What to do in Chianciano Terme? Today I will show you what to see in Chianciano Terme and its surroundings. A journey through villages, nature, relaxation, food and wine!
If you are wondering what to see in and around Chianciano Terme, this article is for you! I will take you to discover these fantastic places, between history and relaxation, showing you the main activities you can do in Chianciano and its surroundings.
What to visit in Chianciano Terme
Chianciano, famous for its thermal baths, is located in Tuscany, in the territories between the Val d’Orcia and the Val di Chiana, on the border with Umbria and Lazio. The beneficial properties of these waters were already appreciated by the Etruscans and the Romans, who settled in these areas.
Chianciano, however, is not only thermal baths. It is possible to distinguish the Chianciano Terme that everyone knows from the picturesque village of Chianciano. The latter is an ancient medieval village with important monuments and museums worth visiting.
Thanks to its modern spa centre and its small village, Chianciano is a year-round destination: even in winter you can relax in one of the most important thermal springs in Italy. And in your free time you can visit the Christmas markets, which are typical of the area.
What to see in Chianciano? Discovering the Tuscan town
The town of Chianciano, situated on the top of a hill, probably has Etruscan origins. Given its location and small size, the town can be easily visited on foot, walking through the characteristic alleys and meeting new monuments and symbols of the town step by step.
Starting from the Porta del Sole, you will be accompanied on your way by the imposing city walls that occupy part of the urban centre.
When talking about Chianciano, you cannot fail to mention Piazza Matteotti, a typical small square with a beautiful fountain in the centre and just a few metres from the town hall.
A few steps further on you will find Castello Manenti, also known as a “monastery” because of its silence. Initially the castle was under the rule of the Manenti counts until the end of the 13th century, when it became a free commune, but was always disputed between the surrounding towns.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception is one of the most important monuments in the town. Built on the remains of an old hospital, its construction dates back to 1475. Destroyed by the War of Siena, it was rebuilt in 1580, the year to which the high altar and the two side altars date.
The Collegiate Church of San Giovanni Battista dates back to the 13th century. The architectural style ranges from Romanesque to Gothic, except for the interior, which was rebuilt in neoclassical style to a design by Luigi De Vigni in 1817. Inside the church, you can admire a series of frescoes and sculptures that should not be missed!
Leaving behind the religious monuments, we come to the museums.
The Museo Civico Archeologico delle Acque was opened in 1997. Inside you can see archaeological finds of Etruscan origin, discovered in the surrounding areas.
On the other hand, the Museo della Collegiata presents a gallery of sacred art with works dating back to the period between the 13th and 19th centuries.
If you are in Chianciano, you cannot miss the Art Museum, which has a remarkable collection ranging from Asian to Contemporary art. You can see works of art by important artists such as Guttuso, Magritte or Munch.
You cannot leave Chianciano without seeing the Clock Tower. Dating back to the Middle Ages, it bears the coat of arms of the De’ Medici family. At the base of the tower, from the balcony, you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Mounts Amiata and Cetona, not to mention the valley that hosts Lake Trasimeno and the lakes of Montepulciano and Chiusi. If you didn’t know what to see in Chianciano Terme, this is definitely not to be missed!
What to do in Chianciano Terme? The thermal baths
As you know, Chianciano is one of the most popular locations for thermal springs, among the most important in Italy. There are five springs that flow inside the parks, all with different properties.
For example, Acqua Santa is ideal for those with liver problems, as is Acqua Fucoli. Those with respiratory problems can use the Acqua Santissima spring.
Acqua Sillene and Acqua Sant’Elena are used to treat cardiovascular and digestive disorders respectively. There are also swimming pools and wellness trails in the thermal centre.
The Theia thermal pool, fed by the Sillene spring and immersed in nature, is one of the most evocative areas of Chianciano Terme. For those who want to enjoy a day of relaxation and wellness, the structure offers the fantastic sensory spa and the wellness centre.
📚 If you love spas, read also The best spas in Italy: relaxation not to be missed
What to see in and around Chianciano terme?
As I have explained, Chianciano is not only a land of thermal springs and wellness centres. If you would like to try something new but don’t know what to see in Chianciano Terme, let me suggest an itinerary to discover some of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
What to see in and around Chianciano? The picturesque villages of Montepulciano, Pienza, Chiusi, Sarteano, Montalcino and San Quirico d’Orcia.
The town of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is an ancient medieval village, located 600 metres above sea level. The heart of the town is undoubtedly the Piazza Grande, a meeting place for tourists and locals alike. The main attraction is the Tower of Pulcinella, with its typical mask that marks the hours.
Not to be missed is the Church of San Biagio, located outside the city walls. Built by Antonio da Sangallo at the foot of Montepulciano’s hill, it is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and it is no coincidence that visitors to this amazing building are always increasing.
