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Italy’s best free hot springs

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History of Italian hot springs

The hot springs in Italy (and many other parts of the world) have a millennial tradition, thanks to the Etruscans and Romans who have selected and established in our territory springs of mineral and thermal waters with beneficial and curative properties. Over the last 50 million years, our territory has undergone profound structural changes with the creation of mountain ranges and massive volcanic systems. The underground heat flow reaches the surfaces in many different places with very high temperatures. There are several hot water currents with high mineral content in many areas in Italy. Despite the recent re-discovery and re-appreciation, the spread and use of thermals date back to the Roman and Etruscan empire up until the 19th century and the Romantic Era. These ancient populations who had a very strong sense of well-being and physical beauty, were looking for beneficial hot springs throughout the boot. From the Alps to Sicily our territory is full of thermal hot springs that can help prevent or cure various pathologies with their beneficial properties, improve the aesthetics of our body or simply give us a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Why hot springs are good for you

Hyper thermal hot waters, sources of medical properties, hot muds, radioactive sludge, sulfo and hypo thermal springs, may be found in most of the Italian regions: some of them have become synonymous of healing and relaxing holidays like San Pellegrino, Boario, Pre Saint Didier, Abano and many others. Each of them might have slightly different set-ups and specific properties but in general, they all use water and its minerals and they all have many facilities in the towns around them, enabling these places to accommodate many tourists.

Where to find and how to choose the Italian hot spring that is best for you

Sometimes we really need a few days or just a few hours of relaxation. When this is the case, there's no better choice than going to the spa. The modern and private centres offer all the luxury you can think of. But unfortunately spending time in these places might be quite expensive and we cannot always afford it. Luckily there is a great solution: in Italy there are many places where the spas are free. Obviously do not expect any modern establishments with changing rooms, services, shops and all the other conveniences that private centres usually offer. For free thermal spots, however, will still have all the natural beauty and benefit that thermal water can offer to the body but also to the mind. Sometimes their locations are even more fascinating and relaxing than the private ones as they are more immerse into nature and green set-ups. From the north to south, Italy has a long list of great places where you can relax for free and at any time of the year. Hot springs are obviously very popular in winter when it is cold outside and just great to bath in a hot natural pool. But even in summer these places are popular: very often in fact, there are many fresh or cold pools near the hot ones, which people seem to enjoy especially during the hot months. Here are some of the best free hot springs in Italy.

Saturnia - Tuscany

Where to Stay in Saturnia - Tuscany

While you're exploring this magnificent natural wonder (and taking soothing dips), there's a few places in Saturnia that would make for a great base. After all, this is Tuscany and the best way to see it is also to enjoy staying in it! If you want to be only 200 metres away from the hot springs, you can stay quite affordably at B&B 8380 - Pian Del Molino. It's also a quaint way to experience living like a true Tuscan, in a traditional home. Another place that's owned by the same family, is B&B 8380 Saturnia Terme which is also close to the springs. The prime location and plush rooms make this accommodation a great value for money! But if you want a stay that's more immersed in the iconic hills of Tuscany, check out  Saturnia Tuscany Hotel. There's even a wellness centre in the hotel that includes a sauna, Turkish bath and hot tub, which will surely give you the ultimate spa getaway.

Segesta - Sicily

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The author

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

I am Eleonora, from Italy. I share with you a frenetic passion for travelling and an insatiable curiosity for different cultures. On itinari, you will find my stories about Italy.

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