There’s only one thing better and more romantic than soaking in natural hot springs – with their warm, bubbly, medicinal waters rising from the earth – and that is soaking in the many hot springs set in the Tuscan countryside. Surrounded by rolling clay hills, towering cypress and olive groves, these are the most romantic hot springs in Tuscany worth traveling and taking a dip for.
Terme di Saturnia Hot Springs
In the municipality of Manciano, a short distance from the village of Saturnia, lies Terme di Saturnia, a group of dreamy aquamarine-colored pools, each with steam rising from top that are perhaps Tuscany’s famous natural hot springs. Beloved by the Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization and later, the Romans, these sulfur-rich thermal waters were believed to be a gift from the gods for their restorative healing powers, and ability to ease muscles and achy joints. Today the entire setting, surrounded by lush countryside and stone villas, brings the romance factor as bathers and lovers enjoy a soak in this gorgeous part of the world, all year round.
Adler Therme Spa Resort
While the healing properties of Bagno Vignoni’s mineral waters hold true today, wellness devotees and Tuscan lovers come to Adler Thermae Spa Resort for ultimate wellbeing and relaxation and to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of these thermal baths. The crowd is hip at this oasis resort, so expect to see tall, bronze David esque men flanked by chic women milling about in cushy white robes, sipping the thermal waters. Beyond the hot springs, the spa resort features saunas and steam rooms, underground grottos, mud and massage treatments, and is home to a lovely Tuscan restaurant serving fresh pasta, fish, shepherd’s cheese and wine from nearby Montepulciano.
Chianciano Terme Thermal Baths
Chianciano is a true Tuscan spa town, the Etruscans built a temple at the source of the Sillene springs, where the town’s quarter stands today, to express their devotion to the gods of good health. In the 1960s, thousands lined the entrance to the springs, waiting to drink the curative water. Today, the bubbling waters, rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory properties, are best enjoyed at the Chianciano Terme Thermal Baths, a spa resort that offers the ultimate in relaxation, rejuvenation, and romance. A mainstay are the Theia pools – four outdoor, three inside, which taps into the famous Sillene spring. The town is also home to three other natural-spring waters; Santa (‘holy water’), Fucoli (anti-inflammatory) and Santissima (for inhalation therapy).
San Filippo Hot Springs
One of the most beautiful – and undoubtedly the most unusual – these natural hot springs are hot, hot, hot. 122-degrees in fact and you’ll find these white waters (the color is caused by unique calcium deposits) hidden deep in the woods of the Val d’Orcia region, where you’ll come upon a breathtaking ‘white whale’ waterfall, resembling the mouth of a whale. The thermal pools sit below the fall, and at the bottom is rich glorious thermal mud. Rub it on your significant other to cleanse and nourish your skin.
Petriolo Hot Springs
Located in the Ombrone Valley, between Monticiano and Civitelli Paganico, the natural hot springs of Bagni di Petriolo also dates back to the Romans, who it has to be said were rather focused on keeping their bodies beautiful. These natural wonders, formed naturally by deposits of limestone and sulfur, have long been sought after by popes and Italy’s ruling class, for their rich salts and therapeutic properties. Open year-round and free of charge, be prepared to take a short hike to reach them (parking is limited) but the 109-degree temperature makes it all worth it.
Fonteverde Thermal Spa
One of Tuscany’s most glamorous hot spring resorts – once owned by the Grand Duke Ferdinando de’ Medici – Fonteverde is a high-end spa with fabulous architecture and even more fabulous Italian cuisine. But the real stunner here is the constantly flowing 107-degree medicinal water. Rich in fluoride, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium, the water is said to relax, rejuvenate and is an excellent source of electrolytes to help treat more serious conditions like osteoporosis.
Grotta Giusti Natural Spa Resort
Perfect for couples looking for some alone time together, this romantic 19th-century villa is all about enjoying long relaxing soaks. While there are beautiful outdoor pool immersions, herbal gardens, and an olive grove, the heart of the Grotta Giusti Natural Spa Resort experience is the steamy cave grotto. Once defined by Maestro Giuseppe Verdi as the “eighth wonder of the world,” the cave was sculpted over thousands of years and is home to a natural spring and underground lake.
The largest thermal park in Tuscany, just east of Siena, Rapolano Terme offers two thermal baths: Antica Querciolaia and San Giovanni, both bursting with sulfur-rich waters that have therapeutic benefits for the skin and lungs. Antica Querciolaia, set in its own park, features indoor and outdoor pools – ranging from hot (104 degrees) to warm to cold (68 degrees) – and spots to inhale the thermal steam and enjoy treatments using the local mud. San Giovanni is smaller but offers mineral spring pools that also vary in temperature as well as a full thermal treatment menu.
Bagni di Pisa
For a complete change of scenery, head to Bagni di Pisa, a luxury villa-style hotel, to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa and to enjoy the delights of the property’s healing, rejuvenating collection of thermal pools and treatment rooms (along with amazing Italian gastronomy). Originally built for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, a fact that is easily detected in the frescoed ceilings and stunning gardens, rumor is that Mary Shelley, the mastermind behind Frankenstein, and her husband also regularly frequented the villa.
Montecatini Spa Town
This Tuscan hot spring stop has nothing to do with bathing. In Montecatini, one of Italy’s largest thermal towns, the big thing here is to visit the impressive water drinking pavilion, Tettuccio Terme, an ornate Art Nouveau spa building where visitors line up to drink the curative mineral-rich waters. Beauty is after all from the inside out.