Bagni San Filippo


Useful Information

Location: Bagni San Filippo.
(42.929221, 11.703004)
Open: No restrictions.
Terme San Filippo: All year Mon 9-17, Wed-Sun 9-19.
[2022]
Fee: free.
Terme San Filippo: Adults EUR 14, Children EUR 10.
[2022]
Classification: KarstTufa Barriers
Light: n/a
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: San Filippo Spa, Via San Filippo 23, 53023 Bagni San Filippo, Siena, Tel: +39-0577-872982, Fax: +39-0577-872684. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

8th century first mentioned by Ratchis, king of the Longobards and founder of the monastery of San Salvatore di Monte Amiata.
859 Pieve di San Filippo Apostolo mentioned.
1268 Filippo Benizi hides in the grotto to escape the papal election at the conclave of Viterbo, after he himself had been considered as a candidate.
1462 Pope Pius II visited the place in 1462.
1485 visited by Lorenzo il Magnifico.
1500 senese ruler Pandolfo Petrucci stays at the bath for medical reasons.
1566 visited by Cosimo I. de’ Medici.
1635 visited by Ferdinando II. de’ Medici.
1816 Thermal facilities built.

Description

Bagni San Filippo (Baths of Saint Philipp) is actually the name of the tiny village, only two dozen houses, which only exists because of the spa, the main employer. The village is surrounded by low hills, some Tuscany forests, a little agriculture, a typical Tuscany landscape. But the center of the village are the natural thermal springs with sulfur rich hot water between 25° and 52° C. There are actually two reasons why this site is listed on showcaves.com. The first are the limestone rich karst springs which form limestone deposits all around the springs, mostly white rimstone pools which explain the bagni part of the name. The second is a natural cave which was the hideout of San Filippo Benizi (Saint Philipp Benizi) in the 13th century, and was transformed into a chapel by the Servite Order. The Saint and prior of the Servite order is the reason for the second part of the name. Filippo Benizi was considered as a candidate for the new pope in 1268 after the death of Pope Clement IV. He was obviously not eager to become the new pope, so he fled the conclave of Viterbo and hid in the grotto to escape the papal election.

The center of the village is the Terme San Filippo (Spa of Saint Philipp), in which people are allowed to bath in the hot thermal water, but mostly in artificial pools. At the so-called White Moat it is possible to swim under a waterfall and bathe in two natural pools, one hot and one cold. The rest of the rimstone pools is protected by law. The spa complex includes a hotel, dating back to the 18th century, which is connected internally to the springs. The thermal waters are hydrothermal sulphurous-sulphate-calcium-magnesium waters. While the rimstoen pools are freely accessible, there are opening hours and a fee for the spa.

Nevertheless, there were a few collapses during the 1990s, and the spa was closed for renovation. Scheduled for reopening in 2020, the spa remained closed due to Covid-19. As far as we know it is still closed.

The cave church Grotta di San Filippo or Grotta San Filippo Benizi is also freely accessible, but there is a gate which is closed during night. Being a catholic church it should be open daily. Please behave accordingly and a small donation is also strongly recommended.

Another interesting site, unknown to most visitors, is the Fosso Bianco (White Brook) which is the outflow of the spring, and meets the Formone river after 2 km. Its a nice walk, and the white limestone deposits in the bed of the brook are quite impressive. The highlight is the Balena (White Whale), a massive travertine rock.

There are two impressive springs, the Sorgente del Fosso Bianco, also called Poggetto, a thermal spring above the village with a temperature of 48 °C. The other is the Sorgente dell’Acqua Santa, also called Passante, located in the middle of the village. The water has a temperature of 23 °C and a high alkalinity.