Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 2, 2017

Saturnia, the town

Saturnia, in southern Tuscany, takes its name from the Roman god Saturn. Legend has it that he grew tired of constant human wars and sent a thunderbolt to earth that created a magic spring of warm sulphurous water to pacify mankind. (I think we need a few more in various parts of the world)

The town was first occupied by the Pelasgi then the Etruscans. A Roman colony arrived in 183BC. Old walls and some gateways remain.

In 1300 Saturnia became the hideout of outlaws and was razed to the ground by Sienese.  It was forgotten for centuries until it was rediscovered in the late 19th century. The land around the spring was drained and a spa built. Now the Spa is extremely popular and attracts many visitors.

The town sits on a rise above the spring.

The town was very quiet on the afternoon of our visit after our time in Saturn’s pacifying water. It seems only a few hundred people live there full time.

It has a lovely piazza in the centre of the town.

In the piazza are several excavated stones.

There are some pretty houses incorporated into the old walls.

The church has a fine campanile.

You can always count on finding a lovely doorway or 2 in Tuscany towns.

There are a few shops where we bought some very good local cheese and wine. We found an excellent restaurant, Bacco & Cerere, which had been recommended by Le Cascatelle, where we stayed.

The setting was elegant.

The lighting was subdued, so my photos are not all that clear, but you will get the idea. Bread made on the premises was excellent.

The delicious treat that came before entree was pecorino in a crust on a pea purée.

Jim had pheasant pate.

My entree was stunning. Pecorino with pear and walnut in filo.

Jim’s main course was tagliata di manzo. He ordered medium, but the very helpful waiter also brought to the table a hot plate where it was possible to cook the meat more if necessary.

I ordered maialino, suckling pig. It was wonderful.

We will definitely return to Saturnia…to the spring, Le Cascatelle and Bacco & Cerere.

See the previous post to see the amazing Saturnia spring.




  1. […] via Saturnia, the town — Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

  2. We went in July last year and Saturnia was not very busy at all

    • I thought it might be busy in summer. There are a few restaurants apart from the one we went to.

  3. This trip must have been great. My family lives in Telese, BN, Italy which also has a natural sulfur water spring. I love visiting Italy and have been to Florence. I love the Ribolita.

    • Florence is wonderful. There is much to see and do in Italy.

      • I’ve written a couple travel posts about Italy and one is about Naples and the Amalfi coast. Check them out I feel you’re interested.

      • I will take a look. I lived on the Amalf Coast many years ago. My son was born in Sorrento.

      • Well in that case you can correct me if I made mistakes. I came back from Italy pregnant last time we were in Positano.

  4. Ummm, looks like someone ate well!

  5. That food looks so good, and what a peaceful looking town.

    • The food was great. The town was quiet, but very pretty

  6. The plants are horticulture of the Tuscany area looks beautiful! I am a huge fan of the food and vegetables of that region. Unfortunately, in Chicago that kind of stuff isn’t always available.

    This summer I specifically picked out several Italian pepper, tomato, and misc veggies seeds to go with a new Tuscan cooking book I bought.

    Super jealous of your visit!

    • Tuscany is gorgeous. There is one beautiful place after another.

  7. You have a knack of finding wonderful places … then again, Italy has a way of making that quest easy. Thanks for the journey to another great find.

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