The beautiful region of Maremma in the south of Tuscany has long been a seductive destination for visitors to the area, a place of outstanding splendour and magnificent scenery. It is through this idyllic landscape, over the centuries, that dusty travellers have made their way, stopping off at the rejuvenating thermal pools of Saturnia to refresh and clean their bodies and clear their minds.
The town of Saturnia stands high on a Tuscan hilltop along the route of an ancient Roman road that links with Aurelia and Cassia. Over the centuries wondrous sights have been built within the Medieval walls, and visitors can still walk through the Roman gate and pay a visit to the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena. However, what most people take the greatest pleasure from in Saturnia is a relaxing bathe in the warm, mineral waters.
The town is close to a number of thermal springs that bubble forth from ancient volcanic rocks. These are believed to have been the points where Jupiter's thunder bolts missed Saturn as he taunted him, hitting the earth and causing the warm waters to flow. The gently steaming rivulets remain at a comfortable temperature of 37.5°C on their journey to the sea and their sulphurous contents are said to possess great therapeutic qualities.
Since the 19th century, within its midst, Saturnia has had a magnificent stone built, spa complex and records of soothing baths on the site date back to Roman times. The current complex has a series of hydrotherapy pools, hot and cold baths, Jacuzzi, waterfalls and vascular courses, all surrounded by a well-manicured garden.
Visitors can receive various treatments including massage, thermal cures, stress management and dietary advice or they can spend time exploring the verdant grounds. The layout of the gardens are the perfect island of tranquillity with palms, walkways and bridges, liberally sprinkled with places to sit and enjoy the serenity that envelopes you.
Along with the wellness centre there are also two thermal waterfalls, the Cascate del Mulino and the Cascate del Gorello which are completely free to use. The lovely warm waters crash down over the rocks and swirl around several natural pools at the waterfall's base. In these calcified pools you will often find groups of people who park up at the side of the road and go for a relaxing, curative bathe in the river.
Explore the Landscape
The countryside around Saturnia provides a wonderful scenic journey, hiking in the hills, exploring old churches or eating some local cuisine, followed by a glass of Tuscan wine. There are plenty of Tuscany villas for rent in the Maremma area that are not far from the waterfalls and spa at Saturnia, allowing you to take it easy and recharge your batteries.