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San Filippo Benizi Grotto

Places of worship

Place of prayer and pilgrimmage

In the town of Bagni San Filippo, in the municipality of Castiglione d'Orcia, there is a unique chapel, made rare by the fact that it is dug out of the travertine rock face. It gets its name from St. Philip, general superior of the mendicant Order of the Servites, who took refuge here in 1269 when he learned that he was a possible successor to Pope Clement IV. He declined this responsibility and spent several months on Monte Amiata.

Some texts written by the Order recount how the saint miraculously made water spout from the grotto when he found it. This was the beginning of the Bagni di San Filippo, as he wanted to thank the people who had hosted and helped him during these months. Thanks to the devotion of these residents, the space was transformed first into a chapel and later into a hermitage.

Inside the grotto, visitors can find a plaster cast bust of the saint (18th century) and a wooden crucifix preserved inside a tabernacle, which according to tradition was carved by St. Philip himself. Bagni San Filippo owes its origins to the presence of the thermal waters, which vaunt therapeutic properties and have been used since antiquity. The Fosso Bianco is worth a visit, where the chalk deposits in the water create a landscape of white rocks as the water flows through the area.