30 November 2015 Caterina Pomini 9433

Tuscany, a Natural Hot Springs Destination

Millions of tourists choose Tuscany each year, seduced by the artistic heritage, cuisine and fine wine. This delightful itinerary takes you to Petriolo, Saturnia and Bagno Vignoni, all located between Siena and Grosseto and very well known for their natural hot springs and elegant health spas.

As everybody knows, Tuscany has thousands of attractions. Millions of people choose Tuscany each year, seduced by the artistic heritage, food specialties and fine wine. Some declare they love Tuscany's hill landscapes, coastlines and mountains; others come here to simply unwind and perhaps spend some time in the countryside, where there are also many thermal establishments, spa hotels and wild hot springs. The area between Siena and Grosseto is surely the best and it has long been known for the particular properties of its soil and water; our favourite natural hot springs destinations are Petriolo, Saturnia and Bagno Vignoni.

Petriolo is approximately 25 km from Siena, in the territory of Monticiano, and about 40 km away from Grosseto. Terme di Petriolo meet the needs of every customer, the thermal establishment has been recently refurbished and offers therapeutic natural thermal spring pools, wellness treatments, mud baths, inhalation therapies and a physiotherapy & rehabilitation centre. If you prefer to stay in close contact with nature, you can join the crowds at the small baths by the river, fed by the wild hot springs trickling down the rocks. Lots of local people come here to camp in the woods and enjoy the night as the vapour snakes into the air and blurs the edges of the old bridge over the River Farma.

More isolated than Petriolo, Saturnia hot springs are located in the heart of the Maremma Toscana, to be more precise, 58 km away from Grosseto. It is a long journey to get there, but once you arrive you will be rewarded with a truly dramatic landscape.

Saturnia also boasts an elegant thermal establishment and the more spartan natural hot springs: in the Saturnia Valley, hot sulphuric water falls in a succession of cascades into a series of rock pools, surrounded by rushes and green meadows. Finally, from Saturnia you can easily reach Scansano, Pitigliano and Manciano, some quaint villages where you can enjoy a tasty dinner based on local products, accompanied by a good quality bottle of red wine.

Unlike Petriolo and Saturnia, Bagno Vignoni is a true spa village of Roman origin that can be reached from Siena by following the signs to San Quirico d'Orcia. The route takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The inns, houses and the Church of St. John the Baptist have all grown around the ancient picturesque pool in the main square, which has at its centre the source of the thermal spring. Unfortunately, you can't bathe in the pool, but the village also boasts a pretty thermal establishment, a hotel with thermal swimming pool and some charming little restaurants immersed in a timeless atmosphere. Alternatively, you can head to San Quirico d'Orcia and try some specialties such as pici al cinghiale (hand-rolled pasta, like fat spaghetti with wild boar ragù) or explore the amazing Crete Senesi.

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