Thermal Spas near to Paciano.
Within an hour’s drive to the west of Paciano, into the province of Siena, you’ll find numerous hot springs that have been used since the times of the ancient Etruscans and Romans for therapeutic purposes. Thermal bathing in the mineral-rich waters is still popular with people looking to soothe aching muscles and arthritic pain, or to improve respiratory and dermatological conditions. Some of these baths are open-air pools with free access, others are spas and wellness centres which offer a range of treatments at a price. The water temperature is generally in the range of 38-40°C (100-104°F).
Chianciano Terme and San Casciano dei Bagni
Chianciano Terme lies between Chiusi and Montepulciano and has a large number of hotels from the days when it was one of Italy’s most popular thermal resorts. A variety of spring waters can be found in Chianciano Terme, each having its own properties and temperatures. The largest spas, set in beautiful town parks, offer facials, massages, naturopathy, reflexology, and other treatments, as well as bathing in the thermal pools of Theia.
Thermal pools of Theia, Chianciano Terme
Fonteverde Spa Resort, San Casciano dei Bagni.
The Fonteverde Resort at San Casciano dei Bagni offers “Day Spa” treatments including use of their therapeutic open-air pool overlooking the beautiful Val d’Orcia. On the edge of town you can soak for free in the unsupervised outdoor stone pools at the Bagno Grande – I vasconi , which date back to Roman times.
Ancient stone pools at the Bagno Grande, San Casciano dei Bagni.
Bagno Vignoni is a small and picturesque little hamlet in the Val d’Orcia famous for its town square which is actually a pool, though swimming is not allowed. Lying close to one of the ancient pilgrim routes to Rome, the Via Francigena, Bagno Vignoni’s healing waters have been known for centuries and had their share of famous visitors, such as Lorenzo di Medici (“The Magnificent”) and Saint Catherine of Siena.
Bagno Vignoni picturesque town square pool, Val d’Orcia. ©Leanne Harvey
Adler Spa Resort, Bagno Vignoni, Val d’Orcia.
Bagni San Filippo
At the far edge of the Val d’Orcia on the slopes of the extinct volcano Monte Amiata, is one of the most beautiful of the thermal springs, Bagni San Filippo. The natural outdoor pools set among wooded hills are edged with calcium deposits that look like little waterfalls, making a very pretty effect. One can bathe in these pools year round or use the modern spa facilities and wellness centre.
These natural hot springs are about an hour’s drive from us in the direction of Siena. There are two spa centres here – the Antica Querciolaia within the village, and the Terme di San Giovanni in the countryside beyond, offering five pools – some covered and others in the open air – of healing thermal waters at a range of temperatures, with panoramic views from the outdoor pools over the famous Crete Senesi. The San Giovanni spa sits next to an Etruscan-Roman archaeological site (Campo Muri) with ancient stone bathing pools dating from the 3rd century BCE.