Last updated on November 27th, 2023
Are you planning a visit to San Casciano dei Bagni and wondering how best to spend your time? Maybe you are already here and hoping to find the absolute best restaurant in the area.
No matter your reason, I have the answer for you. I have been living just 15 minutes from San Casciano dei Bagni for over 10 years now and am confident in sharing my local tips and insider knowledge on what best to see and do while visiting.
In this comprehensive travel guide to San Casciano dei Bagni, I will share with you all the important information you need when planning your next trip to Southern Tuscany including:
- How to get to San Casciano dei Bagni and where to park
- When to visit
- What to do
- Where to eat
- Where to stay
Everything you find in this article is based on my first hand experience with my family.
Jump to Section
Where Is San Casciano Dei Bagni?
San Casciano dei Bagni embodies all aspects of a quant Tuscan village with nonne hanging laundry outside their balconies, old-timers hanging around at the town bar and kids playing soccer as the sun goes behind Monte Amiata.
Just like Cetona, San Casciano dei Bagni has been chosen as one of “the most beautiful villages of Italy” named by the association. And after visiting this beautiful town for over 12 years now I can confidently confirm that it is!
Fact: Monte Amiata is the largest mountain in Southern Tuscany.
How To Get To San Casciano Dei Bagni
To arrive in San Casciano dei Bagni you need to drive. It’s a 30 minute drive from Chiusi, the largest town well connected to the Italian railway with several possibilities for car rentals.
If you have rented a car in another city, it’s easy to arrive in San Casciano dei Bagni from the A1 highway. If you are traveling North in the direction of Florence from Rome, take the exit at Fabro, follow the blue signs for San Casciano dei Bagni.
If you are traveling south on the A1 in the direction of Rome from Florence, get off in Chiusi and after paying the highway toll, turn right and follow the blue signs for San Casciano dei Bagni.
Parking in San Casciano Dei Bagni
Upon arriving in San Casciano dei Bagni, the easiest place to park is at the large lot at the base to the small village, just on your left as you go around the bend of Viale Manciati leading you to the town.
The largest parking lot, “Piazzale del Ponte”, is marked by a large blue sign with a white “P” for parking. Parking is free in San Casciano dei Bagni.
You will also come across a smaller lot closer to the San Casciano dei Bagni thermal baths just past the town on a side street to the right of the main in Via Bastiani. I prefer the larger lot because there is more space to backup, turn around, etc.
There are also a couple of spots just to the right before you go up the ramp into the town walls. These spaces are still free to park but are often occupied.
In some cases you may drive up into the village of San Casciano dei Bagni and park right in the piazza but there are several exceptions and time limitations to these spots (max 30 minutes from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm). To avoid a ticket, I always park in the lot below and walk the 100 meters up.
If you are visiting the public thermal baths, there are three smaller lots closer to the main pool as you drive down Via della Fontaccia
Best Time To Visit San Casciano Dei Bagni
The best time to visit San Casciano dei Bagni is during the early Spring and Fall, with May and September being the absolute best months.
The colors at this time of year in San Casciano dei Bagni are so much more vibrant than in other times of the year yet the weather is still warm and the days are long and sunny.
This is also the time of year that we find it most pleasant to spend time outdoors. My husband and I can sit at the main bar in San Casciano dei Bagni while my kids play without being too hot or too cold. It’s just perfect!
Avoid traveling to San Casciano dei Bagni in the dead of winter after the New Year in January and February because many of the hotels and restaurants close for a vacation period.
A Short History Of San Casciano dei Bagni
San Casciano dei Bagni has made a name for itself throughout history primarily because of its 42 hot fresh water springs.
The San Casciano thermal baths are said to have first been founded back in the 6th century BC by an Etuscan king and have ever since been popular among the surrounding residents. Today, with the addition of a luxury spa, the thermal baths and San Casciano dei Bagni hot springs attract tourists from far and wide.
The San Casciano dei Bagni Statues
Most recently, a rich collection of 24 bronze Etruscan statues were discovered in San Casciano dei Bagni near the thermal baths. The excavation had started back in 2019 but it wasn’t until three years later that these San Casciano dei Bagni statues, along with around 6,000 ancient coins and other artifacts, were unearthed.
