Saturnia is less of a town and more of a living legend. Ask the locals and they’ll convince you that this Maremman town is actually the mythical Saturnia tellus – refuge of Saturn after he lost the throne of the gods.

Legends aside, Saturnia may not be Saturn’s hideaway, but it’s almost as old.

Built by the Etruscans, it was jealously coveted by the Romans, who wanted the hot springs that surrounded the town for themselves. They eventually took it by force and built baths filled with the hot sulphuric water, transforming Saturnia into a playground for the empire’s rich and famous

Today the hot springs that caught the Romans’ eyes also draw thousands of tourists to the town each year.

More than just an outdoor bath, where temperatures reach a toasty 37.5°C all-year-round, the springs also boast curative properties said to heal various minor ailments thanks to the presence of sulphur in the water.

But if you, like those in the Middle Ages, believe the steamy warm waters are really the waters of Hell or simply have no interest in taking a dip outside, you can still find plenty to do in Saturnia.

In the town itself, the marks of the Etruscans, Romans, Aldobrandeschi, Orsini and Medici are still visible, not in museums, but right in front of your eyes.

In the town square lies the remains of a Roman road, while a magnificent medieval castle looms over the streets, casting a shadow on the nearby stone-carved houses.

Everywhere you look there’s history. A deep and intriguing history that can captivate even those who thought they’d never take an interest in Italy’s expansive history.

To be honest, there isn’t a town outside of Rome and maybe Pompei that has a better preserved and richer Roman heritage than Saturnia.

To find out more about Saturnia, check out our online guide. 

What to see in Saturnia

Church of Santa Maria Maddalena: it is the only sacred building in the village of Saturnia and is located near the Porta Romana. Its construction is certainly prior to 1188, the year in which it is mentioned as a parish church by Pope Clement III. The current appearance of the building is due to the restoration that took place in 1933. Inside you can admire some valuable works of art, including a painting of the Madonna and Child between Saints Sebastian and Mary Magdalene made by the Sienese painter Benvenuto di Giovanni between the end of the 1400s and the beginning of the 1500s, two wooden crosses dating back to the end of the 1700s, two paintings depicting Saint Francis of Assisi and a Bishop Saint, probably made by the Sienese painter Ilario Casolani and a polychrome wood tabernacle, with the painted images of Saints Chara and Elizabeth of Hungary.

Archaeological Museum: inaugurated in 2003, the Archaeological Museum of Saturnia exhibits collections of finds from the nearby necropolis and from the various excavation companies carried out in the area. The main collection on display is the Ciacci one, with finds from excavations carried out around 1930. Also of particular interest are some jugs dated 350-280 BC. manufactured in Tarquinia and Chiusi.

Cinta Muraria: the original wall structure of Saturnia was built by the Etruscans and then remodeled in Roman times during the second century BC. The walls were built to protect the route of the Antica Via Clodia and also included four entrance gates. The walls were then fortified by the Aldobrandeschi in the first decades of the 13th century, during the works for the construction of the fortress. In the Sienese period, the walls were partially rebuilt. Of the four entrance gates today only Porta Romana remains, on the crossing point of the Via Clodia.

Cascate del Mulino

The Mulino waterfalls are certainly the most beautiful and fascinating attraction in the Tuscan Maremma.

Unique in their kind and similar in conformation to the beautiful Pamukkale Baths in Turkey, the Cascate del Mulino is a true natural wonder. An imposing waterfall of thermal water pours continuously into the underlying – natural pools dug into the travertine by the force of the water – in a riot of vapors and colors, ranging from the blue of the water to the white of the travertine to the green of the surrounding nature.

The Cascate del Mulino, also simply known as Cascatelle are free spas, most likely the most beautiful in Tuscany. Admission is free. A swim at night is one of the most beautiful experiences to do in the Cascatelle … immersed in the warm waters of 37 ° C, in the silence of nature, illuminated by the sweet light of the moon, a definitely magical experience!

Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort®

The elegant spa complex of Saturnia is surrounded by a large park and is one of the most beautiful in Tuscany.

Swimming pools, a spring water pool, hydromassage, hydrotherapy paths in the water to relax and enjoy the incredible beneficial and healing properties of these unique waters in the world. The spa also features a modern wellness center, a luxury hotel, a restaurant and an 18-hole golf course, PAR72.

The waters of Saturnia

The thermal waters flow from the natural source of Saturnia with a flow rate of 500 l / s.

The water temperature is constant at 37.5 ° C, very rich in elements and minerals, it is classified as sulfur-sulphate-bicarbonate-calcium-magnesium. It is rich in thermal plankton, which gives it healing properties.

The waters of Saturnia are indicated in the treatment of many ailments:

rheumatism, arthritis and arthrosis
skin diseases, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, dermatosis
gynecological diseases
diseases of the circulatory system
they are indicated in inhalation therapies for respiratory disorders
they are indicated in therapies for the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, biliary tract and liver

History of Saturnia

Saturnia is one of the oldest villages in Italy. a settlement already existed during the Neolithic, and later in the Villanovan era. There are many testimonies of these ancient origins, such as the remains of some Villanovan urns. Saturnia was part of the possessions of ancient Caletra and had a period of great growth in the Etruscan era, as evidenced today by the numerous necropolises, the oldest dating back to the eighth century BC. and the city walls, built starting from the 2nd century BC. Saturnia was part of the territory of Vulci, then passed under the Roman Empire and in 183 BC. the triumvirs Gracchus, Stellio and Labeo created the ancient colony of Sabatina, Saturnia was then raised to the role of prefecture. In 570 it was attacked by the Lombards and later by the Saracens. In medieval times, under the government of the Aldobrandeschi, Saturnia became an important municipality, in 1272 it gained independence. It was the official residence of Countess Margherita Aldobrandeschi who married Guido di Montfort here – one of the characters that Dante finds in Hell, guilty of killing Count Arrigo of Cornwall inside a church in Viterbo – and here their daughter was born, Anastasia. The period of Aldobrandesque domination was followed by centuries of decline, until 1461 when Siena conquered Sovana and made Saturnia a fortress for the defense from Pitigliano and Santa Fiora. At the fall of the Sienese, Saturnia was ruled by the Medici of Florence.

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