From Saturnia to Montepulciano
You can start your weekend immersing yourself in the pure relaxation of the thermal baths of Saturnia, in the heart of the Maremma. Legend says that these springs were created by a bolt of lightning that Jupiter, in a fit of rage, meant to hurl towards Saturn but instead struck the Earth.
You can delve into the natural limestone baths at the Cascate del Mulino, where the water flows at a temperature of 37.5°C and the constant replacement of the water preserves its pureness and healing properties.
You can spend the rest of the morning strolling towards the famous Val d’Orcia Park, which was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2004. While heading over there, you can admire the Tuscan greenery as it beautifully changes colors for autumn.
After that, what could possibly be a better spot for a lunch break than Montepulciano, where you can enjoy all kinds of excellent local products, like the wines Vino Nobile, Rosso di Montepulciano or Vin Santo?
To enrich this experience even more, you can visit the Nature Reserve of the Lake of Montepulciano. This 300-hectare terrain is one of the few places where diverse species of birds find shelter on their migratory routes during the wintering and nesting periods. You can really immerse yourself in nature by taking a boat ride or hiking a trail.
From the Thermal Baths of San Filippo to the Thermal Bath of Vignoni
On the second day of the trip, the key word is relax. In the morning you can go to the thermal baths of San Filippo, in the province of Siena. The countryside there is mostly white because of the limestone deposits that have accumulated over the years and come to define that part of the land. You can admire the ‘Balena Bianca’, or White Whale’, made of the deposits from the thermal waterfalls, and the fosso bianco, the stream that flows into several springs, surrounded by greenery.
For lunch, you can stop in Pienza, the artistic cradle of the entire Val d’Orcia, whose historic city center has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since the 1990s. In addition to Renaissance monuments to admire, the town is known for its wrought iron craftsmanship and, of course, its traditional local specialties, like the Pienza pecorino cheese, pici pasta or Cinta Sienese cold-cut meats.
The final stop on the tour is the thermal bath of Vignoni, a small part of San Quirico d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage site that only has about 30 residents. Piazza delle Sorgenti is a large natural basin of thermal waters with therapeutic properties that flows to the surface right in the town center. Nearby you can enjoy a moment of total relaxation at the Le Terme Wellbeing Centre.
If you’d like to discover some more of the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, then keep following the path and you’ll come to the Parco dei Mulini. In the midst of the vegetation, you’ll discover four medieval mills sunken into the rocks. These unique mills were important – they could also be used in the summer without drying out, thanks to the local thermal springs. At the edge of the park, there is a natural basin of thermal water where swimming is not permitted.