The Terme dei Papi (“Baths of the Popes”) are popular hot springs in the suburb of Bullicame outside Viterbo in the Latium region. Used as far back as the time of the Etruscans and Romans, today the Baths have an entire industry built around them, with mud baths, hydro-massage and more.
Terme dei Papi Viterbo
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
The address of the Terme dei Papi is Strada Terme, 12 – Viterbo. From Rome, there is a bus service from Viale George Washington (metro line A, stop Flaminio) at 09:00 every day. The return trip is at 16:00. A return ticket costs 8 Euro. (Times may change, so please check before you start your journey: +39 07613501.) Opening hours: From 09:00 to 19:00. Closed: Tuesday. Entrance fee: 12 Euro (children 2-11: 8 Euro); Saturday, Sundays and holidays: 18 Euro; nightly: 20 Euro.
History and description
As early as Roman and even Etruscan times, villas and thermal baths were built near the various hot springs around Viterbo.
During the Middle Ages, it was only the wealthy who made use of the healing qualities of these thermal springs.
Around the 15th century the first public baths were built. They were known as Bagno delle Grotte, but when first the mother of Pope Nicolò V and then the good man himself came to bathe there, the name was changed to Bagni del Papa.
This pope also had a large palace built, which would later be enlarged by his successor Pius II.
In 1930 a large swimming pool was created, which is still used today. Even in the winter many people go there since the water is very warm.
Since the water has a temperature of about 60 degrees Celsius at its source, it is sometimes possible to see the steam rising up from the hill above Bullicame.
After World War II, the Baths were restored and divided into two parts. Next to the Terme Comunali (“Municipal Baths”) there is a luxury hotel named after Pope Nicolò V.