Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs

Campiglia d'Orcia, Tuscany Region, Italy

About Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs


Hiking Distance: about 1.4km round trip (but could be as little as 1km round trip)
Suggested Time: allow at least an hour

Date first visited: 2023-11-20
Date last visited: 2023-11-20

Waterfall Latitude: 42.92906
Waterfall Longitude: 11.70343

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs and Waterfalls are one of the more attractive natural thermal features in the famed Tuscany Region.

In addition to featuring a large travertine formation known as the Balena Bianca (White Whale), which itself featured grottos and terraces, there were also thermal waterfalls and pools that you can bathe in.

San_Filippo_110_11202023 - Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs and Waterfalls
Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs and Waterfalls

In my mind, this was a less popular hot springs attraction compared to the Cascate del Mulino in Saturnia, but it’s by no means a hidden secret.

Given its more rugged terrain and slippery footing, Bagni San Filippo felt more like a more low-key place to bathe in Nature whereas the Cascate del Mulino could resemble more of a pool party scene.

Nevertheless, as this place continues to gain popularity (there was certainly no shortage of visitors who don’t speak Italian here), I’m sure locals will find themselves in a similar predicament to maintain that balance between commercialism and charm.

How much does it cost to visit Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs

During our visit in late November 2023, we had to pay 2 euros per person to someone manning the “office” half-way down the path from the trailhead to the hot springs.

San_Filippo_019_11202023 - Tahia approaching the 'office' alongside the Fosso Bianco half-way down the short hike en route to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
Tahia approaching the ‘office’ alongside the Fosso Bianco half-way down the short hike en route to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs

Apparently, this place had been free in the past, but this leads me to believe that the price could easily change as time goes on.

Personally, I feel that the locals have a right to collect money for these natural attractions.

This is especially if they have to maintain the trail, clean up litter, and implement safety measures as well as prevent people from doing stupid things.

In any case, this is just the access fee, but there’s also a pay-and-display machine at the parallel parking spots near the trailhead.

San_Filippo_005_11202023 - The pay-and-display parking machine at Bagni San Filippo
The pay-and-display parking machine at Bagni San Filippo

I believe it was about 2.5 euros per hour, but the credit card reader on the machine wasn’t working during our visit and no one apparently enforced it.

So that’s something to consider when it comes to the cost of visiting Bagni San Filippo’s Hot Spring.

Experiencing the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs

After finding a parking spot on the one-way road into the lower part of the town of Bagni San Filippo (see directions below), we walked downhill to the actual trailhead, which sat before the lower town.

From there, we followed the well-developed trail as it curled to our right just above the steaming hot springs that ultimately fed the Balena Bianca formation unseen below us.

San_Filippo_014_11202023 - The trail to the Balena Bianca descending besides some dry cliffs that appeared to have had hot springs running over them at one point
The trail to the Balena Bianca descending besides some dry cliffs that appeared to have had hot springs running over them at one point

The trail then continued to descend along the base of some travertine cliffs beneath the road we were on before crossing over a bridge spanning the Fosso Bianco (roughly 150m from the trailhead).

Beyond the bridge, the trail continued to descend as it curled back downstream alongside the Fosso Bianco, where we encountered an office and a person collecting money to continue further.

This was where we paid our 2 euros per person to continue, and we then continued to descend the declining trail before eventually reaching the famed Balena Bianco (White Whale) formation.

During our visit, we noticed that the upper reaches of the hot springs here actually exhibited a green color, which could be a function of the algae that thrive here as well as perhaps a slight acidity to the water itself.

San_Filippo_137_11202023 - Looking at where the thermally-heated water (the green parts) cascaded towards some short waterfalls at the base of the Balena Bianca or White Whale formation
Looking at where the thermally-heated water (the green parts) cascaded towards some short waterfalls at the base of the Balena Bianca or White Whale formation

As for the prime bathing spots, the water coming from the Fosso Bianco was actually cold, but the closer we got to the fenced off hot springs area, the warmer (and more comfortable) the water became.

There were even white mud in the water that both Julie and Tahia had fun applying (kind of reminiscent of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland).

Anyways, as I explored a bit further along the trail, I then got in front of the famed Balena Bianca formation, which was basically a large travertine formation with small terraces as well as stalactite-like formations fronting grottos.

Some fencing and infrastructure had been set up to try to prevent or at least discourage people from climbing onto the White Whale formation.