A few kilometres from Chianciano, perched on a hill, is this small village which, thanks to its strategic position, enjoys an enviable panorama. Pienza was built at the behest of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II, and who wanted to create a town that was a symbol of the Renaissance. The town square, which lends elegance to the surrounding buildings, is named after him.
The most important monument in Pienza is undoubtedly the Duomo or Cathedral of the Assumption, which houses some works of art by the most influential artists of the time. A short walk will take you to the famous Pieve di Corsignano, a 7th-century Romanesque church which houses one of the few representations of the “serpente regolo” still in its original form.
Not sure what to see in and around Chianciano? Just a few minutes from the famous spa town is Chiusi. There is a fanciful legend about this town according to which the treasure of King Porsenna and his sarcophagus are located beneath the town, in one of the labyrinths created and left by the Etruscans.
Although many documents related to this legend have been found, the exact location of the treasure has not yet been identified, partly because many of the Etruscan tunnels were destroyed by the Romans. The intact underground labyrinths can be visited thanks to organised tours. The Cathedral Museum and the Church of San Sebastiano, one of the oldest in Tuscany, are not to be missed. Moreover, the Church of San Francesco is another important tourist attraction of this town, dating back to the 13th century. It is made up only of bricks on the outside and has a Gothic-Franciscan style.
Sarteano is located in one of the most beautiful corners of Tuscany, surrounded by greenery and unspoilt nature. Symbols of the town are Mount Cetona and the majestic Castle, situated on a travertine spur and now a natural park. If you find yourself in this fantastic town, you cannot miss the Tomb of the Infernal Quadriga, found in 2003 and representing the demon Charon.
The Abbey of Spineta is of great importance. Its name is linked to the fact that, in ancient times, this area was covered in brambles and thorns. Inside the abbey you can also see the Church of the Holy Trinity.
An enchanting medieval village, Montalcino is known throughout the world for its Brunello wine, one of the finest Italian wines exported internationally. The town is immersed in the Val d’Orcia Natural Park, offering visitors breathtaking views.
The symbol of the town is the Rocca dating back to 1361, a fortress that dominates the whole town. From there, it is possible to enjoy a unique view over the Val d’Orcia and the surrounding areas. The tall and narrow tower of Palazzo dei Priori is very characteristic: it overlooks Piazza del Popolo, the main square of Montalcino. Don’t miss the Church of Sant’Agostino and the Glass Museum.
San Quirico d’Orcia
Built on the remains of the ancient village of Osanna, San Quirico d’Orcia is just a few kilometres from Chianciano Terme. You cannot leave this enchanting village without seeing the Collegiate Church of San Quirico and Giulitta, a Romanesque church with Gothic and Baroque features that will leave you speechless. Palazzo Chigi and the Church of San Francesco are other symbolic monuments of the town, not to be missed!
Between sport and nature
Are you a sports enthusiast but don’t know what to do in and around Chianciano terme? The territory surrounding Chianciano is perfect for outdoor activities, immersed in nature.
There are plenty of trekking routes you can take, as well as organised excursions that will allow you to come into contact with the local ecosystems and discover breathtaking landscapes, such as fantastic paths or beautiful caves. Between the Val d’Orcia and the Val di Chiana there is no shortage of walking and cycling, not to mention horse riding, which is definitely not to be missed!
For the children (but not only for them!), there is Indiana Park in Chianciano Terme. A 3-hectare adventure park where you can stay outdoors, be active and have fun.
Want to combine sport with food? You can do so thanks to the countless food and wine tours offered in these fantastic lands!
Local food and wine
You cannot leave Chianciano Terme without having tried some of the most important regional food delicacies.
Definitely not to be missed are the “pici”, a fresh pasta made with water, flour, salt and very few eggs. Probably of Etruscan origin, they can be served with a variety of condiments: with “briciole” (breadcrumbs), with the classic Tuscan ragout or with “all’aglione” sauce. Aglione is a giant garlic that is typical of these lands. Its aroma is spicy and more delicate than the traditional one. It is also easily digestible as it does not contain alumina.
Staying with pasta, you must try the fantastic pappardelle with hare sauce, a must for anyone visiting this area.
Another traditional dish is the “ribollita”: it consists of bread slices, soaked in bean broth and seasoned with different herbs.
As for desserts, cantucci represent the tradition, together with “lattaioli” and “castagnaccio”.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is the symbol of this land. Ruby red in colour, tending towards garnet after ageing, it has an intense bouquet with floral notes and some hints of wood. Not to be missed during your trip to Chianciano Terme and its surroundings!
I hope this guide has helped you discover what to see in Chianciano Terme, the town of thermal baths, but not only. Rich in history and enchanting landscapes, it is one of the hidden gems of Italy. With Italia Delight, you can create your tailor-made food and wine holdidays!