Wild hot springs - the nymph baths of southern Tuscany
Hot springs around Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata, an extinct volcano, is the highest mountain in southern Tuscany and dominates the landscape between Montepulciano, Siena and Grosseto.
Even though Monte Amiata hasn't spit fire for a long time, there is still volcanic activity and with it a multitude of hot springs around the base of the mountain.
There, water with a temperature of approx. 40° gushes out of the ground, which has been used for bathing and healing purposes since Etruscan times.
Bagno Vignoni with its hot springs has been a thermal spa since the Middle Ages. The houses of the village stand around the large ancient pool where already Saint Catherine of Siena used to bathe.
In winter, steam rises from the pool and envelops the whole square in a magical atmosphere, like in the famous bathing scene in Andrei Tarkovsky's film "Nostalgia".
Until the 80s of the last century you could also swim in the medieval pool, but unfortunately that is no longer possible today.
Wild hot springs
If you like it natural, you will find wild hot springs in many places around Monte Amiata. There you can bathe in the midst of nature in the springs bubbling up from the earth.
Below the village of Bagno Vignoni there are also some pools with warm water, surrounded by honey-scented broom in spring.
In Bagni San Filippo you can swim in warm pools in the middle of the forest and see the "White Whale", an imposing travertine rock.
You lie in "bathtubs" partially natural, partially created by the locals with a temperature of approx. 38°C and only hear the soft splashing of the water that gushes directly out of the rocks. The hot water finally pours into a small river where you can cool off.
But in winter that's only for the really hard-boiled, certainly not for tender nymphs...
Curious? We would be happy to tell you our "insider tips" during your holiday with us in La Rogaia and explain how you can find the hidden "nymph baths".
Would you like to know more about our personal recommendations for thermal baths in Tuscany? HERE we have listed our favorite places for you.
All photos on this page: Amira Sandt