By Juliana Inglese, Marist Italy BA
When thinking of Italy, I think of the rolling hills of Tuscany, the rustic architecture, and amazing food. I think most of us have this romanticised version of the Italian culture. However, there are so many other things in Italy that I would have never thought could coexist with the Italian culture; things like Sulphur Hot Springs.
Last weekend I took a trip to Bagni San Filippo, a small village of the Val D’Orcia in southern Tuscany. Historically known for its thermal water, Bagni San Filippo is the ideal destination for a relaxing and all natural spa vacation after finals. For nature lovers, the Fosso Bianco is the perfect place with a stream in the woods leading into several hot springs in a series of pools where where you can swim all year long. These limestone formations are known for their shapes, which have inspired the names such as ‘the white whale’ or ‘the glacier’. Because of its location on the slopes of Mount Amiata on the edge of Val d’Orcia, Bagni San Filippo is the ideal base for the all-natural sulphurous water, its sediments and mud which some locals even rubbed all over their body as a sort of mud bath. Acqua Passante is also a small water source downstream of the village known for its rich mineral and chemical composition. Some residents and tourists, for health reasons, even drink this water during meals. It is reached via a short walkway near the park Citerni. It was a beautiful scene in a relaxing atmosphere, however don’t forget to bring an old swim-suite and towel as well as putting your hair up because the sulphur smells a bit and dries out your hair and skin. Also you may want to bring along sun screen and lotion for before the sun burns your skin and afterwards for when its dry. Important: there is no ticket to pay, you can enter there for free!
This is also just one of the many hot spring locations in the Tuscany area. There is steamy, hot water that flows all over Tuscany. These hot springs, many of which are free, are open any time you want: day or night, winter or summer. Other springs are Saturnia, Bagno Vignoni, and Petriolo. It was very interesting to see this new side of the Italian culture and to see locals just hanging out in the springs and relaxing with us.