Tuscany, we know, has a lot to offer, and the variety of things of which this region is rich are renowned worldwide. Maybe not everybody knows that Tuscany is also rich in spa resorts, an important treasure given by natural elements such as powerful waters and a particular conformation of the land.
Hot water spas can be found in almost all the region’s main towns, and nowadays they aren’t simply centers for classic thermal treatments for various conditions, such as respiratory illness, arthritis and rheumatism, vascular deficiency, skin infection and diseases of the alimentary tract and bile ducts. During more recent years the concept of thermal baths has been split into wellness center and the spas, and further than being used for therapy, most of centers now offer as pleasant sites more corresponding to people’s need of combining a healthy treatment with a relaxing holiday, making each spa resort a place for regenerating both body and soul. For people coming from crowded bit towns this is even more essential, as these moments are a truly compensation of the stress and frenetic speed of modern living.
Most of Tuscan spas have their own interesting history. For example, Saturnia (in the Maremma region, near Grosseto), the spring of hot water comes from a past Vulcan (from which also the volcanic clods still present there) and the legend tells that Jove, angry with Saturn, threw lightning at him, and this caused the origin of the Vulcan. Many of today’s thermal springs were already known and appreciated at Etruscan and Roman times. Roman ruins are still visible in Saturnia and Petriolo.
Among the most famous spa resorts there are the following ones:
Casciana and San Giuliano, near Pisa;
Bagni di Lucca, in the Garfagnana area, the mountain region North of Lucca;
Montecatini, near Pistoia;
Rapolano, in the beautiful setting of the Crete Senesi, near Siena;
Saturnia, near Grosseto (if you go there, don’t miss the natural open cascades, of same hot water, just next to the Spa)
Petriolo, near Siena.
If you are planning a winter holiday in Tuscany, the thermal baths can be really very appealing. Nothing better than plunging in hot water during a cold time.. A holiday in winter Tuscany, far from the summer crowds and tourists, may be a pleasant surprise if you haven’t tried. If you rent a villa in the countryside, for instance, you will be able to appreciate a real side of country living, like making long walks in wild paths in the morning, cooking dishes that you could hardly try in summer, like the famous Polenta with cinghiale (the cornmeal mush with wild boar), chestnuts roasted in the fireplace.