Saturnia is a town in Southern Tuscany with ancient origins and hot springs believed to have healing properties. Natural thermal pools with mineral water containing sulfur and Thermal Plankton and maintaining a temperature of 37.5 C or 99.5 F are fed by springs and waterfalls cascading down the hill. These relaxing thermal baths are free to the public although if you prefer more privacy, there are several hotels and spas that make use of the water from the hot springs, too.
If you plan to use the free bathing area at Cascate del Mulino (shown in the photos), you’ll need to bring your own towel, flip flops, and anything else you might want such as a robe or folding chair. There’s a bar where you can buy drinks, sandwiches, and snacks and pay to use the shower. If you don’t want to eat at the bar, pack a picnic or drive up the hill into town. Near the bar there’s a big parking area (currently free), although in the high season it’s sometimes full.
Although popular with Italians, Saturnia and its thermal baths are still a little off the beaten track to foreign visitors, especially those from outside Europe. These warm pools have been in use since the Etruscan and Roman days and the hot springs are still believed to have relaxing and therapeutic properties.
Hotels and Private Spas in Saturnia
Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort is a luxurious hotel with restaurants, a golf course, and a spa offering thermal and traditional spa treatments and a Roman bath. Therapeutic treatments using the mineral waters require a medical assessment, available at the spa.
Less expensive options near Cascate del Mulino are Hotel la Fonte del Cerro, set on a farm about 5 minutes walk from the pools and Poggio degli Olivi Country House, about a 15 minute walk from the pools.
Visiting the Town of Saturnia
Up the hill from the pools, the town of Saturnia has remnants of its Roman and medieval past. Ruins of the castle are perched above the old Roman road just outside the old Roman gate, Porta Romana, that’s set in the medieval town walls. There’s a small archaeology museum in town, too.
in the center is a large square, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, surrounded by bars, shops, and restaurants. We had a good lunch on the patio at il Melangolo.
The easiest way to visit Saturnia and the thermal pools is by car, giving you the freedom to explore other towns and sights in the area. It’s possible to get to Saturnia Terme and the town by public bus number 17 from Manciano, however there are only 5 buses a day (or fewer when school is not in session) and the times aren’t very convenient. To get to Manciano you can take bus 10 from the train station at either Orbetello or Albinia, the closest train stations, however there is currently only 1 bus a day (leaving Orbetello at 13:25).
More Tuscany Spa Towns
- 5 Spa Towns and Hot Springs to Visit
- Bathe for free under the white whale waterfall at Bagni San Filippo
- Take the Waters at Terme Tettuccio in Montecatini Terme
- Soak in the tub at Bagni di Lucca in northern Tuscany
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