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SIENA What to see & do -
Bagni San Filippo
Bagni San Filippo is a small but lovely spa town near Siena, at 524 metres above sea level, nestling between the impressive clay countryside of the Val d’Orcia and the green woods of Monte Amiata. It is common belief that the name of this town derives from St Filippo Benizi, the prior of the Florentine order of the Servants of Mary, who took refuge here in 1296 to avoid being elected pope at the conclave of Viterbo.
Archaeological remains unearthed at Bagni San Filippo indicate that this was appreciated as a thermal bath location already under the Romans, from between the 1st and 2nd century AD. The thermal baths were restored during the 16th century by order of Cosimo de’ Medici and acquired considerable renown, even earning a mention in Machiavelli’s play La Mandragola.
The sulphur waters of Bagni San Filippo have shaped the surrounding landscape, which is white with calcium deposits. In some points the deposits have created structures similar to waterfalls, the best known of which is named Balena Bianca, which looks out onto the Fosso Bianco – a small river that runs at the feet of Monte Amiata in a series of warm, white pools.
Classified as sulphurous-sulphate-bicarbonate, the waters of Bagni San Filippo emerge from the soil at a temperature of 52°C. They are particularly suited for immersions, mud baths, inhalations and in the cure of ailments afflicting the bones, joints and nervous system. The waters here are also indicated for conditions of the eyes, ears and throat, the breathing apparatus and skin diseases. Of the many treatments that are carried out here, the most popular are beauty and fitness.
Bagni San Filippo is a well organised spa centre today, attracting visitors who come for weekly or even weekend stays. The newly built Albergo Terme hotel is connected to the Nuove Terme San Filippo spa centre, which boasts a bathing pool and a waterfall with water at 37°C.
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