'EXVALSE', 'Operation/Project co-financed by the Tuscan Por Fesr 2014-2020'

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From the waters of San Casciano dei Bagni a unique treasure: over 24 intact bronze statues. The greatest discovery after Riace.

In San Casciano dei Bagni, in Valdichiana Senese, a discovery that will change history and enrich the archaeological offer of Tuscany.

The Santuario Ritrovato in San Casciano dei Bagni continues to give unique emotions. As unique as the pieces that emerged from the mud and the boiling waters of the archaeological excavation. In fact, is the news of the day the discovery of over 24 intact bronze statues, five of which almost one meter high, perfectly preserved. A real votive deposit protected for over 2300 years by the waters of the sacred basins, frequented first by the Etruscans and then by the Romans. It is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in the Mediterranean, more important than the Riace Bronzes.

The finding

The discovery, as said by Jacopo Tabolli, a young professor at the University for Foreigners of Siena who has been leading the excavations since 2019, will change history. On the statues and the ex-votos there are engravings in the Etruscan language, which seems to have survived longer than what history shows today, as well as the Etruscan medical knowledge, from the reconstructions, seem to have also been accepted by the Romans.

"The statues as well as the countless ex-votos come from the great families of the territory and beyond, exponents of the elites of the Etruscan and then Roman world, landowners, local lords, wealthy classes of Rome and even emperors" - explains Tabolli passionately.

Already the previous finds such as the ex-votos or the hundreds of gold coins testified the importance of the Sanctuary for the ancient populations, who in San Casciano dei Bagni seem to have found a place of encounter and peace. Something unique to the ancient world. Tabolli continues: "Perhaps because since its origins the god has always remained water with its divination, its strength, its power. Here time passes, the language changes, even the names of the deities change, but the type of cult and the therapeutic intervention remain the same ".

The cult of water

There is a 2300-year-long thread that unites the Santuario Ritrovato and the Valdichiana Senese in its contemporary expression, in the therapeutic approach and the beneficial cult of water that is found in the local spa offer. It’s not a coincidence the presence of three spa towns in the territory, starting from San Casciano dei Bagni , continuing to Chianciano Terme up to Montepulciano, with a varied and transversal offer capable of speaking to different audiences and acting as a peaceful place of retreat again still today.

How to live the experience of the Santuario Ritrovato 

Valdichiana Living is preparing once again to enhance this land by offering its travelers a unique experience: discover and experience this exciting discovery. A guided tour, at a cost of 69 euros, lasting 4 hours, in the company of those who have unearthed the sanctuary located near the Bagno Grande.

The tour starts from the treasures found, located in the Cassianensi Rooms of the Town Hall of the village, and then continues on foot to the excavation. Once the visit is over, the itinerary through the sacred waters of San Casciano dei Bagni continues to Fonteverde, a renowned spa. Precisely in the antiquarian spirit of the 1600s, pieces related to the finds found in San Casciano dei Bagni are still exhibited inside the villa. Having admired the gallery, it is time to discover the beneficial effects of the water with a hot bath in one of the most beautiful spas in Italy.