Bagno Vignoni: The Water Square


We’re surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, and overlooked by the Val d’Orcia. I think it’s officially called in English, a hidden gem, unspoilt and idyllic; a quiet, peaceful village called Bagno Vignoni.

This is a seriously magical place, which is physically just how it was in the 1400s as the buildings haven’t changed at all, still complete with their stone facades.

The main square is submerged in water, and is being constantly refilled with fresh water from the nearby springs, with temperates of up to 52°C!

When you see this (quite strange) site at night, or in the winter, it’s really weird, the fog that appears makes you feel like you’re in a dream, and when the lights from the nearby houses illuminate it, it really does feel peculiar. Some say the fog could be the ghosts of people who came to use the baths in past times, one famous past visitor is Lorenzo il Magnifico…who knows if he still frequents the area in a spiritual form?

The most famous, however is probably Santa Caterina of Siena. Caterina started the craze here, she came here with her family, took a dip in the water, where the fresh hot water gushed in from the springs, and was suddenly cured of her illness.

It wasn’t until the 1700s though, that the commercialisation of this thermal square began, this was when rich Sienese families started coming to bathe, in the hope that their illnesses would be cured. They loved bathing here, in front of the gorgeous buildings constructed by one of the time’s great architects, Rossellino.

The place is surrounded by old buildings, ranging from a Church with a marble plate, which celebrates the qualities the water brings, to the old houses still with their stone facades – really a site you’d expect to see in the movies.

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