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Val D\'Orcia

The volcanic origins of Monte Amiata come to light at the thermal springs in Bagno Vignoni near San Quirico d’Orcia and in Bagni San Filippo near Castiglione d’Orcia. Made famous by illustrious regular visitors such as Lorenzo il Magnifico Medici and Saint Catherine from Siena, the springs at Bagno Vignoni have been enjoyed since Roman times. The waters rise up from a depth of 1000 metres and reach the surface at 52° C°, flowing into a magnificent pool measuring 49 metres in length by 29 in width. This water-filled town square is the undeniable focus of the village. Due to its concentration of magnesium sulphate and calcium sulphate, this water is considered curative for disorders of the skin, bones and mucous membranes. Bagni San Filippo has also been known since ancient times. Some maintain it was even used by the Etruscans, and evidence has been found of constructions dating to the Imperial Roman age. These hot springs became particularly popular at the end of the 1700s, when clinical tests first proved their benefits in treating rheumatic, arthritic, respiratory and skin disorders. In the 1800s a new complex was constructed and hotels began to appear. Nearby we may admire the rock formations known as Fosso Bianco, where a calcium-rich waterfall has created a breathtaking phenomenon known as “the white whale”. At the Grotta (cave) San Filippo, carved out of a block of travertine marble, Saint Filippo Benizi sought refuge from those who in 1267 would elect him Pope and instead ended his life as a hermit. 16 an itinerary through waterways Bagni San Filippo VALDORCIA_INT_ING 30-07-2009 18:48 Pagina 16

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