Bagni San Filippo and the Balena Bianca

Bagni San Filippo is a charming town located in the municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia, between the Val d’Orcia and Mount Amiata, in southern Tuscany. It takes its name from Filippo Benizi, a Florentine nobleman who is said to have taken refuge in these areas to escape the papal charge and who miraculously made the waters flow out of the mountain, even if the Etruscans and Romans were already aware of this thermal area.
Bagni San Filippo is in fact famous above all for its landscape characterized by the presence of limestone conformations, hot tubs, and waterfalls, all completely surrounded by nature.

Terme Bagni San Filippo, the Fosso Bianco and the Balena Bianca

For lovers of greenery and thermal water, the Fosso Bianco is the ideal destination. The Fosso Bianco is a stream located in an extensive free spa area which can be reached via a walking path which is accessed from a road upstream of the village.

The walk in the Terme San Filippo proceeds pleasantly: the wooded vegetation, the chirping of birds and the total calm from which one is gradually wrapped. The climax of the beautiful view is reached at the end of this path, as soon as the eyes rest on the Balena Bianca Waterfall, a large block of limestone that resembles the animal’s mouth. Here the water can reach a temperature of 48°, allowing bathing even in winter.

The characteristic white-blue colour creates a spectacular natural scenery, in contrast with the colours of the woods around it. The thermal water, the sound of the waterfall, the colours that shine in the sunlight, create a unique atmosphere of its kind.
For those who choose a holiday in the name of comfort, there is also a well-equipped spa, Le Terme di San Filippo, with restaurant, hotel, spa, and swimming pool with a hydro-massage waterfall. Other restaurants are available in the village around the spa, see our tips on where to eat.

Bagni San Filippo is the perfect place for those seeking surprise, thanks to both the spa area and the entire landscape that surrounds it. The small population of the area has meant that this location has remained unchanged and uncontaminated over time, thus allowing visitors of the 21st century to experience the same sensations that the Romans may have experienced in ancient times.

Filippo Benizi and his small church in the cave

In your passage or stay in Bagni San Filippo we strongly recommend you visit the small church, built inside a rock which is located between San Filippo and the Pietrineri locality. A path that you can do on foot in about 20 minutes. The small church is located a short distance from the road but when you reach it, you are immersed in a mystical atmosphere, appreciated only by visiting the place.

A small stone altar suggests that mass was also celebrated outside the chapel which is really small. All this was accomplished by Filippo Benizi, born in 1233, who took refuge in this locality to escape a possible candidacy as successor to Pope Clement IV.

Where is the cave with the church