Tuscany wild Hot springs & Saturina SPA/Hotel pool

So while we were staying in Tuscany for our 10 days Holiday we decided to visit the hot springs or ‘Terme’ as they are called as after all we were staying in Saturina which were famous for them.

We had two options either pay and go to the spa/hotel with modern swimming pools and facilities or go native and visit the free local cascade/river/waterfall which the locals used where you then go home to have a shower instead and is free.

Having Peanut with us we decided on the spa/hotel experience for her as we wanted her to enjoy her first time in a swimming pool in a safe enviroment.

But I did get to go first with friends one evening without Alex and Peanut to the local terme which is a natural waterfall where the hotsprings cascade down a waterpool into different size pools. My friends have been going for 12 years so they were full of advice about where i should start for my first time.

You can go higher up before the waterfall in the river which is a bit tame but its nothing compared to actually spending time in these pools!

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They explained things like the water in the top pools flowed faster and the middle pools were calmer and each one was a different depth but never deep. Also that it could be slippery so to move slowly and if i felt i might slip to bend down and use my hands to.

When we got there it wasnt so busy so there was plenty of room for everyone in the different pools. Moving slowly over the rocks i watched the children climbing over them like mountain goats as they were so used to coming and going!

There were even babies with parents enjoying the shallow pools happily splashing about so i realised next time i could probably bring Peanut without any trouble.

The water was wonderous and warm as i slipped into one of the pools where i could kneel comfortably and sit and begin to enjoy this unique experience.

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There was the smell of sulphur but you got used to it quite quickly once you were in the water and moving about and it wasnt so bad.
Strangely there was not so many people after 6pm as everyone seemed to come during the day when its hot which to me was a bit strange. My friends told me that it also got very busy over the weekends both in the day and evening as people travelled to use the springs.

It was glorious with not many people in the pool i was laying in and quite relaxing to float and chat while the minerals did there work on my skin. The hot spring waters are infused with sulphur and other minerals which are good for skin conditions and other ailments and also leaves your skin feeling soft.

It’s no wonder the ancient Roman’s used to travel all the way there to use the springs and go crazy for the Terme!

And apparently there is a legend about how the place was created by the Roman god Saturn who was tired of mankind fighting so he used a thunderbolt to make the hotsprings to pacify mankind. The village Saturnia takes its name from this Roman god as well.

Also in the middle ages it was said to be the meeting place of witches and wizards and that the water was bewitched because it smelt of sulphur.

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I  watched in awe as my friends son then scaled the high waterfall then her husband followed after him to have their own adventure. Their daughter then made me aware of the fact that there were little red worms in the water.

My friend explained these little worms were harmless but they only lived in this type of spring water and died anywhere else. And that yes you would find some on you when you got out but they would be dead and easily washed away in the shower so i wasnt worried after that.

The stones on the bottom of the pool were round, smooth and soft under foot which were lovely for my feet and i enjoyed curling my toes into them. They had been shaped round and smooth by the waterfall over time so there was nothing sharp in the pools.

We stayed for about 2 hours enjoying the place and water before we had to head home for some dinner.

When we got out i noticed we smelt alot like rotten eggs which was from the effects of the minerals and sulphur in the water. So when we got back to the flat after a 5 minute drive it was shower time. (I did notice the next day even with a shower there was still a slight lingering smell lol)

Some people go into the spring higher up where it flows as a river but if you want the best and most amazing experience then you really need to brave the waterfall and pools as it is awe inspiring!

Also there is a free carpark a 3 minute walk away where you can leave your car and a bar about 1 minute from the waterfall where you can buy a drink, gelato or even a plate of pasta if you get hungry!

Im so happy i have finally managed to have this amazing experience and i would do it again in a hearbeat i enjoyed it so much!

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The next day in the late afternoon we decided to take Peanut to the hotspring swimming pool at the Spa/Hotel which is also about a 5 minute drive. Here you have to pay for parking and also pay for use of the pool and their facilities. Under 2 year old children are free to enter but Adults are 22 euro each or after 2pm it drops to 17 euros.

Unlike the natural cassade here you get the use of a changing room, locker for your things, shower, hairdryer and all the normal things you would find at a swimming pool. Which is worth the money if you prefer to shower and change when you get straight out of the swimming pools.

Our friends were already there enjoying the water when we arrived and had rented a umbrella and 2 deck chairs.

Peanut seemed to be quite excited and baffled at the same time at this new adventure and wasn’t sure of the water when we first went into the pool as this was her first time ever in a swimming pool. But within minutes she was kicking, splashing and trying to swim in the 37c water.

As the hotel is right above the spring the water in these pools are much hotter than the warmth of the natural cascade but still just as enjoyable.

There are several different pools to enjoy all different depths and even a hot and cold pool side by side you can walk in and out of to get used to the different temperatures.

We had to stay in a waist high pool as Peanut was only allowed to use the ones with this depth but it was easy enough to kneel and be completely immersed and enjoy the water while she played happily.

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There were a few trees and umbrella’s providing some shade from the heat of the sun which was very welcome as it was still quite hot at 5pm.

As we moved into another little pool my friend splashed away a bug and explained it was a ‘Tafano’ a nasty thing which would sting you. Having a google they seem similar to the horse fly but they give you a nasty sting which swells up much more than a mosquito bite.

They don’t numb their victim like a mosquito and it feels like a little needle prick as i soon discovered as one got me on the leg!  My friend though had some gel you could put on the sting to stop it swelling which worked wonders.

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These ‘Tafani’ seemed to like to hang around certain pools and sting who ever they could find out of the water. Luckily they didn’t seem interested in Peanut who was still enjoying herself and even protested when we got out of the pool for a while.

When we did go back to the pool we decided to use the first pool we had gone into as they didnt seem to hang around it. Peanut even decided to try and launch herself off the little ledge i had sat her on into the water as she was obsessed with trying to swim (the child is a fish!)

We did go again later on in the week when it was cooler and over cast which made it a nicer experience without the heat of the sun on us.

We encountered no ‘tafano’ this time at all and even saw a pest van outside the hotel so it looked like they had got ridden of them some how which made the whole pool experience alot nicer.

Peanut went nuts the moment she saw the pool again kicking her legs as she was so excited to get back into the water a second time that week!

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We did enjoy our swimming pool experience and would go again even for the sake of Peanut as she loved it so much:) It was also nice to have the use of the changing rooms afterwards.

But in my heart the natural casscade was still the best and most amazing experience on this holiday i have had and would happily venture there again if i got the chance which hopefully i will when we next visit Tuscany hopefully before Christmas.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gil
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 22:21:18

    Like the licture of you and Peanut!

    Reply

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