San_Filippo_098_11202023 - Looking up over an intermediate cascade towards the Balena Bianca or White Whale formation. Notice the fencing to the left side of this picture, which shows how much visitor control was necessary to help preserve this area
Looking up over an intermediate cascade towards the Balena Bianca or White Whale formation. Notice the fencing to the left side of this picture, which shows how much visitor control was necessary to help preserve this area

Meanwhile, another fence was set up to try to limit the people from further eroding a stream bank of the Fosso Bianco directly beneath the White Whale and downstream of some intermediate cascades.

Continuing further downstream, there were a couple more nice thermal waterfalls that were also nice for bathing as well as less busier than the area both before and beneath the White Whale formation.

This was about as far as most people went concerning the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs, but the trail actually kept going further downstream.

Going Beyond the White Whale

Beyond the Balena Bianca, the trail became a bit more vegetated while passing by a few more minor travertine cascades across from someone’s property (fronted by a blue fence).

San_Filippo_129_11202023 - A pair of cascades well downstream of the Balena Bianca, which was essentially my turnaround point of my brief exploration of what else there was at Bagni San Filippo
A pair of cascades well downstream of the Balena Bianca, which was essentially my turnaround point of my brief exploration of what else there was at Bagni San Filippo

Continuing further for about another 150m, the trail then went by a couple more interesting travertine waterfalls (perhaps no more than 3m each) before the trail then reached a steep decline.

The trail actually kept going even further down along the Fosso Bianco, but as far as I was concerned, this was my turnaround point.

Overall, according to my trip logs, I had hiked roughly 1.4km round trip (including the optional detour well-downstream of the Balena Bianca).

It was an upside down hike so it was pretty much mildly all uphill on the way back to the car.

San_Filippo_144_11202023 - Looking back at Balena Bianca on our way back up to our car after having had our fill of Bagni San Filippo
Looking back at Balena Bianca on our way back up to our car after having had our fill of Bagni San Filippo

We wound up spending around 90 minutes away from the car, which was about average based on our observations of how much time other people spent here.

As I stated before, the secret is definitely out with this waterfall, but it’s still visually appealing, and the ability to soak in comfortably warm waters was an added bonus.

While I’ve seen some people prefer the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia over the Bagni San Filippo, we personally liked this one better as it was less of a party scene during our late November 2023 visit.

Best of all, Julie and Tahia didn’t notice any red worms that were definitely present at the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia.

Authorities

The Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs and Waterfalls were located beneath the town of Bagni San Filippo near Campiglia d’Orcia in the Siena Province of the Tuscany Region. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the Tuscany Tourism Board website.

