Away from the bustling streets and busy roads of Viterbo lies Il Bagnaccio, a perfect place to relax for those wanting to unwind after a hectic day or just to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Situated near a caravan park and somewhat off the beaten track its seclusion adds to the tranquillity – a secret for the locals and those ‘in-the-know’.
With several outdoor pools at varying temperatures to choose from this is a perfect place to relax for couples, individuals and families as each terme is clearly labelled as being either child-friendly or for adults only. It is also open until late in the evening so it makes for a welcome escape for post-work down time.
Very few people visit the outdoor springs in the evening, particularly in winter. Having to undress in the open air could be quite off-putting for some. But once you’re submerged into the warming waters the chilly night air barely touches you and can also provide a welcome relief if you decide one pool is too hot before sampling its cooler cousins.
A favourite for families during the day it is a tranquil respite for adults of all ages during the night. Whether a young couple enjoying a romantic evening or an elderly person warming their bones there is no specified clientele as everyone has the same aim. To simply relax and unwind underneath a cloudless sky or a blanket of stars.
However, these terme do not have much in the way of facilities. It is always advisable to bring plenty of hydration to these baths, particularly if you’re planning on braving the hottest pool in the middle of the day. There is no bar nor are there any vending machines, so bringing your own water is a must.
There also aren’t any lockers or secure places to put your clothes or towel. Most visitors tend to move their items from pool to pool and leave their belongings on a side bench. Although there have been no problems with theft it is still recommended to leave valuables at home or locked in the car.
For those expecting a luxurious location the only thing this terme has to offer is the sky. Unlike the more expensive spas it does not have an indoor area. There are no treatment facilities and the changing rooms are simple wooden huts. But at a price of €5 per person with unlimited visiting time it will hardly break the bank and with a peaceful view of the stars it is the perfect place to relax, and I feel it’s well worth the price.
I have tried a few spas and springs in various countries. Some natural and some commercial, but I’ve always been more drawn to simplicity.
Not attracted by the glamour and pomposity of expensive bathrobes and soaps I was never overly impressed by the impersonal atmosphere of a large “luxury” spa with all the mod cons. I tend liken them to train stations during rush hour.
Queueing up to book 30 minutes for an expensive treatment you have to share with other people, then being rushed through a mangle and hurried out the door because ‘your-time-is-up’ is not my idea of relaxation. Neither is swimming in a large, crowded pool in the middle of town.
The more money the spa try to wring out of my damp pockets, the more I feel let down by the experience. I leave the place with half a mind to steal the bathrobes just to feel as though I got my money’s worth.
For these reasons alone I would recommend Il Bagnaccio. Naturally heated pools in the open are all I need to be able to escape from whatever stresses the day has given me. To sit in a gently steaming pool. The only sounds around me being the quiet slosh of the water, the rustle of reeds in the night breeze, and my own heart beating. Sheer bliss, and the perfect place to relax.
If this is also your idea of relaxation then these terme come highly recommended.
If you would like to read a more in-depth and critical review of some natural springs and spas in Viterbo, as well as other attractions, you can read part 3 of my series of articles; Lazio’s Hidden Treasures of Italy in Viterbo.
By Stephanie Bognar