2014-02-21 08.54.57

Returning to Bagno Vignoni, serendipity alive

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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.

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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}.

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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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  1. Jean-Pierre Fabre Bruot

    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/)


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