Stressed? Muscle pain? Skin issues? Trouble sleeping? The Saturnia springs could hold the answers to all of these problems and more. The small Tuscan town of Saturnia is located about 2 hours and 45 minutes’ drive south of Florence. The Cascate di Mulino or Mulino Waterfalls are a little off the beaten track, especially if using public transport. None the less, the area has become a point of interest for its warm natural springs. The springs flow rapidly over shallow pools in an idyllic setting amongst the hills of Grosetto, drawing visitors who wish to soak in the tiered baths.
The waters are rich in natural minerals and can reach up to 37.5 °c. You will probably smell the falls before you actually see them because the sulphur creates a strong smell of egg! Although unpleasant, the sulphur is one of the elements that make a bath in this water so sought after. It’s said that the water has therapeutic and relaxing qualities, used to heal various skin conditions and bodily ailments since the Roman times. Arthritis, high blood pressure and psoriasis are just some of the conditions that swimmers seek to cure with regular visits to the springs.
So where do these thermal waters come from you ask? Medieval legend has it that Jupiter’s thunderbolt came down and struck the earth in a battle against Saturn. The cracks that were formed by this thunderous blast were thought to be the portals to a fiery hell, creating the steam and sulphur scented water that still flow rapidly from the earth to this day. However, the source of the Saturnia hot springs are more likely to be an effect of the Monte Amiata Volcano, located 40km away, heating the earth below.
Free to enter and open all year round, avoid the crowds by visiting in the early morning or furing winter for a completely unique experience as steam rises and floats all around like on some other planet. There is also a wellness spa close by with two outdoor pools naturally heated by the springs. Here you can also indulge in a well-deserved massage.