These San Casciano dei Bagni statues are believed to have decorated an Etruscan sanctuary and were later buried by the Romans when they rebuilt over what the earlier settlements had once constructed.
As of fall of 2023, the San Casciano dei Bagni statues are traveling around in exhibition with a tentative plan to be back in December, 2024. A museum is currently being restored in a Renaissance building across from the town hall to display the newly found bronze San Casciano dei Bagni statues.
What To Do In San Casciano Dei Bagni
Despite how small San Cascniano dei Bagni is, between the thermal baths and the grand piazza, there is plenty to fill your day.
San Casciano is also a great small Tuscan village to use as a base for touring around Southern Tuscany and even into neighboring towns in Umbria and Lazio.
Public Thermal Baths And Hot Springs in San Casciano dei Bagni
Free access to the San Casciano dei Bagno thermal baths and hot springs has always remained a priority for the community.
Follow Via della Fontaccia just past the entrance to the village of San Casciano dei Bagni down to the public pools.
The first pool will be on your left about 5 minutes on foot after the main parking lot. Follow the road down another 5 minutes to the vasca grande or the large pool, with three separate tubs to soak in.
Good To Know: The first pool has a pergola covering part of the pool and the water is slightly cooler than the second hot springs.
Learn More: Read my Visitor’s Guide to the San Casciano dei Bagni Thermal Baths.
Thermal Baths at Fonteverde Day Spa And Resort
The luxury Fonteverde spa offers various day packages for visitors who are looking to spend a single day at the spa as well as entire hotel and thermal spa packages for longer stays.
At Fonteverde you can bathe in one of the many indoor or outdoor pools and book a wide array of spa treatments including messages, rock treatments and skin treatments.
You can purchase one-day passes to the thermal baths or afternoon passes (after 3:00 pm) for a reduced price, including an aperitivo (Saturday and Sunday only). This is what my husband and I always opt for and find it to be enough time at the resort.
If you want to stay all day, you can also purchase a combined entrance ticket including lunch at the pool-side restaurant/bar.
Thermal Baths With Children: Children are allowed at any time of the day at Fonteverde Spa for a reduced price. Children under the age of three enter for free.
Piazza Matteotti is the heart of San Casciano dei Bagni with one of the greatest viewpoints over the Val d’Orcia in all the area. This square is where our family likes to hang out and get gelato, stop for coffee or have aperitivo before dinner.
This is a great place for kids to run around and adults to relax. Keep in mind this is not a car-free piazza and locals do pass by.
If you are ordering drinks or a glass of wine at the bar, they prefer you to sit at the table but if you grab a beer at the counter you can bring it over to the benches on the other side of the square overlooking the sweeping Tuscan countryside and enjoy your evening overlooking the surrounding hillsides.
You can book an archeological walk with the tourist office, lasting about two hours, that will take you directly into the active archeological site in San Casciano dei Bagni.
Unfortunately, these guided walks are only on Saturdays at 5:30 pm.
Museo Il Santuario Ritrovato – Le Stanze Cassianensi
This small, free museum is in Piazza della Repubblica just above the main square next to the town hall.
Although small, we were fascinated by how well-done the museum took us through the archeological journey to find the Sanctuary, the thermal baths and other past civilizations in San Casciano dei Bagni that have been uncovered over the decades.
Don’t miss the small terrace on the back side of the single-room museum. There are several benches to sit down at.
Hiking In San Casciano Dei Bagni
The town of San Casciano dei Bagni has invested in maintaining paths that are actively used by both tourists and locals throughout the year.
There are four main walks or bike rides that you can do, all of which you can get more details on either at the information center or by reading the four maps with detailed descriptions in the main “Piazzale del Ponte” parking lot across from the village.
There are several other trails as well but they do not leave from San Casciano dei Bagni. These other trails are great alternatives but you either need to bike or drive to get to the beginning of them.
Pick up their English trail booklet “San Casciano Active” for more information and specific details about the San Casciano dei Bagni hiking trails.
Below is a rundown of the four main hikes:
|Fighine||n. 02||15 km||350 m||4 hours||Brings you up to the beautiful castle of Fighine|
|Le Sorgenti||n. 01||4 km||116 m||1hr05’||Through village and public hot springs|
|Affecciatoio||n. 04||8.4 km||246 m||2hr10’||Through olive groves under Mount Cetona|
|I Poggi||n. 08||5.8 km||220 m||1hr35’||Across Southern Tuscany hills outside of the village|
Biking In San Casciano Dei Bagni
Rent e-bikes from the rental shop, Val D’Orcia EBike, just off the main square in town. They offer a variety of tours from 3-7 hours long, depending on what route you choose, your level and what you would like to see.
