Tuscany has countless natural springs and many spa towns that were established in ancient times thanks to this precious gift of the Earth.
There are both modern spas where hot spring water is collected in a swimming pool (outdoors and/or indoors) and you pay a day ticket to enter; others are free open air springs. Thermal spring water has different characteristics and contains different minerals, so they are suitable for treating various ailments.
Here is a short guide to explore spa towns in Tuscany, a perfect gift idea, even in the winter, to warm you up!
Gambassi Terme has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Later it became an important centre for the Etruscans and Romans, too.
It was also a resting place for travellers and pilgrims who followed the via Francigena route.
The town’s spas opened in 1974 and boast waters that are scientifically proven to be therapeutic and curative for many ailments.
Petriolo’s hot springs are immersed in beautiful woodland in the Terre di Siena, near Montalcino.
There is a natural sulphuric water basin as well as the outdoor baths that are part of the Farma river and which can be used for free.
The water temperature stays constant at approximately 42 degrees, perfect to treat respiratory and skin problems as well as motor ability troubles.
Even the Medici family, popes, cardinals and nobles used to go to Terme di Petriolo!
The Terme di Saturnia are located in the Maremma area of Tuscany, just below the village of Saturnia.
In Saturnia there are thermal baths that are free of charge and those for which you have to pay an entrance fee.
The free ones are called Cascate del Mulino, the others are inside the Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort, which boasts 140 rooms, a restaurant, a wellness centre, golf, tennis and pools.
The thermal baths of Venturina are Etruscan in origin.
The temperature stays constant at approximately 45 degrees, and it is highly beneficial in treating respiratory ailments as well as mud and water therapies, inhalation and hydro treatments.
The location is perfect for a holiday as is just 5 kilometres from the sea.
Casciana Terme is a spa where you find a relaxing hydrotherapy pool, a pool used for motor rehabilitation, a hot tub with thermal water, perfect for those who suffer from circulation problems.
Its origins are shrouded in a romantic legend that dates back to the times of Countess Matilde di Canossa; in fact the hot water of Casciana is nicknamed Acqua Mathelda and bursts out of the spring at a constant and natural temperature of 35.7°C.
At Uliveto Terme you come across the Uliveto Thermal Park, which has a unique and original location nestled in an old olive grove, a few kilometres from the river Arno and Monte Pisano.
This mineral water is famous especially for being drinking water that helps digestion.
Equi Terme is situated close to Pizzo d’Uccello, one of the most striking peaks in the Apuan Alps in the Lunigiana area of Tuscany.
For many centuries, the rainwaters have been collected by the Apuan Alps, filtered by the sub-soil and then entrusted once again to the surface where, not far from the medieval hamlet, they are collected and used as curative waters.
San Giuliano Terme hosts Bagni di Pisa, an elegant spa where you can carry out a wide range of treatments ranging from massages, mud baths and aerosol baths.
The water of this spa has anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties, while its muds are a cure for joint ailments.
In the mountains of Bagni di Lucca there are waters rich in calcium, bicarbonate and sulphate that are beneficial for rheumatism as well as vascular, skin and gynaecological problems.
These caves are rich in natural vapours and their temperature is around 40 degrees.
Monsummano Terme has many spa centres because of natural cavities in the surrounding mountains that release steam and hot water endowed with exclusive therapeutic properties.
Grotta Parlanti was discovered in the 18th century and the waters have a constant temperature of 32°C. Grotta Giusti has three different zones named Paradise, Purgatory and Hell.
Montecatini Terme is considered to be the leading spa town in Italy, so it has a long tradition in using thermal waters. Its waters are pure and rich with precious elements; they are used in therapies as well as drinking water. Situated in the province of Pistoia, this spa town is well equipped for relaxing holidays in one of the many spas around the town: there are, in fact, nine thermal centres immersed in the greenery of the extensive thermal parkland.
The first establishments were built during the 15th century (even though the therapeutic properties of the waters in this area were already known about in Roman times), and many of these spas are built in Art Nouveau style. Il Tettuccio – one of the first establishments – is regarded as the symbol of the town.
Founded by the Romans, Rapolano Terme boasts two ancient thermal baths, both open year round: Antica Querciolaia and Terme di San Giovanni. The thermal waters of Rapolano Terme were discovered in the late 1700s and are perfect for relaxation and wellness.
The Antica Querciolaia baths offer a long list of top-quality treatments with thermal waters that flow from springs at varying temperatures that range from 39-40°C to 30°C, and are characterized by high levels of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
Here you can have medical treatments and check-ups.
This place has Etruscan-Roman origins and the name itself reflects the very presence of thermal waters. Legend has it that the foundation of the first thermal baths were for Porsenna, the sovereign of Chiusi.
The thermal waters of San Casciano dei Bagni contain sulphur, calcium and fluoride, and boast anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Through inhalation they act on the respiratory system with anti-inflammatory effects. They also have a peeling effect on the skin.
The small village of Bagni San Filippo is situated in the province of Siena, opposite Mount Amiata. Here, natural thermal springs have been documented since the Middle Ages, measuring from 25° to 52°C. The greenery all around is luxuriant and the “Fosso Bianco” (White Moat), a white, calcareous stream that flows here, creating many waterfalls, is famous for its natural pools, one hot and one cold.
The waters of Terme San Filippo are rich in sulphur, calcium and magnesium and, for this reason, are recommended for inhalations and aerosols for respiratory problems, while the natural muds are used in mud and bath treatments and against skin diseases.
This village in the heart of the Val d’Orcia has long been a resting place for people travelling through the region along the Via Francigena. Bagno Vignoni has a 49-metre-long rectangular pool in the town centre, in piazza delle Sorgenti. You can’t actually bathe in the square, but you can go take a dip at nearby Parco dei Mulini (free of charge).
The warm water comes from a deep, underground, volcanic spring and vaunts curative properties first discovered by the Etruscans.
The thermal waters at Bagno Vignoni are known for their special properties and are particularly renowned for their use in treating neuralgic and arthritic conditions, inflammation, rheumatism, and respiratory and gynaecological problems.
This comune is situated 50 km southeast of Siena, located between the Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia. During Roman times curative powers of Chianciano’s water became well known and villas were built in the area near the thermal baths.
Today Chianciano Terme, thanks to its therapeutic water that is reputed to cleanse the liver, is considered among the finest health resorts in Italy, equipped to host more than 12,000 visitors on a given day.