All you need to know to visit Bagno Vignoni, a charming thermal village in Tuscany with a unique water features and stunning views
Sometimes, the smallest town in Italy are those that pack the biggest punch in terms of charm and this is very much the case when it comes to the village of Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany.
Bagno Vignoni is a thermal spring town in the province of Siena and precisely within the municipality of San Quirico d’Orcia, in the heart of rural Tuscany.
The village is on top of a hill and offers sweeping views over the Tuscany countryside, so beautiful here to have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
However, Bagno Vignoni has something special that sets it apart form anywhere else: at its center, it has a piazza that is entirely occupied by a pool of natural hot spring water!
The piazza is wonderful and unique.
The pool is enclosed by small ancient walls and overlooked by a historical portico and several buildings frame the water, giving this piazza a typical renaissance look but with the most unexpected water twist.
Outside the piazza, the village develops over a couple more streets and it is a lovely place for a walk and a meal.
You can visit the town in a matter of minutes (it has 30 inhabitants, it truly is small!) however, there are a few things about Bagno Vignoni that are worth discovering over the course of an afternoon or a day.
Here are the best things to do in Bagno Vignoni and the reasons why I consider it one of the prettiest destinations to add to your Tuscany itinerary.
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What to do in Bagno Vignoni
Admire the central ‘piazza d’acqua’, Bagno Vignoni’s main square
Bagno Vignoni’s jewel in the crown is the main village piazza, entirely occupied by the unique hot water pool that made Bagno Vignoni famous.
The pool is contained by low, stone walls and it overlooked by a pretty loggia with a small chapel inside.
Medieval and Renaissance buildings reflect their stone facades in the water, making the town look like a painting of earth colors, green shutters and blue waters.
The piazza used to be a favorite place for prayer and rest of the pilgrims that would et to Bagno Vignoni while walking the Via Francigena and it is said to have been particularly dear to Santa Caterina da Siena and also Pope Pius II, who had his summer residence in Bagno Vignoni.
Good to know: Pius II is an important figure for this part of Italy. He was born in what is now Pienza, a short drive from Bagno Vignoni, and is responsible for turning his small birthplace into the ‘Renaissance Ideal city’. You can learn about him and Pienza here.
Bathing in the pool is strictly forbidden and this is great as the place is magical to see.
On a summer evening, you can see the blue sky reflecting in the water and the place gets even more magical in winter, when you can see the hot vapor lifting from the water like a magical mist!
You may also like: fun and interesting facts about Tuscany.
Taste the local food and wine
Bagno Vignoni is in an area of Tuscany famous for food and wine, and has several places where you can taste the local specialties, in particular cheese and cured meats and good reds (Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino are from here as well as Morellino di Scansano).
If you like Italian food, you may like our article with fun facts about Italian food here.
The cafes/restaurants are one the main square but also on the small piazza just beside it, which in summer filles with pretty tables for al fresco dinining.
This small piazza is a delight and has a pretty well and corners with flower pots and cascading climbers that add to the distinctive Bohemian Chic atmosphere of this town.
Go to a hotel spa
Bagno Vignoni is a thermal town and has lovely hotels where to soak in these pleasant hot waters.
Our favorite place here is the hotel right in the center of town, Albergo Posta Marcucci, which has pools at several temperatures overlooking the most beautiful hills of Val D’Orcia.
Nearby you also have the Adler Thermal Resort which is a fabulous 5 star spa resort immediately outside Bagno Vignoni, with sweeping views.
Explore Parco dei Mulini
Bagno Vignoni’s thermal waters are now a big tourist attraction, however, they had a big importance in the history of this town also far in the past.
The position of Bagno Vignoni on top of a hill and the temperature of its spring waters, meant that the town was particularly suited to the grinding of grains, largely produced in this area, and this vocation was fully developed with the creation of a series of mills.
The mills created a complex netwok and are still now visible in Parco del Mulini, immediately outside the main town square.
At the top of the hill, just beside the main parking area, you can still easily see their structure and the canals with the hot water flowing and you can also walk downhill along a dedicated path to see how the whole system used to develop.
The walk down is really steep but the views are stunning.
Even if you don’t want to climb all the way down, even a short walk is worth is as will reward you with gorgeous views over the hills surrounding Bagno Vignoni!
Good to know: the area of Parco dei Mulini is often recommended as an area for free bathing. However, bathing is forbidden here since 2010: please do check local signage and abide regulations at the time of your visit.
Bagno Vignoni Hotels
As mentioned above, it is possible to visit Bagno Vignoni in a matter of minutes however, you can also stay the night and make the most of the special quiet that this charming town experiences once the sun goes down.
Several good hotels and B&Bs are in Bagno Vignoni, some immediately in the town and some just outside.
Good hotels to consider are:
- Hotel Posta Marcucci, 3 star hotel
- La Locanda del Loggiato, 3 star hotel
- Adler Resort, 5 star spa resort
- B&B Orto delle Terme
- Albergo delle Terme, 4 star hotel
Bagno Vignoni with kids
Bagno Vignoni is easy to visit with kids: cars park outside of the village area so there are areas for them to run freely and the town center is pretty and scenic at all ages.
The baths are kid-friendly and great fun for them: we recommend bathing in the thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni as one of the best things to do in Italy with children!
That said, unless you go the baths, there is little to do here for kids: our suggestion is to come here at lunchtime/ aperitivo time and make this a food stop.
The restaurant/ bookshop is pretty for older kids to explore as is has some books for kids too.
How to visit Bagno Vignoni: practical tips
The best way to get to Bagno Vignoni is by car.
The town is a short drive from Siena and San Quirico and has a large, pay and display plarking space just outside.
The main area is flat however, if you intend to climb down and explore the Parco dei Mulini, good shoes are recommended.
You can visit the town in a matter of minutes but it is also worth staying the night to make the most of the food and wine of this area without having to drive.
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