Summer holidays are still far away, but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy warmth in the middle of winter. Why not take a day or 2-day trip from Rome to Viterbo and Siena?
Viterbo and Siena are just 2 hours or less away from Rome, and both provide the opportunity to submerge your body in hot natural thermal springs.
In Saturnia you can visit the baths and swim in the crater where the thermal water spring starts (termedisaturnia.it): this water arises at the temperature of 37 degrees and pours in several pools after which a hot river is born.
Since Roman times, Viterbo or Siena were popular for curative and pleasant baths. Romans knew empirically the curative power of thermal water. Modern science can confirm that the famous hot springs of Saturnia, a small town in southern Tuscany, offers aid for skin and infections problem: try it just bathing for an hour and you will feel the regeneration. Saturnia’s thermal water spring forms small falls, considered a unique natural environment on the globe. In 2013, Saturnia was internationally recognized as the most beautiful thermal bath in the world.
You’ve probably heard about the ancient thermal baths in Rome—of course, these were not natural. Instead, ancient Romans were able to create them via aqueducts, which transported more than 28,000 liters of water to the baths. One of the best preserved public baths of the ancient World is the Baths of Caracalla, which was serviced by the Antoninian Aqueduct. The water was heated by wood fires that lit underneath the pools in an underground system.
With a ticket cost of only 6.50€, you can enjoy the breathtaking and monumental architecture of the Baths. The architecture is adorned lavishly by mosaics that brings visitors back to the time of its greatness.
Outside of Rome, Viterbo is a gorgeous borgo (town) to visit: the settlement was remarkable during the middle age and Popes loved to reside there more than in Rome, thanks to its renowned waters: Viterbo’s baths are excellent for dermatological issues
A night in Viterbo can be a relaxing and unexpectedly surprising alternative to Tuscany and its villages. If you don’t have a car, Viterbo is the easiest place, for a bath in winter, you can arrive just by taking a train.
If you decide to rent a car, know that the roads are easy to drive, especially once you’re outside Rome—after a few minutes, you’ll consider yourself a real Italian driver. Highway A1 will take you to Siena while the superstrada CassiaBis heads to Viterbo: both ways can be taken from the Great Ring Road, the toll-free road encircling Rome (Grande Raccordo Anulare).
Here below is a guide to natural sites, in southern Tuscany and northern Lazio where bathing is possible, without entering a private structure but in a public space. For these places we suggest to visit during the day light as they are not provided with comforts or services.
Article by Dario Andreucci
(Proofread & Edited by Diedré Blake)
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