Are you looking for an alternative to a day at the beach? It might seem counterintuitive, but a trip to the hot springs in summer can be a refreshing thing. The area between Rome and Florence is filled with natural springs. Some are hot, some are warm, some are fancy, some are rustic. There is something for everyone and every season. Here are some of our favorite Hot Springs in Tuscany and Lazio.
Since the time of the Etruscans, the thermal waters from the hot springs in Tuscany and Lazio have been sought out for their healing properties. The Romans developed pools with their masonry skills and then became even more developed by centuries of Popes and royalty. Today there are modern spa facilities and rustic pools hidden in wild hills and fields. The choice is yours.
A rest stop for centuries the facilities around these warm springs have recently been refurbished and landscaped with lush green lawns and inviting pools.
There are two pools one warm (37 degrees celsius) filled by a natural spring and a large conventional swimming pool. Included in the entrance costs are sunbeds, chairs and umbrellas. The cafe/bar serves simple salads and sandwiches for lunch and there are a variety of spa services available (booking ahead recommended)
Don’t miss the frescoes in the thirteenth century Pieve di Santa Maria dell’Aquila on the grounds.
In high season, get there early, there are only 100 places and they fill up by 11:00am. Outside of late July and August it is not as crowded.
Choose from seven different pools, a healthy cafe and a long list of treatments at this well appointed hotel and luxurious spa complex. The water here is 47 degrees celsius and there are a number of strong massaging jets and fountains in the large pool.
This spa’s location near Rome and the picturesque Lake Bracciano make it a perfect break from city touring. Open every day from May through November there is a large pool filled with 36 degrees celsius mineral water. Overlooking green fields and hills, there is plenty of space to spread out and relax. There is a small snack bar with picnic tables with sandwiches and salads.
This spa is the closest to Rome and with the hottest water, the former olympic sized pool is fed from the ancient Bullicame spring with sulfur rich water that is 57 degrees Celsius. Sooth away the jet lag with a long soak and a nap in the sunshine. The restaurant serves fresh cafeteria style lunches and an outside bar is there for a late afternoon espresso or a cold cafe crema. The Spa’s range of soaps made from local mud make a great souvenir. There is a daily shuttle bus service from Rome. Closed Tuesdays.
The local legend of the origins of these hot springs is quite colorful. The god Saturn is said to have been angered by the squabbles between villages here and so threw a lightening bolt from the sky to create the sulfurous, calming waters to sooth the conflicts.
This is the most famous of the Tuscan hot springs and the spa is one of the most luxurious. There are multiple pools and a wide range of spa services. The water is 37 degrees celsius and is rich in the healing minerals sulfur, bicarbonate-alkaline, calcium, and magnesium.
You can go to the spa with a large pool and spa treatments or look for the signs and sense of smell, for the sulfurous water in rustic pools. The mud collected from the bottom is said to be a cure for all kinds of ailments from arthritis to skin problems. The water here is 43 degrees Celsius.
The stunning Fosso Bianco are the highlight here. Impressive white rock formations filled with milky white, mineral rich water are worth the walk. There is a hotel with a restaurant and a spa for treatments. The water here is 53 degrees and is rich in sulphur and calcium. Closed Tuesdays
Here are a few insider tips to make the most of your visit to the hot springs in Tuscany and Lazio.
– Get there early. The parking lots and changing rooms are empty and the pool is calm.
– If you plan on exploring the more wild and rustic pools, bring flip-flops and a robe. At the spa complexes you can often rent these items.
– Pack an old bathing suit. Some of the pools have a very strong sulfur smell.
– At the spa complexes you can rent deck chairs and “noodles” to help you get the perfect relaxing pose in the water.
– Check the spa shop for products made from the local water and mud to bring home as gifts.