Tuscany’s outdoor thermal baths
April 22, 2011 2 Comments
We woke up early the next morning and got right on the road to begin our search for some natural thermal baths (the reason why we came). From Siena, we took to E78 south until we hit the Terme di Petriolo.
This was the warmest natural spring I had been in to date. Located along the Merse river (pictured) the water flows down the rocks, pooling in individual-sized tubs before cascading into the larger area below. The small baths higher up are literally hotter than bathwater (I couldn’t even get in) while the large pool is at a comfortable temperature. Like in a spa, visitors sit on the rocks that separate the bath from the river and dip their feet between the hot and frigid waters — which is said to be good for circulation.
After about an hour at Petriolo, we piled back into the car to search for another spot I had read about: the Bagni di San Filippo. We continued heading south on the E78 before turning east towards Mount Amiata where I had read these baths were located. At this point our stomachs began to grumble, so we stopped at one of the many farms along the road for lunch.
Back on the road, we made our way to San Filippo which is located off the SP61 (the easier way to find it is by taking the SR2). He we had to park the car and follow an unmarked path through the woods along a small river to find it.
It was very beautiful: The white mineral deposits clinging to the rock looked like a mountain of snow melting into the sky-blue pools below. Despite the posted signs that advised against climbing, a couple bathers were lounging in the one or two small pools located halfway up the light-flowing waterfall.
The pools below were lukewarm, but the frogs, tadpoles and snakes in the water made it uninviting. We decided to skip the dip and head back to Rome instead.
If you missed the earlier post about hot springs, check out Tuscany’s most famous outdoor thermal bath: Saturnia.