Natural Warm Water Baths
Tuscany has the highest number of thermal centers in all Italy, several of these establishments throughout the territory are a much sought after destination for a relaxing vacation - the perfect addition to a holiday in appreciation of art and nature. You will find natural baths whose temperatures go from 25° and 54° and with therapeutic properties aimed to treat vascular, rheumatic, respiratory, and urinary diseases known across the world.
Why is all this true? Because of the (ex-)volcanic activity which left a wealth of bubbling hot stuff underground. Read our article about the birth of the Tuscan Hot Springs.
When to visit the hot springs?
You don't need to be sick to enjoy spending some time soaking in the special hot water! When we are constantly bombarded with stress, or we are tired and feeling lethargic, these are physical signs that our body is sending us signals that we need to slow down and relax.
However, any time of the year is good,and they are particularly appreciated during the fall and winter. You'll have a chance to relax surrounded by some of the most beautiful, breathtaking natural landscapes in the world. All of them also have modern indoor centers that provide complete services dedicated to wellness and beauty, including massages - so don't wait any longer and start planning your visit with our suggestions!
A vacation at the thermal waters in Tuscany can transport you from the chaos of the city, the frenetic rhythm of everyday life and gives you a chance to listen to your body and immerse yourself in a situation which encourages you to commune with nature. The great thing about the thermal water spas in Tuscany is that they are always close enough to make a day trip to a quaint medieval hamlet, a city of art or history or even a trip in the panoramic countryside very very easy.
Siena and the Val d'Orcia
The province of Siena is the richest area of natural thermal waters in all Tuscany: here, you will be able to take care of your body as well as explore a stupendous territory, characterized by the gentle hills of the Val d’Orcia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), in particular the Crete Senesi and the green mountain of Mount Amiata.
Between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, the natural thermal waters of Saturnia and Petriolo offer a variety of choices for enjoying total relax and curative wellness, from the free hot thermal pools amidst nature, to the luxurious and modern centers offering all kind of treatments.
Set in south of Siena is Bagno Vignoni and it is one of the oldest and most famous thermal locations of the region, well known for its Roman period pool situated in the center of the main square and surrounded by a landscape of rare beauty. The little hamlet is a short distance from San Quirico, Castiglione d’Orcia and Pienza, perfect destinations for a wine-and-food tour in the area.
Located at a short distance from Bagno Vignoni, there’s another thermal location that is worth a visit, Bagni San Filippo, offering two different types of thermal waters: sulfurous, gushing out from Acqua Bianca rocks, and wonderful waters of the White Whale pools, both in the outdoors.
HOW TO ARRIVE: Chianciano Terme can be reached by the Autostrada A1. Take the exit Chiusi-Chianciano Terme. If you are arriving by train, go to Chiusi – Chianciano Terme, the establishment is approximately 17 km from the station. The closest airport is San Francesco in Assisi near Perugia and l'Amerigo Vespucci at Florence Peretola.
Another visit could include Chianciano Terme found at the base of Tuscany, and certainly an evocative scenery. Set between Val d’Orcia and Valdichiana, it’s the perfect thermal base for exploring the surroundings, where you’ll find other famous and wonderful destinations of Tuscany, such as Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano.
Over the years it became well recognized for liver problems and hydroponic treatments. Though for many this area is associated with doctor's recommendation for health care, liver treatments, beneficial drinking water and even sports rehabilitation there are many beauty care treatments that one can reserved, At the Terme di Chianciano the Parco Acqua Santa is open all year long and the cost varies according to the period however it still manages to keep the price down. Visit the official website for more information and events.
Since you are so close to these is Siena, the home to the most famous palio in the world, is the perfect town to combine with you search for thermal pools. Besides its beautiful architectural and artistic treasures, it’s also very renowned for its traditional cakes, typical of Christmas time, such as panforte, panpepato, ricciarelli, cavallucci and copate... all worthy of tasting and enjoying, believe me (see the end of this article for more info on the the cakes).
More Free Thermal Pools
Close to the borders between Chianti and Val di Chiana, there’s Rapolano Terme, a little town surrounded by the marvellous Crete Senesi and well-known for the two thermal spas of San Giovanni and Antica Querciolaia, which offer innovative and modern wellness treatments, as well as the latest technologies for specific diseases.
