Once called Aurina or City of Gold, Saturnia is famed to be Italy’s oldest city and it embraces its past in every breath.

In the main piazza, you can run your hands over Roman tombstones or wander through the streets seeking Etruscan columns and thousand-year-old bathes until you come to an archway that was literally a door to the Roman Empire and the beginning of the long road to the capital.

Saturnia is best known for its hot springs, which are located outside of the town, but the town itself deserves a visit too.

Cascate del Mulino

Saturnia’s hot springs have been enjoyed since the Roman Empire when nobles from far and wide would come here to bathe.

Today, these hot springs are considered to be among the best in the world and are utterly free, which means you have no excuse to not enjoy what is possibly the most luxurious bath in the most luxurious setting you will ever take.

Further down the road, the source of these springs flows through the Terme di Saturnia spa. Full-day entry is €25 per person, plus extras.

Chiesa Santa Maria Maddalena

Saturnia’s church isn’t going to win any beauty awards, but that’s not its fault. It was bombed at the end of WWII and almost completely destroyed. That said, there is a beautiful and much beloved

painting of the Madonna and Child with Saints Clara and Elizabeth of Hungary.

It was painted in the 17th century and has gold filaments.

Porta Romana

This ancient archway just behind the church is the subject of more than a few discussions.

There is no argument that it was originally Etruscan and then Roman, but there are some very vocal believers who insist that some of the stonework pre-dates all of that.

If you want to weigh in, have a look at the huge blocks of light coloured stones that are located on the left-hand side of the archway on the side facing the countryside.

This is the beginning of the ancient Via Clodia, which leads all the way to Rome.

MAP & DIRECTIONS

Directions

Terme di Sorano – Saturnia (GR) 31,9 km – 39 min.