Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 11, 2012

In a bit of hot water in Saturnia

At the terme in Saturnia hot water spurts out of the ground and tumbles over natural pools on its way into a stream. 800 litres per second of sulfurous water at 37degrees brings people every day to bathe. After having been forgotten for centuries it was rediscovered in the late 1800s when a spa was built.


It is anything but glamourous, but is charming in its own way. It was crowded and hot when we visited on an autumn weekend.









There is a cafe beside the pools, offering coffee, cool drinks and snacks.


There is a particularly nasty squat toilet in a tin shack behind the cafe…..don’t go unless you really need to.

I am going back in winter on a week day when hopefully I will have the place to myself.

The Terme is just outside the town of Saturnia in southern Tuscany, and there is lots of parking. The spa is free of charge…..amazing.


  1. what an interesting place, I think I would really enjoy it. Maybe not the toilet tho Lyn

    • You will have to go before you go.

  2. Looks relaxing!

    • Perhaps with fewer people.

  3. Wow I’ve never seen anything like that before! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hehe re warning about the toilet ๐Ÿ˜›

    • It is in a nasty tin shed… be avoided.

  4. I’ve always wanted to go there. I’d love to lie in one of the pools with the warm water rushing over me…I think I might be able, even, to ignore the mobs around me…just maybe.

    • I think winter would be the best time to go.

    • C’est peut รชtre vous le monstre !

  5. Oh, yes please!

    • It looks interesting doesn’t it?

  6. Isn’t this earth a fascinating thing – all that water continually flowing – it must come from deep within the earth. As far as the squat toilet goes – I think it might be wise to be in the topmost pool!

    • I was thinking I might head for the top pool.

  7. OH I was interested to visit here when I was in Tuscany last year but never made it! Great to see it in pics if not in person, thanks

    • It was my first visit. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I found it very interesting and I will certainly return in winter.

  8. I have heard good things about this very place Debra. I’ve even visited…on google earth though. Not high on the glamour scale you’re right but a spa experience would be my dream this weekend so I envy you today ;-). A winter midweek visit sounds an excellent idea too!

    • We should go together next year on a cool weekday.

  9. Looks quite relaxing and quite the treat!

    • Most people seemed to find a space to relax in even with a crowd.

  10. That looks like a well kept secret, Debra. (I think you’ve let the cat out of the bag now. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    It looks very similar to Dun’s River Falls in Jamaica, minus the hoards of tourists. Except that water is quite cold because it comes out of the mountains.

    • The Terme seems very popular with Italians. I will definitely go back when it is less crowded.

  11. Interesting, but too crowded. And that toilet sounds pretty awful…

    • We were there on a Sunday. I’m sure it would be better on a week day.

  12. I want to go there!

  13. near Florence there is a Terme like this were I used to nightime with my friends. Amazing experience –

    • Do you remember the name of the place?

  14. From the castle to the cool (and mysterious) waters! Thank you for your wonderful reportages about Italy!

  15. Thank you for this – the pictures look superb and it looks so warm there.
    i’m planning to take my family to the springs at Saturnia for a day out when we’re next over. Just out of interest how long did it take you to get there. We’ll probably stop off at either San Gimignano or Volterra on the way back to Bagni. Have you posted anything on Volterra? I’ve seen the post on San Gimmy.

  16. It took about 3 and a half hours to get to Saturnia ( if you don’t get lost ) There are many wonderful towns in the area to visit. I will be going back to see Bagno di Fillipo and a few others. Pitigliano is not far away and it it fabulous, then there is Orvieto, Bagnoregio…all of which I have done posts on. I would stay overnight somewhere and have a look around.
    I did a post on Volterra on July 22, 2011 called Have you been to Volterra. It is well worth a visit.

    • thanks again Debra. I think we’ll try somewhere new like the places you mentioned in your reply, plus an overnight stay. anywhere you’d recommend in the area?

      • We stayed at Relais San Lorenzo in Piancastagnaio, which was very nice. Orvieto or Pitigliano would make good bases as well.

  17. I’m amazed that it is free.

  18. What hilarious, wonderful photos!!! You got a big chuckle from me.

    • I left out a couple of really funny ones, they were a bit personal.

  19. […] In a bit of hot water in Saturnia ( […]

  20. […] Saturnia was amazing with its hot spring…I am going back in winter to have it to myself. […]

  21. […] In a bit of hot water in Saturnia […]

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