Going south towards the border with Umbria, there are the more pools which still use the same Roman foundations at San Casciano dei Bagni, third in Europe for its water flow (42 thermal springs gushing out at an average temperature of 40 degrees) and included in the Borghi più belli d’Italia, the prettiest villages in Italy. This is an official list for particular, wonderful urban centers that are architectural and artistic jewels. This is a town which actually deserves more than just a short visit: its old city center is really amazing, the spas offer quality and special welcome to guests (that’s why it has also gained the Bandiera Arancione, Orange Flag, award) and its food is delicious!! Besides the classic products such as wine and olive oil, there are many traditional recipes that you shouldn’t miss trying. In particular, I recommend you try i Ciaffagnoni, large water and flour pancakes fried and either covered with sugar or with pecorino cheese, the choice is up to you!!
Between Florence, Pisa and Lucca
HOW TO ARRIVE:Terme della Via Francigena can be reached by the Autostrada A1. Take the exit FI-PI-LI, direction Livorno follow exits for Castelfiorentino and then Gambassi-Terme. If you are arriving by train, go to Castelfiorentino, and then the bus to Gambassi-Terme. Click here for English brochure
Moving north towards Florence, close to the homeland of Renaissance par excellence, there’s Gambassi Terme, thermal location surrounded by the Val d’Elsa landscape, whose thermal establishments, dating back to the past century, have been recently restored and are particularly indicated for the treatments of digestive diseases. These are the very same water used by the pilgrims on the via Francigena.
Near Pisa, one of the historical bitter enemies of Florence, you’ll find Casciana Terme with its beautiful thermal village, and the curative hot (about 37 degrees) waters of San Giuliano Terme, known since the Roman era. Pisa with its famous Square of Miracles and Leaning Tower is just a short distance away, and Lucca, known as the town of one-hundred churches, home to the delicious buccellato and the walls you can stroll on, is only 15 minutes drive away from the hot springs.
Situated a stone’s throw from Lucca, Montecatini and Monsummano Terme (province of Pistoia), there are two historic and renowned thermal locations: the former used to be a popular destination for VIPs from all around the world, especially at the beginning of the last century, who were attracted by the curative properties of its waters as well as the quality, luxurious accommodation offered in the town. The latter is very well-known as well, thanks to its innovative and modern spa, the Grotta Giusti. The name comes from a natural thermal cave, whose curative steam is still used today to offer thermal baths and other kind of wellness treatments.
Though famous in name Montecatini is still a very economic offer where you can immerse yourself in the thermal waters. It is possible to add specific therapies including options with perfumed oils, personalized face or anti-aging masks or even an intensive anti-cellulite program all of which can last up to one hour.
If you prefer a bit more physical activity as opposed to just a beauty spa care, prices become even more interesting. Participate in water gym, Hydrobike or even Yoga or Pilates. Read here for more detailed information
Terme di Casciana in the heart of the hills around Pisa. Especially famous in this area is Acqua termale Mathelda, whose benefits are well documentd in history. Particularly noted for its exceptionally good therapy for motor skill rehabilitation, cardiovascular and respiratory treatment. The establishment in Casciana is just a short distance from the splendid walls of Volterra and the small town of Lari, noted for its rare beauty and excellent conservation.
Going southwest along the coast, along what is commonly referred to as the Costa degli Etruschi (or "Etruscan coast" for all the archeological remains unearthed over years belonging to one of the most important Etruscan settlements in all of Italy), there’s Venturina, another special thermal location. For all those who are planning a thermal vacation (to enjoy both relaxation as well as take advantage of the curative powers of its waters) in a marvelous location, Venturina would be the perfect base for exploring the fantastic seasides and the "sauvage" nature of the Maremma.
We’ve reached the end of our virtual thermal tour around Tuscany and hope you’ve found some interesting ideas for visiting Tuscany during the fall and winter. Even if the sun might not be shining, you will be nice and warm while you soak in Tuscany's warm thermal and relaxing hot springs :-)