Terme di Saturnia
Maybe some of you have already heard about this place as it’s getting more and more popular all over Instagram. The Terme di Saturnia is located in the southern part of the Tuscan Maremma. I think the first time I’ve visited this place was in 2013 for a day trip. Since then I try to go there every time when I am in Tuscany.
The Terme is actually of a volcanic origin. Due to this geologically formation, the water is absolutely pure. Over numerous years, the water runs through cavernous limestone, serving as a natural filter system. During the filtering process, the water is protected against contamination from above by a thick layer of argillaceous. This produces a very high water quality which is constantly rebuilt because of the 800 liters which are floating down the little waterfall every second.
It’s actually pretty amazing to see this place with your own eyes but unfortunately, you’re not the only one who is having the idea of going there. As the water is pretty hot it’s not that crowded in summer, but with “not crowded” I don’t mean it’s empty – more or less the opposite! It’s getting even worse during Mai/June or September as the temperature slowly decreases. My personal tip is to visit this place pretty early in the morning (around sunrise)! Haha I know I’m always recommending that, but seeing places empty is absolutely different than seeing them crowded. Additionally, it’s just a magical feeling being all alone at some stunning places like that. So please, do yourself the favor and get up for sunrise, you won’t regret it! (Important side note: Take off your silver jewelry as the water consists sulfur. If silver contacts sulfur it leads to a chemical reaction and the result is black jewelry afterwards.)
Well, that’s probably not a hidden place anymore, but I have to mention Siena, if I’m writing a blog post about Tuscany. Siena and Florence are basically the hearts of this area! I don’t think I have to tell you much about the city as Siena is probably known for its beauty. The main attractions are obviously the cathedral and the Piazza del Campo. Even though the price for entering the cathedral is relatively high, it is totally worth it. Most recognizable are the dark green and white marble stones of the Cathedral. This unique look and the stunning gothic architecture makes the cathedral one of the most prominent buildings in Italy.
After the sightseeing and a little bit of shopping in beautiful little boutiques, many tourists are looking for a lunch spot at the piazza. Even though the view there is very nice, I would not recommend eating lunch at the piazza as the prices are pretty high and the quality of the food is not that good! I personally avoid the touristy place and rather go to Restaurants located in the romantic narrow alleys. The food is amazingly tasty and the atmosphere in the restaurants is much more typical Italian. After lunch, you can enjoy the view on the piazza in one of the bars. Look for one which is not located directly down at the piazza, but which has a tiny balcony facing the piazza. The entries for these little bars are either in the parallel street of the piazza or in a side street which leads towards the piazza. With a little bit luck, you will get some of the seats on the balcony and can enjoy a perfect ending of the visit to Siena.
I don’t think a lot of you have already heard about Pitigliano. It’s one of these stunning hidden villages in the Tuscan area. I seriously could name you like a hundred more but Pitigliano has something special, as the houses are built right on steep cliffs of tufa (rock composed of volcanic detritus). The small village has no unique attraction like, Florence, Siena, Volterra etc. but it's the flair and atmosphere which make this place special. A walk through the very old center and soaking up the calm traditional look of the place is perfect for a more relaxed trip and to get away from the tourist crowds of Tuscany's prominent spots.
Castiglione della Pescaia
Located in the southern part of the Tuscan area, Castiglione is a small village right at the beach. It’s absolutely charming and a visit is recommendable if you’re planning to combine the sea, Italian charm, and no crowded beaches. Little side tip: you will find the best Ice cream I've ever eaten at the beginning of the pedestrian zone.
Carrara is a city next to probably the biggest and most popular marble quarry worldwide. But it's not the city which is the last spot on our list - It's the quarry itself. Since the time of ancient Rome, this had been the origin for a type of white or blue-grey marble of highest quality. Besides the already mentioned dome in Sienna, the marble of Carrara was used for popular buildings all around the world. Furthermore, it was used by many of the most famous Italian artists like Michelangelo, Bernini, Lorenzo, and Donatello. Nowadays, the marble is still extracted in the quarries.
For everyone who would like to visit this place: It's possible to book tours into the quarries. If you decide to book one, get ready for some off-road action! The very steep roads are not paved and the Jeep drivers are driving very fast. But that makes the tour even more recommendable in my opinion. During the tour, you will learn interesting facts about history and mining methods. You will also drive directly into some of the quarries to discover how the whole extraction of marble works. By the way: Additionally, the view from the mountaintops is just fantastic and standing right next to bright white marble walls of heights over 100 is one unique moment which I will never forget. I hope you guys enjoyed our blogpost and thank you very much for reading it!!
Cheers, Maja & Chris