Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 31, 2017

Soaking up Saturnia

I visited Saturnia a few years ago on a hot Sunday. The springs were crowded with people and I vowed to return on a weekday before the busy season. We returned this week to find it much less crowded.

Water gushes out from the spring at 37degrees at 800 litres per second. Pools have formed down the slope offering wonderful places to soak in the sulfurous water.

Facilities are basic, so we were prepared. We had our swimwear on, had towels with us and plastic sea slippers on our feet. The pools look slippery, but they are not. The surface is quite rough and there are lots of tiny pebbles on the bottom of the pools.

The water is clear.

Jim took the opportunity to show off.

There were several people enjoying the gorgeous cool spring day.

At the top,where the water gushes out, the pressure is very strong and the water is warmer. It makes for a great massage. Some brave souls stood on the rock at the top, but the water really belts down with force, so we took the less adventurous option.

Lower down the massage is more gentle.

It is great to get your own little pool and let the water run over you.

We stayed for more than an hour before dragging ourselves away.

We returned early the next morning to be almost the first to arrive for the day. The pools looked stunning in the morning light.

We stayed  just around the corner from the spa at a lovely agriturismo Le Cascatelle. It is set in an olive grove.

Best of all was the breakfast. We knew it would be good, we could smell delicious things being baked when we arrived the afternoon before. All produce was from the property. I particularly liked the fresh ricotta with honey from their own bees. They also make wayward winning wine.

As we drove away we got some great views of the Spa from above.

We will definitely return. It would be fun to try the water in winter, perhaps with snow.

If you go, be as early as you can in the off season to avoid crowds. The spring is very popular with good reason. Saturnia is in southern Tuscany in the province of Grosseto.



  1. Oh, what I would give for a few hours in that water…

    • It is fabulous…come back to Italy.

  2. What a wonderful experience, I would love to go there early in the morning.
    What a find.

    • I am so glad we went back in the early morning. It was great to have it almost to ourselves.

  3. I have always wanted to go there. Always, always. Thanks for this.

    • If you go stay at Le Cascatelle, it is lovely.

  4. Beautiful photos! We’ll definitely put this on our list to go to soon.

    • Go before the summer crowds descend on the place.

  5. I have not been there. It certainly looks as a place not to miss. Thank you for sharing your holiday.

    • It is stunning. I am pleased we got back there before it becomes too busy.

  6. What a fabulous attraction….love the cascading pools. I feel relaxed just looking at it.

    • It is a great spot. We will be back.

  7. I, too, have always wanted to go there. Thanks for the vicarious trip and for the name and photos of the agriturismo where you stayed.

    • The agriturismo is excellent. It is family run and very welcoming.

  8. Oh, Deb, how glorious. I would think that cool weather would absolutely be the best time to go because you can really luxuriate in the warm pummelling of the water – and then to have fresh ricotta and honey thrown in as a bonus – heaven. The early morning shots are wonderfully ethereal.

    • The warm water is heavenly on a cool day. We were delighted when we returned in the morning.

  9. I love hot springs! I haven’t heard of this one before, though. Thanks for sharing!

    • The hot springs are free, which is amazing.

  10. This sounds so idyllic. Next time I’m in Italy I shall track this down and enjoy a stay.

    • Saturnia is a lovely town as well. I will write about that soon.

  11. We went in summer which was very busy but we went late in the evening – around 6 pm and we too had a fabulous experience – and stayed in an Agriturismo nearby – definitely can recommend a visit

    • The first time I went it was very crowded. When I look at my earlier photos there seems to be more water this time.

  12. Beautiful photos. I visited once on a weekday in October and it wasn’t too crowded. I enjoyed the water and the experience. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I remember it being extremely slippery.

    • It is difficult to walk in the pools, but mostly because they are uneven.

  13. Wow!

    • Yes, it is an amazing place.

  14. That looks totally relaxing. I’ve been through Montecatini Terme several times on the train. Is the thermal spa the lovely looking place high up on the hill above the town? Or is that another place entirely?

    It was just wonderful to be in Lucca today, what splendid weather.

    • The spas in Montecatini are in the town near the station. Montecatini Alto is the high village you can see from the town. It is a very pretty place. We were in a Lucca for the garden show. It was a gorgeous day, quite hot. Last year there was rain for the Verde Mura.

      • Thanks, Debra! I mounted the walls just beyond the garden show, having no way to cart vegetation back to Australia. Did you buy anything for casa Debbio?

        That Debbie sure has/is wreaking havoc, those poor folks in Queensland and NSW.

      • The show is worth a look even if you can’t buy anything, but it would be very frustrating. We bought a couple of peonies, aquilegia, oak leaf hydrangeas and a few small things. I had specific spots in mind to buy plants for.

  15. How fabulous. I would love to go there. The water looks divine!

    • It is great. We will go together on your next trip.

  16. Deb you always have a eye for those handsome young Italian boys with a sneaky photo taken.

  17. Wow! I had never heard of Saturnia (it’s sounds inter galactic really). And it was fascinating to read about it too. Great pics too. I think hubby would adore it.

  18. What a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing the lovely photos.

  19. Wow, if I could force myself to go outside the walls of Lucca, that sounds like a great field trip!

  20. The best shot is the expression on Jim’s face (shot 738). Fantastic can’t wait to experience it ourselves!

    • He loved it and so will you.

  21. […] March we also went to Saturnia in the Maremma area of Tuscany to soak in the hot pools. It is an area we will explore forther in […]

  22. Beautiful photos Debra!! They look very much like the mineral-rich thermal pools in Pamukkale in Turkey.

    • It’s great. We will be going back when Jim arrives.

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