Tuscany has many hidden and unsung gems. The country is sprinkled with natural, thermal streams and baths, open for all to enjoy. So, pack a swim suit, towel and maybe a picnic and head to one of the beautiful pools for a steamy, sulphurous soaking.
There are plenty of spas located in the region that offer a full days pampering including massages, facials and pedicures, along with a long soak in the pool. If you are feeling more adventurous and fancy exploring, then there are plenty of areas where you can take a dip in the wild and benefit from the therapeutic and relaxing properties of the sulphur water, all for free. Keep an eye out for towns and villages with ‘terme’ in the name, this literally translates to ‘spa’ and indicates there are thermal waters close by! If you are looking for a soothing yet inexpensive way to spend the day, then head to the pools and relax.
When you arrive at the thermal pools try not to be put off by the smell. The distinct scent is the naturally occurring mineral, sulphur, which is often found near hot springs and volcanoes. Like most things, the longer you smell something, the less noticeable it is.
Sulphur is known to have beneficial properties for the skin. It can calm irritation and boost collagen which is what keeps you looking youthful. Your body also naturally contains a certain amount of sulphur which can be rejuvenated through a long soak in the warm waters, as during this time, your body absorbs the healing minerals.
Many people have tried and tested cooking themselves a tasty egg lunch in the thermal pools. It does take a little longer that cooking an egg in boiling water but it is worth ago! Be very careful when you do this, as the smaller pools you will use to cook them can be much, much hotter.
There are two gorgeous spots at the Petriolo thermal waters. The first is inside a spa which you will have to pay to get into. If you follow the river downstream and your nose a little further away from the obvious track, you will come across five pools which are free to use. The paths are unpaved and go through a wooded area so make sure you bring sensible shoes that you can easily slip in and out of when you are jumping in and out of the water. The river has a folk in it, one part of it brings very hot water, the other part brings very cold water. Move around the river until you find your optimum temperature. Near to the thermal pools are the ruins of a historic church and bridge, so when you’ve finished your dip, be sure to go and check the ruins out.
One of the largest and most well-known thermal springs in Tuscany is Saturnia, but don’t let the popularity of the place put you off as there is plenty of space for all visitors. Located near the small village of Maremma, the mineral rich water is sure to relax and rejuvenate you while you are on your holiday. Surrounded by unspoilt nature, this spot offers simplicity and a place to clear your mind.
Located in the heart of Tuscany, the Bagno Vignoni thermal waters have been used since Roman times. The historic pool can still be seen today, although it can’t be used. It is 49 meters long and gives a great insight into the use of the area in previous times. The quaint village provides an authentic feel of the slower paced Italian life and dotted around the historic pool are highly recommended restaurants serving rustic food for you to fill your bellies after a dip in the spa. If you take a short walk from the village to Parco dei Mulini the free, natural spring can be found for you to enjoy before your meal.
If the natural thermal spas are part of the reason you are visiting the breath-taking Tuscany, we totally understand. Make sure you chose your Tuscany villas with the location of these relaxing pools in mind.