This little slice of paradise features amongst wellness enthusiasts’ favourites, which comes as no surprise since it was long considered as a realm of relax by the great ancient civilizations.
The images of those unique pools formed by the Gorello below the Cascate del Mulino (Mulino waterfalls) are famous all over the world, therefore if you say Spa in Tuscany immediately Saturnia comes to mind, though actually this is not the only thermal spa on offer in this area.
Not far away, on the road between Sorano and Pitigliano, are the Sorano Baths, deriving from the source known as the Bagno dei Frati (Bath of the Friars) who lived in the Pieve di S.Maria dell’Aquila. Reclaimed after years of neglect, it is now the site of a thermal spa (two pools, a welfare centre) surround by an extensive park. The water springs from its fountainheads at 37°C and, due to its properties, is particularly indicated for skin complaints.
On the border between Grosseto and Siena the Petriolo Baths existed well before the Etruscan era. The sulphurous water surging forth at a temperature of 43°C mixes with the uncontaminated flow of the river thus reaching a temperature permitting free access to natural pools. Upstream, the Thermal Spa Terme di Petriolo also offers wellness services in its dedicated centre. The SPA is accessible from the provincial road linking Siena and Grosseto. The properties of the water make it specifically indicated for the treatment of bone and joint disorders and also for respiratory ailments.
Along the Via Aurelia towards Livorno you come to Venturina with its Terme del Calidario.
The establishment has a large, approximately 3000 sqm pool, fed by water at 36°C springing from several fountainheads, and an open-air zone, the Thermarium, a SPA with sauna, Turkish bath and other wellness services.
Regarding Saturnia, do you know how it got its name? A legend recounts that the god Saturn, angry with humans, as a gesture of contempt, hurled a bolt of lightning causing a crater from which hot water surged.
The thermal baths Terme di Saturnia is a Resort with thermal park, SPA and golf club, while the Cascate del Mulino are now celebrated as the best free thermal baths in the world.
And if on a hot summer day the hot thermal waters are not appealing, Maremma offers plenty of places when one can get refreshed whilst on tour around its green hills…
In the Colline Metallifere area, by the old mining town of La Pesta, there is the natural oasis of Lago dell’Accesa. Here there are the ruins of some ancient Etruscan mining settlements, but also a lake where visitors can sunbathe and take an invigorating swim. The lake is on average 30 m deep and here is where the river Bruna begins.
Further inland the area known as Val di Farma commences, definitely worth a visit with its Canaloni. To get here go past Torniella, a small district within the municipality of Roccastrada, and take the dirt road on the right hand side right after the bridge over the river. Here is where cars should be left, as it is only after a 20 minute walk that Farma will welcome visitors with the natural pools it has shaped over the centuries. These are conveniently surrounded by smooth rocks which are ideal for sunbathing, as well as by small gravel beaches. The nature reserve is part of the Tuscan Mining Geopark- Parco delle Colline Metallifere grossetane.