For Italians, Summer is for weeks spent relaxing on the beach, but winter, especially the holiday season, is perfect for a weekend getaway to the thermal springs in Tuscany. There are a few different places to find natural hot springs, but probably the most popular among Florentines is Bagno Vignoni, in the Val d’Orica natural park. I recently visited the Bagno Vignoni thermal baths for a relaxing winter getaway:
Bagno Vignoni Thermal Baths – Hotel & Spa Albergo Le Terme:
Maybe its because the thermal springs have been used since Roman times, giving you the feeling of joining in an ancient ritual of self-indulgence, but I think the Florentines are right about this little village.
Albergo Le Terme
View of the spa from our room
View of the town from the Solarium at the top of the hotel
We stayed at Albergo Le Terme, and enjoyed free access to the hotel’s spa. It felt so luxurious to change into the robe in our spa kit and take the elevator straight down to the spa area. The ground level has a hydromassage pool and a hot thermal bath. Standing under the hot waterfall is an amazing shoulder massage. The lower level has the relaxation room and Roman Sauna, and a private sauna for optional mud treatments. Herbal teas stations are placed throughout so that you can stay hydrated (they’re also available to purchase).
I don’t have too many pictures of the spa, since its obviously not a place for electronics, but on Sunday when it was open until midnight and we had it to ourselves, I did snap a few.
Food & Wine:
The hotel restaurant, La Terazza, has a very nice wine selection, great food with friendly service (and surprisingly fast by Italian standards). I won’t bore you with the details of every appetizer, first and second course, but here are a few highlights:
Cheese Platter: Pecorino and Goat Cheese with Honey, Marmalade and pecans
Wild Boar over Polenta
Chocolate Cake with Orange Sauce
When to Go to Bagno Vignoni:
The Holiday Season:
If you’re planning to visit Bagno Vignoni during the holiday season, be aware that this is a very popular time so you should plan ahead as far in advance as possible.
After the first week of January the season quiets down, which means that lots of the hotels and restaurants close until February. Albergo Le Terme remains open, so if you just want a quick spa retreat like we did, then its not a problem, but it is a shame to miss out on the other spas and restaurants. January is a great time to look for discounts and package deals.
Winter or Summer:
Bagno Vignoni is great year-round. A few days getting thoroughly warmed up in the hot thermal water is the perfect break in the middle of the cold winter months, but its also nice to soak up some sun in the gardens or the solarium at the top of the hotel and I can’t help but imagine an outdoor meal in the warm evening air.