Crete Senesi

Guide to Rapolano Terme, thermal baths and things to do

Thermal baths and historic town: what to do in Rapolano Terme?

Located between the valleys of Ombrone and Valdichiana, Rapolano Terme is a very popular spa town since the 13th century. Thanks to its thermal facilities is one of the major tourist attraction of the Crete Senesi.

The thermal baths of Rapolano Terme

The presence of thermal springs has enabled the construction of two spas: the terme di San Giovanni, located a couple of kilometres southwest from the Centre, and the terme dell’Antica Querciolaia, located one kilometer to the northeast.

The waters of Rapolano flow at a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius (102,2 Fahrenheit) and are particularly suitable for the treatment of the respiratory system and for skin diseases; they are employed in various thermal treatments as aerosol, mud and baths.

Both spas have thermal pools and several services like massage centres, sports and wellness programs of various types.

Things to do in Rapolano Terme: the guide to the hamlet

  • Porta dei Tintori e mura medievali
  • Chiesa di San Bartolomeo
  • Chiesa del Corpus Domini
  • Pieve di San Vittore

Porta dei Tintori and medieval walls of Rapolano Terme

One of the access routes to the historic center is the beautiful Porta dei Tintori, which dates back to the 14th century; in its vicinity we can find part of the medieval walls with the circular towers built by the Sienese during the fourteenth century. Both inside and outside the historic center of Rapolano Terme you can visit some interesting churches.

Chiesa di San Bartolomeo

Within the village, in Piazza del Castellare, there is the fourteenth century Church of San Bartolomeo. Now with no facade, the Church is enclosed between two buildings. Inside there is a sixteenth-century altar and a Madonna and Child with Saints by Vincenzo Rustici.

Things to do in Rapolano Terme: visit the Chiesa di San Bartolomeo
Chiesa di San Bartolomeo (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

Chiesa del Corpus Domini

Also known as the church of the Fraternita, the chiesa del Corpus Domini overlooks the central Piazza Matteotti. This church certainly does not shine for its exterior, which to be honest is decidedly anonymous, but inside it preserves some interesting works such as the fresco Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Jerome referable to the workshop of Girolamo di Benvenuto, the Madonna of the Rosary and the Fifteen mysteries of the Rosary by Francesco Bartalini.

Pieve di San Vittore

Just outside the village, not far from the train station, stands the pieve di San Vittore. It is a simple but interesting romanesque style building is documented since the 11th century.
The Church has three naves with a semicircular apse; inside there is a fragment of a fresco with San Ansano (end of the fourteenth century) and a polychrome terracotta of the early 16th century, depicting the Madonna and child.

Rapolano Terme Pieve di San Vittore
Pieve di San Vittore (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

What to see around Rapolano

From Rapolano Terme it’s easy to reach some villages such as Asciano, Armaiolo and Serre di Rapolano. In the area there are also castles like those of Poggio Santa Cecilia, Modanella and San Gimignanello. A special mention also goes to the extraordinary Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a large monastic complex characterized by an important artistic and book heritage.

In the end we report the Etruscan-Roman thermal baths located in Campo Muri. The site, dating back to the 3rd century BC, with an extension greater than 8,000 square metres, is located close to the San Giovanni thermal baths.

Palazzo Gori in Serre di Rapolano
Palazzo Gori in Serre di Rapolano (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

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