Tuscany is rich in hot natural springs that bubble out of the ground and are filled with minerals and the heat of the earth. The springs have been used for their curative properties since the time of the Romans, who believed that the sulphurous water came from Hades, the underworld. Now the major hot springs are used by spa hotels and medical centres. But best of all are the wild hot springs which still pepper the countryside, free and untamed – if you know where to look.
Here are a few free ones:
• Twenty minutes south of Siena are the Bagni di Petriolo, hot springs that were popular with the Romans, and later with the Medici family.
• Saturnia in the wild Maremma area of southern Tuscany, about an hour south of Siena
• San Filipo is 40 minutes south-east of Siena, between the volcanic peaks of Mount Amiata
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