All of Nicolò’s tours have rest points, panoramic stop-offs and opportunities to fuel up with coffee and cold drinks. The company has so many options that no matter your level, there is something for you.
Good To Know: The Valdichiana and Val d’Orcia is currently working on a bike sharing system, interlinking all the major villages and towns via ebike. We hope that by spring 2024, bike sharing will be available.
What was once an important medieval castle, has now been restored and turned into a luxury hotel with a Michelin star restaurant.
The ancient Fighine castle is just above the actual town of San Casciano dei Bagni, about 2 miles away. Fighine is said to have been the most important castle throughout history overlooking the region, dominating over other surrounding castles and municipalities.
You can easily hike or drive to the top and take a short walk around. I have taken my boys up to the top by foot from the small road just off of Viale Manciati. It does get quite steep at some points but my boys, 5 and 7 at the time, did just fine.
Check out route Fighine (n.02) as mapped out in Piazzale del Ponte for more details (a map also available at the tourist office).
San Casciano dei Bagni has several churches, the main one in the village at the top of via S. Cassiano, La Collegiata di San Leonardo e l’Oratorio di Sant’Antonio. The most beautiful and important church, La Chiesa di Santa Maria, however, is located about 15 minutes from the village town in its smaller village of Palazzone.
San Casciano dei Bagni has some really wonderful small scale wineries to visit in the surrounding vineyards. My family’s favorite is Ravazzi because it’s family run and has a homey vibe yet professional feel to their tastings and tours.
Other wineries include Podernuovo, just around the corner from Ravazzi and Cantina Giacomo Mori.
All cantines are open for wine purchase but you must pre-book a tasting and tour (except Ravazzi which is open to free tastings without pre-booking).
Learn More: Read my Tips for Wine Tasting in Tuscany.
Where To Eat In San Casciano Dei Bagni
There is not a huge selection of San Casciano dei Bagni Italy restaurants but you can count on what there is.
Ristorante Daniela is by far San Casciano’s most popular restaurant and with the absolute best view overlooking the panoramic Val d’Orcia.
The atmosphere is elegant and the food is decent. Always book a table and be sure to specify whether you prefer to eat indoors or outdoors on their beautiful terrace.
Bar Centrale is the main bar in San Casciano dei Bagni where you can get just about anything. In the morning you can stop in for a pastry and coffee and then sit down for a casual lunch, snack or dinner at any time.
The bar is owned by Daniela as well and you will find simpler variations of what is served at the restaurant next door at a more affordable price. Favorites among my family are the hamburger and tagliere (cheese and or cured meat board).
They also stock a variety of artisan craft beers from the area and serve gelato.
La Fontanella Ristorante
La Fontanella is just down the road from the village of San Casciano dei Bagni yet worth the short walk for their homemade pastas, elegant dining room and warming staff. The one thing I don’t like about this restaurant is that it’s right on the road but the food makes up for it!
Ristorante Castello di Fighine
This Michelin star restaurant is certainly the most expensive and unique dining experience in San Casciano dei Bagni.
Managed by Chef Heinz Beck, the restaurant offers sweeping views of Southern Tuscany with traditional Tuscan Haute cuisine. You can sit either on their terrace or indoors and relax with one of their many in-house cocktails.
I highly suggest the tasting menu, which is the best bank for your buck at a Michelin star restaurant. I have been twice now and each time the menu has reflected the season. Be sure to book ahead and let them know if you have allergies prior to dining.
Where To Stay In San Casciano Dei Bagni
Località Terme 1, 53040 San Casciano dei Bagni
The thermal baths hotel and resort of Fonteverde is the most luxurious stay in San Casciano dei Bagni, offersing luxury rooms as well as access to their spa, private thermal baths and on-site restaurant serving typical Tuscan cuisine.
Viale Manciati 2/5, 53040 San Casciano dei Bagni
Sette Querce offers both suites and independent rooms at a lower price point, located just outside the walls of San Casciano dei Bagni. This is a really casual place and since I was married 10 years ago and had my American family stay here I have been recommending it since.