San_Filippo_007_11202023 - Looking downhill into Bagni San Filippo from the trailhead. If you happen to find yourself driving this far and you can't backup to a parallel parking spot uphill (because someone else is behind you), then you may have to drive the long way around back to SP61 to regain the one-way road to find parking again
San_Filippo_008_11202023 - Julie and Tahia going down the start of the trail leading to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_009_11202023 - Looking through the fencing towards the rising steam from the Balena Bianco formation and the associate hot springs below
San_Filippo_010_11202023 - Julie and Tahia going past some port-a-potties and fencing to keep going down the trail leading to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_012_11202023 - Going past some picnic tables next to the port-a-potties along the trail down to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_013_11202023 - Julie descending along the trail to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs with some dry travertine cliffs showing evidence that there might have been hot springs flowing over these cliffs at one point in its history
San_Filippo_016_11202023 - Julie and Tahia going over a bridge spanning the Fosso Bianco en route to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_017_11202023 - Looking back up at some pools in the Fosso Bianco alongside the trail leading to the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_027_11202023 - Looking down at our first look at the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs during the descending trail to get there
San_Filippo_030_11202023 - Looking directly at the left side of the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs where you can see the hot water cascading down the travertine towards the topright side where the travertine is the deepest green
San_Filippo_032_11202023 - Looking across some of the colder pools towards where the water is the warmest at Bagni San Filippo, and there's one guy with the choicest spot to soak in the warm water as it cascades over him
San_Filippo_036_11202023 - Looking directly upstream at the part of Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs fed by the Fosso Bianco so this side of the pools were actually a bit on the cold side
San_Filippo_037_11202023 - Looking downstream over a wide waterfall brink towards the Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation with a guy bathing in perhaps the choicest spot in terms of warm water cascading over him and a woman apparently scrambling towards him
San_Filippo_042_11202023 - Closeup look at what appears to be terrace formations beneath the actual Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_043_11202023 - Looking downstream at the context of the Balena Bianca and some fencing opposite the Fosso Bianco showing a hint of some of the visitor controls necessary to protect the hot springs formations here
San_Filippo_045_11202023 - Context of the muddy and slippery trail running before the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs with some intermediate cascades
San_Filippo_046_11202023 - Looking straight up at the impressive Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_050_11202023 - Wide look across some greenish intermediate cascades that had most of the hot water beneath the Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_054_11202023 - Context of some of the fencing erected to try to keep people from messing up the Balena Bianca formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_057_11202023 - Looking downstream over the brink of some lower cascades beneath the tail end of the Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_062_11202023 - Broad look in front of some of the lower cascades fronting the Balena Bianca (White Whale) formation at the Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_076_11202023 - Looking across what appeared to be a man-modified wall supporting one of the tiers of the lower cascades beneath Balena Bianca with some ladies enjoying some warm waters on this side
San_Filippo_079_11202023 - Approaching the most impressive of the cascades at Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs, where a handful of people were bathing beneath some of the warm waters where the travertine was the greenest
San_Filippo_085_11202023 - Looking downstream at a combination of Fall Colors with part of the Balena Bianca as seen from the warmest and most attractive of the cascades at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_090_11202023 - Looking right up at some people enjoying the warmest waters over the wide and attractive thermal cascade beneath the Balena Bianca at the Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_096_11202023 - Broad look at the lower cascades of the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs with some ladies enjoying the thermal waters cascading over the lower tier
San_Filippo_097_11202023 - Portrait look at the context of one of the lower cascading tiers of the Fosso Bianco fronting the Balena Bianca at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_101_11202023 - Another look at the context of the lower cascading tiers fronting the Balena Bianca formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_118_11202023 - Looking at one of the lowermost of the cascades near the Balena Bianca formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_120_11202023 - Another contextual broad look at the lower intermediate cascades beneath the Balena Bianca formation and the full extent of that formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_124_11202023 - Continuing further downstream along the trail beyond the Balena Bianca formation at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_125_11202023 - First look at one of the lowermost of the cascades that I witnessed at the Bagni San Filippo well downstream of Balena Bianca
San_Filippo_130_11202023 - These most downstream of the cascades beyond the Balena Bianca formation pretty much marked my turnaround point of my exploration of the Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_131_11202023 - Hiking back towards the Balena Bianca formation after reaching my turnaround point, where I noticed some blue-lined fencing perhaps marking private property at the lower village of Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_132_11202023 - Context of the trail and the Balena Bianca formation as I was rejoining the commotion at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_015_iPhone_11202023 - Pano shot of the commotion at the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs showing the context of both the Balena Bianca and the green hot springs travertine cascades to its left
San_Filippo_017_iPhone_11202023 - An even broader pano shot of the commotion at the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs showing the entirety of the Balena Bianca formation and the green hot springs travertine cascades to its left
San_Filippo_135_11202023 - Rejoining Julie and Tahia as they were enjoying the warm waters of the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs while also applying some of the white mud on their faces
San_Filippo_142_11202023 - Contextual look at the Balena Bianca with its drying terraces as seen from the top of the main thermal cascade of the Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_150_11202023 - Context of people enjoying themselves at the upper pools where the water was perhaps the warmest at the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_151_11202023 - Looking back at the context of the upper pools and Balena Bianca as people were scrambling around these pools while we were on our way back up to the car at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_152_11202023 - Looking through the trees and Fall foliage towards the upper part of the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs
San_Filippo_156_11202023 - Julie and Tahia going back over the bridge spanning the Fosso Bianco fronting some dried up travertine formations that definitely used to have hot springs going over them at one point at Bagni San Filippo
San_Filippo_159_11202023 - Making it back to the Bagni San Filippo village as we were now near our parked cars after having our fill of the hot springs here
San_Filippo_161_11202023 - Going back to our parked car after having had our fill of the Bagni San Filippo Hot Springs


Bagni San Filippo with its hot springs and waterfalls are located in the southern end of the Tuscany Region near Campiglia d’Orcia, roughly 30km north of its border with the Lazio Region (of which Rome is the capital).

Since we made our visit from Bagno Vignoni, I figured that I should describe the directions from San Quirico d’Orcia in the heart of the scenic part of Tuscany.

