My Favourite Places: The Pool in Bagno Vignoni

21 march 2016

Imagine a big pool in stone, originating from the XVI century, as big as a main square, built in the centre of a tiny town in the Val d’Orcia hills, filled with boiling hot springs that gush up from the depths of the earth. A pool where, over the centuries, thousands of pilgrims, travellers, historical figures, popes and saints have soaked themselves: from Lorenzo the Magnificent to Saint Catherine of Siena, including Pope Pious II.


Imagine having it just a few kilometres from home, growing up practically beside it. You can understand why the Bagno Vignoni pool has always been one of my favourite places.

As a child, my parents took me there every Sunday: an afternoon jaunt to Bagno Vignoni – for a coffee and an ice cream – it was tradition for holidays. Then, it became the hangout place during my teen years, of the first Vespa rides with my friends on beautiful spring days. It provided the romantic backdrop for my love stories, the best place to exchange promises and kisses. I have spent countless summer nights there chatting until late at night, taking sips of cold beer from the bottle, and looking at the sparkling lights of the stars reflecting on the water.

I have been there often to reflect on cold winter evenings when the rising steam envelops the entire village in a surreal atmosphere. The same atmosphere that can be seen in a famous film by Andrej Tarkovskij, Nostalghia, filmed right here in Bagno Vignoni after the Russian director fell madly in love with the Val d’Orcia.


Since I have been a wedding planner in the Val d’Orcia, I consider the Bagno Vignoni pool, with its covered portico, the ideal backdrop to hold unique events: a dinner here, to the sound of classical music with fine wines and exquisite food on a long table lit by candles, cannot be rivalled. Yet, in a small part of my heart, this place, which has seen me as a little girl, will remain private, a treasure chest of memories and secrets of a lifetime.