Albergo La Fontanella
Via Roma 38, 53040 San Casciano dei Bagni
Albergo La Fontanella is another wonderful option just outside of San Casciano dei Bagni. Their restaurant on site is famous for their homemade pastas and the owner Nila couldn’t be more welcoming.
Accommodations For Families: If you are a large family coming to San Casciano dei Bagni, consider booking a farmstay in the surrounding countryside. Most independent villas or poderi will have access to a pool and yard as well. I have personally stayed at Fighine and Montefreddo and highly recommend them
Other Important Tips For Visiting San Casciano Dei Bagni Italy
Tourist Office In San Casciano Dei Bagni
The tourist office in San Casciano dei Bagni is located just at the far end of Piazza Matteotti, open Tuesday-Sunday 10:30-12:30/15:00-17:00.
Grocery Shopping In San Casciano Dei Bagni
San Casciano dei Bagni surprisingly does not have a grocery store. You can check out FEMA which is just past the central bar on the right hand side for local cheeses, cured meats, breads and cooking staples.
Just up the hill is the local butcher and an alimentari, selling more kitchen staples.
Pharmacy in San Casciano Dei Bagni
The pharmacy in San Casciano dei Bagni is located outside the center past the village afterAlbergo La Fontanella on your right. Look for a green cross indicating the direction of the pharmacy.
San Casciano Dei Bagni With Children
San Casciano dei Bagni is a great place to visit with kids because it’s small and safe. You can visit the public thermal baths with them and not worry about making a ruckus.
There is a very small park located just past the village which you will see on your left as you walk up Via Antonio Gramsci to the main Piazza.
Fairs and Festivals In San Casciano Dei Bagni
San Casciano dei Bagni is also home to various fairs and festivals so keep your eyes peeled for the following:
- La Sagra del Ciaffagnone a San Casciano dei Bagni: Every year in mid June, the town of San Casciano dei Bagni plays host to the Sagra del Ciaffagnone, a food festival celebrating a thin pancake cooked in lard and stuffed with local ingredients. I prefer the savory version with local pecorino cheese but my kids like the sweet one made with Nutella.
- Sagra del Cinta Senese: Another sagra in San Casciano dei Bagni celebrating the local cinta senese pig breed.
- Il Palio di San Cassiano: on August 13th, the annual palio or celebration and games is held between the four contrade or neighborhoods of San Casciano dei Bagni. The most exciting and famous event being the frog race in which the participants need to push a frog across the main square on a wheelbarrow without it jumping off.
- Fall Festival of San Casciano dei Bagni: Every October you can partake in the annual fall celebration with games, local food and vendors.
To learn more about eating in Italy, read Sagras – What Is A Sagra? + What You Need To Know Before Attending and What Is A Trattoria? – Your Guide To Italian Eateries, From Ristoranti & Osterie to Paninoteche & Tavole Calde.
Other Towns To Visit While In San Casciano Dei Bagni
There is so much to see around San Casciano dei Bagni and because it’s so small, it’s easy to visit other small Tuscan villages close by either on the same day or over the course of multiple days.
These are my family’s favorite towns close to San Casciano dei Bagni:
- Cetona (15 minute drive)
- Sarteano (25 minute drive)
- Radicofani (20 minute drive)
- Celle Su Rigo (10 minute drive)
- Bagni San Filippo (30 minute drive)
- Montepulciano (1 hour drive)
- Orvieto (1 hour drive )
- Città della Pieve, Umbria (30 minute drive)
San Casciano dei Bagni FAQ
San Casciano dei Bagni is absolutely worth a visit. It’s considered one of Italy’s most beautiful small villages and offers something for the whole family, including those on a budget. Visit the Fonteverde spa for a luxury thermal bath experience but opt for the free public San Casciano dei Bagni hot springs if you have small children or are looking to keep costs down. Use San Casciano dei Bagni as a base for touring the rest of Southern Tuscany such as Cetona, Radicofani, Bagni San Filippo, Montepulciano, Orvieto and Città della Pieve (Umbria). The terrace overlooking the Val d’Orcia in San Casciano dei Bangi is one of the most beautiful and stunning spots to see the sun set and there is a large variety of restaurants and accommodations to choose from, no matter your agenda.