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Grotto of San Filippo - Castiglione d'Orcia
Photo ©Foto Toscana
Places of worship

The Grotto of San Filippo Benizi

A place of prayer and worship

Map for 43.008118,11.615604
Castiglione d'Orcia

Located in Bagni San Filippo, in the municipality of Castiglione d'Orcia, is a very special and rare chapel dedicated to San Filippo Benizi, prior of the Servants of the Virgin Mary order of the Catholic Church, who went into exile in 1262 in this area. He was named a possible successor to the papacy, following the death of Pope Clement IV, however he refused, and, instead, went into exile in the area of Monte Amiata for several months.

This is how the town of Bagni di San Fillippo got its name: it was re-named with the name of the saint following the wishes of local residents, who welcomed him there during his brief period of exile. The devotion of residents was also the reason that the grotto was turned into a chapel, and then into a hermitage.

Inside the grotto, there is a chalk bust of the saint (from the 18th century) and a wood crucifix, conserved inside a tabernacle, which, according to tradition, was sculpted by San Filippo himself. The ancient town is famous for the therapeutic benefits of its thermal springs, which have flowed since ancient times. A visit to the Fosso Bianco is recommended as it offers a beautiful spectacle of white rocks that were created by the calcium deposits of the thermal water. 

Castiglione d'Orcia
Castiglione d’Orcia is a village nestled in the spectacular countryside of the Val d’Orcia, a region marked by the typical geological white, lunar “crete,” or “clays,” formed through ages of transformation. These lands are known for their clayish hills, where the slopes form sinuous bends with rounded corners, and in steeper areas, the “biancane,” barren semi-spherical (or cone-shaped) domes. ...