Bagni San Filippo

Bagni San Filippo is a small village in the hills to the south of Val D’Orcia. The big attraction for tourists and locals alike are the thermal springs which have created a series of impressive travertine terraces. The main terrace is known as the White Whale. Despite signs saying to keep off the terraces, locals enjoy bathing in the thermal waters, but the spa has been known since pre-Roman times, so there is a long tradition of taking the waters.

The Travertine Terraces

A short path descends from the village, and very quickly the first terraces are reached which are stained in a shades of blacks and browns. A close-up view allows the colours to be brought out with a little boost in saturation

Travertine Terrace at Bagni San Filippo

Travertine Terrace at Bagni San Filippo

The White Whale

Continuing past the first terraces, a muddy path descends through some trees to reach the main series of terraces which are known as the White Whale. Here there is an impressive series of columns, pools and terraces, all stained in shades of blacks, whites and browns. As can be seen in the image below, locals use the pools for bathing, despite signs to keep off the terraces.

The White Whale

A close-up shows some of the delicate fluting patterns that are formed from the calcium deposits left by the thermal waters.

Travertine Columns

A stream with a small waterfall flows past the foot of the White Whale.

Waterfall At The White Whale

It is interesting that there is very little infrastructure in terms of made-up paths or viewing platforms, so is not set up for tourists. During our visit, we were the only people with cameras – everyone else brought bathing costumes and towels!

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