Bagno Vignoni

Bagno Vignoni

Route: Bagno Vignoni

Area: Italy, Tuscany

Date of walk: 6th October 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 7.3 miles

Ascent: 1,400 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

We started today’s walk in the same place as we finished yesterday’s – the historic old spa village of Bagno Vignoni in the Crete and Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany

This village has a unique attraction –  in traditional Italian towns and villages there is a main square in the centre. In Bagno Vignoni there is a pool 49 metres long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs. The therapeutic qualities of the waters became renowned and attracted numerous pilgrims travelling the Via Francigena on their way to Rome, one of the main destinations for the Christian pilgrimages. It’s not possible to enter the central pool, but it is possible to enjoy a free warm bath in the springs at the adjacent Parco dei Mulini 

After another short wander around we left the village via a lane at the north west corner of the pool. Much of the route follows the Ripa d’Orcia circuit which is well waymarked, and navigation is an easy affair. We descended to the River Orcia, taking a small detour to visit its banks, before starting the long climb up to the ridge which is the highlight of this walk

The ascent was in truth a rather tedious affair, being entirely through shrubby woodland with no views. There was however the merit of being shaded from the hot midday sun. Eventually we arrived at a war memorial signalling the end of the climb and the start of a fantastic panoramic ridge walk, with huge views in all directions. Near the end of the ridge we made a short diversion to the fortified hamlet of Vignoni Alto, where a massive stone tower dominates a group of restored houses

From here we retraced our steps back to the main track and made the easy descent into Bagno Vignoni to complete a superb circuit

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