SHADES OF TUSCANY... literature
Sicilian writer and poet, Luigi Pirandello, receiver of The Nobel Prize for literature in 1934, was a frequent customer at the Chianciano Terme spas. Around the town you can find five plaques, and each mark a stage of Pirandello’s tour, and the areas of Chianciano Terme that inspired him while writing stories, such as ‘Acqua Amara’, ‘Pallino’ and ‘Mimi’, each one based in this town.
Even at the beginning of the fifth century BC there was proof of the presence of Etruscans in these valleys, under the form of a temple dedicated to the God of Health. The curing potentials of its waters have made history since the Roman Empire (Varrone, Tibullo and Orazio) knew of its capabilities, and had mentioned them in ‘Fonti Chiusine’.
In medieval times, Goti and Longobardi occupied the area. For some who disbelieve in the Etruscan origin of the town, attribute it to Liutprando, or Ildebrando (74 BC), or to the family Conti Manenti (976 BC), who ruled the town for a long time. Chianciano Terme became host to the bitter fighting between Guelfi and Ghibellini, political parties of Siena, that both wanted control over the thermal springs, as well as Orvieto and Montepulciano.
In the first decades of the 900’s the potential of Chianciano Terme attracted attention from private owners, that made Chianciano Terme what we see today, divided into two main areas: the historic centre (Chianciano Vecchia), and the area developed around the springs (La Rinascente). The historic centre has the characteristics of every medieval hamlet, built on a raised area, reached by the famous doors/gates of Porta Rivellini and Porta del Sole. Of particular interest are the Archeological Museum of the Waters and the Museum of the Collegiata. The thermal spas at Chianciano Terme are Parco S.Elena, Parco Fucoli and Parco Acqua Santa including the new Sensoriali spa and Theia thermal swimming pool.