If you feel tired along your journey, and your only wish is to relax your body and mind, how about bathing in wild and natural hot springs in Tuscany? Our region is rich in accessible hot springs where to recharge your battery and plunge into warm water pools.
Usually, Medical Centers and Wellness Resorts manage the hot springs in Tuscany. But there are some great free options. We will introduce you to some of them, from the northern territory of Lunigiana to the southern area of Maremma.
The great advantage of the hot springs in Tuscany is that wherever you are based, there is a wild hot spring easy to reach. So, you can add this restoring activity to your itinerary while traveling across the region.
Free Hot Springs in Tuscany
Saturnia Hot Springs
In the middle of the wild Maremma, Saturnia is the most known hot spring in Tuscany and probably in Italy. The village and the springs are surrounded by beautiful nature: wooden hills, wheat fields, valleys, vineyards, and olive groves. Saturnia is also close to the tiny village of Pitigliano built on top of a tuff cliff. And the wine area of Scansano, famous for its Morellino red, is not too far.
Driving along the bending road, you find the hot springs next to an old abandoned mill. That’s why they call it Cascate del Mulino, Mill Falls. You can’t miss them even because of the strong scent of rotten eggs you smell around you. Don’t worry, it’s just the scent of the sulfur contained in the water. The water gushes from the ground at a temperature of 37°C / 98°F and climbs down into the small valley. For ages, the white water shaped the soil creating small pools.
Legend has it that Saturnia’s hot springs originated at the exact spot where a lightning bolt fell. According to this myth, popular since the Etruscans age and later to Romans, an angry Jupiter hurled lightning toward Saturn, missing him. Thus creating a hole in Earth’s soil.
Petriolo Hot Springs in Tuscany
Forty minutes south of Siena, at the border of the province of Siena and Grosseto, are the Petriolo Hot Springs. They have been popular since the time of ancient Romans. In fact, today you find the ruins of walls of an ancient Roman thermal bath. Petriolo, probably, is one of the first hot springs in Tuscany used by people to cure arthritis, and colds and to polish skin.
The hot waters gush from the ground at a temperature of 43°C / 109°F into small baths and a bigger pool. The riverbanks are rich in clay that you can collect and smooth on you. After a few minutes, take a swim, clean the mud off and your skin will be softer and smoother.
Bagni San Filippo
Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia, Bagni San Filippo rises at the foot of Mount Amiata. The village takes its name from the prior Filippo Benizi that disappeared and retreated here in the 13th century to escape the election as new Pope.
Fosso Bianco is the name of these free hot springs. In the middle of the wood, descending a small path, you find many small pools with water at 40°C / 104°F rich in calcium, sulfur, sulfur bicarbonate, and magnesium. The distinctive feature of Bagni San Filippo hot springs is the big limestone formation. It looks like a white giant whale thanks to its particular shape and its white intense color.
The House of Medici frequented these baths during their Grand Duchy of Tuscany, from Lorenzo the Magnificent in 1485 to the Grand Duke Ferdinando II who came here in 1635 to nurse his persistent headache.
Have you ever imagined a small village with a big rectangular pool at the place of the main square? This is Bagno Vignoni, only 30 inhabitants, in the heart of Val d’Orcia, and one of the most particular hot springs in Tuscany.
It is famous for its distinctive square, Piazza delle Sorgenti. All buildings encircle the huge central tank containing the hot water that gushes from the volcanic ground. You can visit the small church, and sit at one of the outdoor tables for coffee or lunch. The pilgrim route of the Via Francigena crosses the burg of Bagno Vignoni. It is during the Roman Age that they discovered the hot springs and benefit from the therapeutic and relaxing effects. Later, also the Medici Family used to come here to laze and spend their holidays.
The small free springs are at the beginning of the street that brings you up to the center. Only nature surrounds you. The sulfurous water is about 50°C / 122°F and arrives here through little natural cascades and canals.
San Casciano dei Bagni
Another free hot spring in Tuscany to take a rest is San Casciano in the province of Siena. At the foot of Mount Cetona, close to the Umbria region border, the place is amazing because you can soak yourself in original pools of the Roman age made of stones.
The water is rich in calcium, fluorine, and magnesium at 40°C / 104°F. Which makes San Casciano a good destination, especially during the fall holidays in Tuscany. All around the pool, a spacious garden allows you, during summertime, to lay on the grass, suntan, and have a picnic.
Set between the steep hills of the Apuan Alps in Lunigiana, you find the small village of Equi Terme. It is known since the Roman age for the curative properties of these hot springs in Tuscany.
Popular mainly with locals, Equi Terme is a real off-the-beaten-path of Tuscany to add to your itinerary. You can also include a visit to the nearby grotto and to the archaeological park. Lunigiana is also a land of castles, so I would not miss discovering one of them.
All hot springs in Tuscany are a perfect place to enjoy a different day relaxing with friends or family. And rejuvenate your mind and body. They are also a useful cure for people who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
Tips to Enjoy the Natural Hot Springs in Tuscany
My suggestion, valid for all hot springs in Tuscany, is to bring with you a lunch box. Thermal baths make you so hungry and not all spots have restaurants close by for a meal or a typical Tuscan Merenda.
During the weekend or in high season these places get crowded quickly. So, my suggestion is to arrive early in the morning to find a good place. And maybe leave around lunchtime when is the peak hour.
If you are not tired of hot springs in Tuscany and you wish to know more about wellness centers in Tuscany stay tuned. Soon we will talk about excellent Thermal baths.
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(Updated the 15.05.2022)