faun in Bagno Vignoni

What would you think if you came upon  a picturesque village in the Val d’Orcia and saw the main square filled with hot water?  And what if you saw a white fairy made of ropes with her long hair moving in the wind and  some fauns playing instruments?  I was breathless and I thought to myself who was the genius who created this surprising square in Bagno Vignoni, and  that mixture of old and new.  Did an American do it?  Did an eccentric Frenchwoman  do it? I was really curious so I decided to find out.  To my surprise, I was wrong.  The artist came from a nearby village; and when I went there, I bought one of  her original designs–a raindrop!

In case you have never heard about Bagno Vignoni that is famous for its hot springs since Roman times, you should take a look if you are ever in Tuscany.  You will love the enormous fountain that occupies the entire square and that was built in medieval times.  The water changes:  in the summer, it reflects the medieval buildings surrounding it and in the winter, it is hidden in the fairy mist giving it a mysterious look.

Bagno Vignoni square

Daniela Capaccioli added a special touch to this splendid picture with her original creations using ropes that make this village even more unique.  Her exhibition, “Reflections” with various rope sculptures will be on display until June 30, 2017.  She has created a magical world reflected in the hot springs showing each of her works is seen  in the water.

Bagno Vignoni

Deer in Bagnovignoni

I finished this magical trip tasting one of the Tuscan specialties:  “Panzanella”. It is a healthy dish and at the same time very tasty and easy to make.

Panzanella served in a glass


Panzanella with Chickpea Sauce Served in Glasses  (two glasses)

160  gm brown bread

600 gm firm red tomatoes

50 gm red onion

40 gm green olives

180 gm cooked chickpeas


Olive oil

White vinegar


Preparation :

Cut the bread into small pieces and dip it into water. Cut the onion, tomatoes and olives into small pieces.  Add 1/2 glass of water, the olive oil, 25 gm onion to the chickpeas add a pinch of salt and blend until it is creamy.  Put the mixture into a glass.  Drain the bread and add the remaining tomatoes, onion and olives.  Add three tablespoons olive oil, salt and two tablespoons of white vinegar and the basil finely chopped. Mix well and wait 15 minutes.  Put this mixture over the chickpeas in the glass and decorate with some basil leaves on top.