The Baths of Saturnia
From the finely honed ridges of the vertiginous Dolomites on the boundary with Austria, to the ominous smoking threat of Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy offers an unparalleled variety of natural wonders within its borders. But not all are as well known as those two famous examples. In the south of Tuscany, between Lake Bolsena, the crater of an extinct volcano, and the sea lies another fascinating feature, the result of the country's volatile geological past.
Thermal springs are a feature of Italy and if you pass a town with the word Terme at the end of its name, often shortened simply to ‘T’ you can be sure that there are hot springs there. They are very popular as a destination with Italians wanting ‘to take the waters’ for their supposed health-giving properties or just as a place to relax and be pampered. However, none are like the Baths of Saturnia. The cascading natural white stone terraces form a unique series of pools that are visually stunning. There is nothing in the green Tuscan landscape to suggest their presence and the contrast with their surroundings on first sight will take your breath away. People have been enjoying the waters that emerge from the ground here at an unwavering 37.5 degrees certainly since the Bronze Age and there is plentiful archaeological evidence from the Etruscan civilization that preceded the Romans.
The baths are free to enter and enjoy and whether you choose to bathe in their outdoor setting or simply marvel at their beauty they are sure to leave an indelible memory.