The Hot Springs of Saturnia are located in the town of Manciano, in the district of Follonata, a few kilometres from Saturnia.
This is the province of Grosseto in the southern part of Tuscany, about 30 minutes by car from the border with Lazio.
This is the source of the hot springs from which water bubbles up at a constant temperature of 37.5°C.
The source is located in the hot spring pool complex that includes the Parco Termale, Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort and Golf Club.
The source supplies the hot spring pools, feeds the nearby Cascate del Mulino waterfalls and bubbles up at the ancient site used as a spa resort since Etruscan-Roman times.
The origins of the name can be traced back to the legend according to which the god, Saturn, in anger at the warring by mankind, hurled down a thunderbolt that formed a crater from which the hot, sulphurous water would later burst forth. The water calmed the spirit of the humans so that they lived a peaceful and prosperous life.
The Terme di Saturnia have always played a particularly important part for the area in which they are located. Evidence of this is also illustrated by the disputes, which arose in medieval times, between the Aldobrandeschi families of Santa Flora and those of Sovana.
During the 14th century, Saturnia and its territory were disputed by Siena and Orvieto on one side and the Aldobrandeschi, Pannocchieschi and Orsini families on the other.
In 1572, the hot spring pools were included in a major reclamation project. From this moment on, a new path was embarked upon, towards modernity.
A path marked by clear stages:
- Late 18th – early 19th century: the health benefits of Saturnia’s waters was documented when they were included in the “Dizionario geografico, fisico, storico della Toscana” (“Geographical, physical and historical dictionary of Tuscany”) by Emanuele Repetti;
- Late 18th – early 19th century: the site was reclaimed, the pools were laid out, and the buildings renovated by the new owners, the Ciacci family;
- 1919: the first hotel was built by the Ciacci family;
- 1920: the first modern chemical analysis of the waters, carried out by the University of Pisa;
- 1947: Chemical analysis carried out by the Chemical Department of the University of Rome.
Hot springs and their benefits
The hot spring water of Saturnia flows through the depths of Monte Amiata. Along this forty-minute journey, it gathers energy and unique properties. The hot spring water is sulphurous (14 mg per litre of hydrogen sulphide), carbonated (462 cc per litre of free carbon dioxide), sulphated (containing a substantial amount of sulphate ions), and bicarbonate-alkaline-earthy (containing bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium ions).
2.790 grams of mineral salts and large quantities of gas are dissolved in every litre of water.
The beneficial properties are ensured by the continuous flow at 500 litres per second. This also allows the water in the pools to be naturally renewed every 4 hours.
The hot spring water, after a forty-minute journey, bubbles up in the “Sorgente” at the centre of the resort of the Terme di Saturnia.
The components in the spring water of Saturnia give it specific therapeutic properties:
- It relaxes muscles and alleviates osteoarticular pain;
- It helps to dilate the skin’s blood vessels;
- It reduces blood pressure;
- It acts as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory for the musculoskeletal system;
- When drunk, it develops an antioxidant effect and helps to protect the liver;
- It acts on the gallbladder by facilitating digestion;
- It facilitates bowel transit;
- It helps to make secretions more fluid and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
The Cascate del Mulino
The Cascate del Mulino are one of the most impressive and striking attractions in the whole of Tuscany and beyond.
They are formed just a few minutes from Saturnia and the hot spring complex of the Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort.
They originate from the sulphurous waters of the Terme di Saturnia, and the heat has naturally hollowed out these large pools in travertine rock over the centuries.
The waterfalls are fed by a fast-flowing thermal stream, called a “gorello” which originates from the hot springs of Saturnia.
The water then continues along its path until it reaches the stream below.
Free hot spring pools
The Cascate del Mulino waterfalls are free of charge since access to the hot spring pools is free.
An authentic gem that costs nothing and is can be accessed at any time, day and night, with no need for a reservation.
The scenery is pristine and magical. There are, however, no facilities of any kind here such as loungers, sun umbrellas or changing rooms, just a small café and showers for which you have to pay a fee.
We recommend wearing shoes for walking on rocks as the bottom can be quite slippery.
There is a free parking area not far from the waterfalls.
The waterfalls have recently been included in the Huffington Post classification table for the most important tourist sites in Italy.
They are also part of The New York Times and The Guardian’s list of destinations to see at least once in a lifetime.
Lonely Planet listed them among the ten best beneficial hot springs in Europe.
The Cascate del Mulino of Saturnia are on the SP10 road which connects Montermerano and Saturnia. They are just a few hundred metres from the road and can be easily reached by following the road signs.
Hot springs in Tuscany
The hot springs of Tuscany at the Terme di Saturnia, fall into three distinct spa resorts: Cascate del Mulino, Parco Termale di Saturnia and Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa.
The Parco Termale di Saturnia occupies an area of 20,000 m2 and is one of the biggest hot spring pool complexes in Europe. It has five open-air hot spring pools with a water temperature of 37.5°C, jacuzzis and mixed hot-cold water circuits, plus two children’s pools.
The hot spring pools have numerous facilities open to the public: changing rooms, a restaurant, body and facial treatments, spa treatments at the Spa & Beauty Clinic.
Free entry for children under 12 years old.
Winter opening hours (from November 2 to March 31): 9.30 am – 5 pm.
Summer opening hours (from April 1 to November 1): 9.30 am – 7 pm.
The Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort is a luxury hotel centred around the “Sorgente”, the large natural pool of sulphurous water with a temperature of 37.5° C.
Hotel guests have free access to the adjacent Saturnia Hot Spring Pools.
The hotel organises wellness programs with mud treatments, massages, aerosols and medical consultations.