San Quirico walk, Val d'Orcia

San Quirico

Route: San Quirico d’Orcia to Bagno Vignoni

Area: Italy, Tuscany

Date of walk: 5th October 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.0 miles

Ascent: 600 feet

Weather: Cloudy at first, gradually clearing, with good light at times

We started today’s walk in the same place as yesterday’s – the historic old town of San Quirico in the Crete and Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. As this was a linear walk, we’d checked in advance that we would arrive in our destination in plenty of time to catch the local bus back to the start

After another enjoyable stroll around San Quirico we left the old town walls, passing by the bust of Tazio Nuvolair, a famous Italian racing driver. We headed west initially, following a dirt track through olive groves. After a while our direction of travel changed and we turned south, following a succession of tracks and paths, mostly through rural farmland where there were olive groves and vineyards in abundance

Every so often huge views of the rolling Tuscan landscape opened up, adding to the enjoyment of the walk, which was easy throughout. The route to our destination was well waymarked and there were no navigation issues. We passed a few other walkers, but most of the time we had the paths to ourselves

All too soon we arrived at Bagno Vignoni. 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 

This was a superb end to an unforgettable walk, and from here we caught the local bus back to the start

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