that water. It's a nice walk, and there are spots where you can soak your feet in the canals. Further down, the water forms a pool, where you can enjoy an open-air thermal water bath. There are also hotel spas that tap into the town's hot springs to offer nice amenities with various pools, tubs, and spa treatments.
The archeological artifacts from Bagno Vignoni are found in the archeological museum in Siena. Take a drive uphill to the castle of Vignoni (also called Vignoni Alto) where the two gateways and the towering keep still stand over the Val d'Orcia, its protective presence once a surveillance point, and now it still is -as a gorgeous overlook. Especially lovely at sunset!
Other nearby spa towns are Rapolano Terme and Bagni di Petriolo.
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