American in Italy, culture, food, hotels, italy, life, nature, tips, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

Returning to Bagno Vignoni, serendipity alive

2014-02-21 08.54.57

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 “Square of sources” – Photo by Gonçalo Figueiredo

Ever just visit a place that seemed right out of a fairy tale – one of those charming towns that you really can’t believe withstood the test of time throughout so many centuries? The kind of place that sends shivers down your spine once you take that first breath of fresh, pure country air.

That’s kind of how I feel about the Tuscan thermal town of Bagno Vignoni, located on a hill in Val d’Orcia natural park.

bagnovignoni

Photo from my first trip to this area a few year’s ago

The natural healing waters of this town was best known by the Romans, then used as a relief for weary Christian pilgrims along the Via Francigena route to Rome {important gateway road connecting Northern Europe to Italy}. If you come here, you will truly understand why UNESCO named the Val d’Orcia natural park a heritage site. It’s natural beauty is {at least for me} one of the most stunning I have ever seen. The colors here depend on the season visited, I have been here during a reddish-brown autumn or a very green February.

Photo by Gonçalo FigueiredoIMG_1750

Photo by Costanza Giovannini

What brought me back for another round of Bagno Vignoni?

This time I was there for a blog tour with Play Your Tuscany, sponsored by the Tuscan region (you can check out my stories here). Our group consisted of my Dutch friend Sophie blogging from popular blog Ciao Tutti, a talented photographer Goncalo from Portugal {who’s pictures are included in this post}, two Italian video makers, Gabriele & Alessio, living in Sicily, plus awesome organizers Costanza & Ivo.

I felt so lucky to be a part of this group that felt like a family from the very beginning, which quite honestly doesn’t always happen on a blog tour. We started cracking jokes immediately and fell into easy comfort, which can be somewhat accelerated when the first time you meet someone is in their bathing suit in a thermal pool. No time for shyness… we left that at the tiny one-car train taking us from Siena to the tiny train station of Buonconvento.

Our home for the night was Albergo Le Terme, a charming hotel situated next to the ancient thermal spring basin in the center of town. They provide you with a robe, slippers and bag so you can shimmy out of your clothes in 2.5 seconds and head to the thermal spring area located in the hotel which is pretty much exactly what we did. Did I mention in-room WiFi is free? {take notice huge expensive American hotel chains.. cough}.

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Photo by Sophie Kruijsdijk

Dinner that night at the hotel was quite the event for my taste buds, we traveled through the region one course at a time, every dish our personal prisoner. Our table each featuring a menu with the following drool-inducing menu: pecorino cheese tart with balsamic vinegar and honey, thinly sliced ​​marinated beef with rucolina. Farro salad with pumpkin inside a percorino shell, pappardelle with an antique sauce. Peposo made with a wine sauce, served with potatoes and sautéed greens. Dessert was a delectable ricotta tart made with pine nuts, raisins and vanilla ice cream. 

Now that is how I love to start off a trip — 100% gastronomic delight all around, I especially enjoyed the pecorino cheese tart since I am officially a ‘cheese-o-holic’ {the first step is admitting you have a problem}.

bagfood

While we didn’t stay long in Bagno Vignoni before heading to our next stop on the tour {stay tuned} I have to say that this is a place I don’t mind writing about 100 times. The guys in our group made a beautiful video below highlighting their hiking adventure in the area coupled with their trip to Siena that is well worth a watch.

If you plan on traveling to this region, make this town a stop on your list and don’t forget to tell me about it. It will remain to this day, one of my favorite places in Tuscany and lets face it, the world. 

2014-02-21 08.54.57

Photo by Sophie Kruijsdijk

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11 Comment

  1. Reply
    bakeritalia
    14.04.2014 at 12:02

    It looks beautiful, I must go before I leave!

    1. Reply
      GirlinFlorence
      14.04.2014 at 13:12

      you absolutely should! this place is my dreamland of relaxation

  2. Reply
    Jean-Pierre Fabre Bruot
    14.04.2014 at 17:24

    I fully agree, Bagno Vignoni is a magical place, and I don’t understand why it’s (still?) not a top destination in Val D’Orcia. Where else can y0u take an outdoor thermal bath, in a medieval hamlet, while contemplating the amazingly beautiful Tuscany country side?
    I was there in may last year, and it was probably the fourth time I returned! I had a wonderful lunch at Osteria del Leone, before heading to beautiful Pienza (here is the post I wrote after that short trip: http://delightfullyitaly.com/2013/06/03/pienza-val-dorcia/)

    1. Reply
      GirlinFlorence
      15.04.2014 at 9:19

      I just checked out your post regarding Pienza and THANK YOU, I am going for the first time the weekend after next and I needed some tips. I tell everyone I know to take a day or two to explore this area of Tuscany for a little peace, serenity and really, REALLY good food.

      1. Reply
        Jean-Pierre Fabre Bruot
        15.04.2014 at 12:47

        I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! You will love Val D’Orcia. and Pienza Try to get also to Montepulciano and visit its amazing cellars, and to the world wide famous Strada dei Cipressi di Lucciola Bella.
        Have fun!

        1. Reply
          GirlinFlorence
          15.04.2014 at 16:12

          yes I have to also go to Montepulciano!

  3. Reply
    timelessitaly
    14.04.2014 at 23:12

    Bagno Vignoni looks like a fun place to be in. Especially love your rainbow phtot!

    1. Reply
      GirlinFlorence
      14.04.2014 at 23:27

      Thank you! I love that rainbow photo as well, it’s currently my screensaver :). If you get the chance, you should visit :).

  4. Reply
    Gil
    16.04.2014 at 8:17

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures and your great story of more places I haven’t been to.

    1. Reply
      GirlinFlorence
      16.04.2014 at 10:12

      Thanks Gil, if you can, try and visit! I think you would love this place

  5. […] Tuscany’s most famous thermal spas, Abbadia San Salvatore being our next stop after exploring one of my favorite towns Bagno Vignoni.  We had just visited the mine museum of this town, with a powerful history that you can relive […]

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