In the region of Maremma in southern Tuscany, there’s a small village that’s causing a stir. To be more precise it’s not the village of Saturnia itself that draws innumerable visitors day in and day out, but rather the thermal springs that are just a stone’s throw away. See for yourself which natural phenomenon takes place here and which healing properties are released when you go for a dip in the natural springs!

Photo: TripAdvisor

Saturnia’s sulphur springs

While this place used to be considered magical in the past, today this natural phenomenon can easily be explained. Up to 200m of rainwater collects inside the Monte Amiata volcano. Although the volcano has long been extinct, there’s still enough energy in the volcano to heat the water up to a toasty 37 degrees. At the same time sulphur is released from the ground – the water and sulphur mix and over 800 litres of this mixture bubble up from the surface every second. The water creates a little stream, or gorello, and it winds up in a naturally-formed sinter basin; the so-called cascate. Due to the calcification the different basins are all at different heights, which means that the sulphur springs flow across several levels like a waterfall. Together with the surrounding reeds and the old mill it all comes together to create the perfect setting for a spot of bathing!

Photo: TripAdvisor

The healing effects of the sulphur water

Apart from the fact that the springs are lovely to look at with their turquoise-blue waters and the rising steam, a bath in them will also come with some healing effects. The combination of hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide and different mineral salts neutralises the skin’s pH and offers alleviation from skin conditions. Those suffering from arthritis, bone and muscle problems can also enjoy the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the waters.


Bathing fun

It’s no surprise that the sulphur springs cause such a stir! Bathing in 37°C water is simply relaxing – and when it’s possible to do it all surrounded by nature and not have to pay anything for it, then of course everyone wants to try it out for themselves! Pictures always crop up on the internet showing bathers strewn across the different levels and enjoying the natural baths.

Things even look fascinating under the water – it almost looks as if a reef’s been created that’s made up of cliff formations and green algae rising upwards due to the bubbles. Obviously these sulphur springs aren’t without a bit of the typical sulphur smell, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some of the other sulphur springs out there – you’ll soon get used to it!


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