Day Trip to Chianciano: A Tuscan Spa Day

March 6, 2013 by

Day Trips

The old city of Chianciano. Creative commons photo by AndreaAngeli80 via Wikimedia.

Visiting a spa while on vacation can be the perfect way to unwind from the busy “real world.” Of course, a trip to Tuscany sounds like a pretty good way to relax, too. So, why not skip the agonizing decision-making and combine the two? Take a day trip to Chianciano Terme from Florence to see an historic Tuscan town and spend some time in one of Italy’s nicest spa resorts.

Chianciano Terme has a long history of being a health retreat – even before the Romans conquered this area, the Etruscans had built a temple here to the “god of good health” in the 5th century B.C.E. The natural springs at Chianciano provide water to several very nice spas in and around the town. Most are located in what’s called the “Terme” quarter, which is the newer part of town. “Terme” translates into “spa” or “thermal bath,” so whenever you see that word attached to the name of a town, you know there will be spa resorts nearby.

In addition to the spa resorts in Chianciano, there is an older part of town sitting on top of a hill. Some of the main sights in this older quarter are the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Piazza Matteotti, Manenti Castle, Palazzo de Vegni, the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Church of the Madonna of the Rose. The old town (and its walls) may date from medieval times, but the city gate – the Porta Rivellini – is Renaissance. There’s also a well-regarded museum of art in the Terme quarter, too.

Chianciano is about 55 miles from Florence, making it an easy day trip, and it even has a train station on the Florence-Rome line, so it’s easy to reach without a car. And of course if you can’t bear to leave at the end of your spa day, take heart – the spa resorts all have accommodation options, too.

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- Jessica Spiegel

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