Drive_to_San_Filippo_025_iPhone_11202023 - The 30-minute drive between Bagno Vignoni and Bagno San Filippo went through some pretty classic Tuscan landscapes even tnough we were in the off-season in November when most of the fields were being re-seeded and re-tilled for a new year of crops
The 30-minute drive between Bagno Vignoni and Bagno San Filippo went through some pretty classic Tuscan landscapes even tnough we were in the off-season in November when most of the fields were being re-seeded and re-tilled for a new year of crops

That said, our drive from Bagno Vignoni to Bagni San Filippo was roughly 30 minutes.

So from San Quirico d’Orcia, we had a choice of going straight southeast along the regional road (or strada regionale) SR2 or taking a more roundabout way via the town of Pienza.

That latter option might be the only way to go because the SR2 was closed between San Quirico d’Orcia and its junction with the SP53 during our late November 2023 visit.

Anyways, assuming SR2 was available, we’d head southeast on it for about 20km to its turnoff for Via Fosso Bianco or provincial road SP61.

San_Filippo_003_11202023 - Descending and finding limited parallel parking along the one-way road leading into the lower village of Bagni San Filippo
Descending and finding limited parallel parking along the one-way road leading into the lower village of Bagni San Filippo

Once on the SP61, we then drove another 3km towards the town of Bagni San Filippo, where there’s a turnoff to the left leading to a one-way road leading right down to the town of Terme San Filippo.

Then, we’d slowly drive roughly 150-200m keeping an eye out for parking space on the right, which is metered (there’s a meter maid towards the upper end of this parallel parking stretch).

After parking the car and possibly feeding the meter maid (the credit card reader wasn’t working during our visit), we then walked towards the start of Terme San Filippo town, where the trailhead was.

Overall, this drive should take between 30-60 minutes.

San_Filippo_004_11202023 - Approaching the trailhead for the Bagni San Filippo hot springs and the Balena Bianca, which started right before the village of Bagni San Filippo. If you're driving and you get all the way down here, you may have to keep driving through the town's legal roads to regain the SP61 and return to the start of the one-way road!
Approaching the trailhead for the Bagni San Filippo hot springs and the Balena Bianca, which started right before the village of Bagni San Filippo. If you’re driving and you get all the way down here, you may have to keep driving through the town’s legal roads to regain the SP61 and return to the start of the one-way road!

Had we taken the more roundabout way via Pienza, then we’d follow the SP146 northeast of San Quirico d’Orcia for about 9km towards Pienza before continuing south along the SP18 for another 13km or so.

Then, we’d follow the SP53 south for another heading south on the SP53 for about 5km before following the SP40 for another 5 km towards the SR2.

Once on the SR2, then we’d continue south for another 4-5km or so before turning left onto the SP41 before going south on the SP40 or Via Fosso Bianco, which led us the remaining 3km to the one-way turnoff leading into Terme San Filippo.

This drive would take around 45-60 minutes or so.

San_Filippo_001_11202023 - Looking back up at the parallel parking spots along the one-way road (going downhill) as I pursued the meter maid to pay-and-display at the Bagni San Filippo
Looking back up at the parallel parking spots along the one-way road (going downhill) as I pursued the meter maid to pay-and-display at the Bagni San Filippo

For geographical context, San Quirico d’Orcia is 29km (over 30 minutes drive) southwest of Montepulciano, about 47km (about an hour drive) southeast of Siena, 71km (over an hour drive) northeast of Grosseto, 94km (about 90 minutes drive) west of Perugia, 120km (under 2 hours drive) south of Florence, and 196km (over 2.5 hours drive) northwest of Rome.

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Sweep checking out the leftmost of the cascades before panning over to the white whale


Sweep checking out some intermediate cascades before zooming in towards the main thermal cascading part and then finally coming back to the intermediate cascades again


Back and forth sweep showing the base of the White Whale formation while also focusing on the front of the cascades beneath the most thermal part


Long video starting with some lower intermediate cascades and dwelling on them before moving on towards the tiers that I had previously seen as well as the overall context from down there


Video focusing on the lowermost of the cascades that I managed to see well downstream of the White Whale

Tagged with: bagni san filippo, san filippo falls, san filippo waterfall, thermal waterfall, hot springs, white whale, balena bianca, southern tuscany, southern toscana, sulfur, san quirico d'orcia, val d'orcia, castiglione d'orcia, toscana, tuscany, italy



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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