1. Cascate del Mulino : The face of the Tuscan Maremma, Saturnia’s Cascate del Mulino was rated by Lonely Planet to be among the best free hot springs in the world.
The water, which flows from a source up the road, has, over the centuries, carved the spectacular natural water and pools that have made this hot spring so famous.
It’s not just about bathing in 37°C water, it’s the magnificent atmosphere and ambience the springs offer.
In fact, I’m wasting words describing it to you. All you need to see is a picture and you’ll be smitten.
2.Bagni San Filippo: Bagno San Filippo in Castiglione d’Orcia, Siena, is a fairytale destination.
It’s located in the middle of a forest, so you stumble across the hot springs like your own personal Narnia.
The water at the source is a very toasty 48°C and everything is painted in a sheen of white powder, courtesy of sediments in the water.
Keep an eye out for the Balena Bianca (White Whale), the majestic stone cliff that towers over the hot springs and gives it its characteristic and much beloved appearance.
3.Bagno Vignoni :This tiny town outside San Quirico d’Orcia, Siena, counted 30 residents in its last Census and all of them could comfortably fit inside the gigantic stone pool that adorns the town’s main piazzas.
Unfortunately no one has swum in this impromptu hot spring since the days of Catherine de Medici, so it’s photos only.
But you can go for a swim in the hot spring spa complex located next to the Piazza delle Sorgenti. Entry starts at €28.
4. Viterbo : Viterbo mightn’t look like a hot spring town on the surface, but it actually has an array of free and not-free hot springs.
In fact, the town was once a haven for rich Ancient Romans looking to escape the capital and relax with their fellow wealthy compatriots.
Not much has changed as many modern Romans flock to the spa complex located in the heart of the town. If you don’t feel like paying for your hot spring, follow the locals to the Piscine Carletti, a giant baseball field turned hot spring, where you can paint yourself in supposedly ‘curative’ white mud and relax without the tell tale hot spring smell of sulphur.
5. San Casciano dei Bagni : The darling of Tuscany’s hot spring scene, San Casciano dei Bagni is a wellness seeker’s dream.
The town has made a name for itself entirely through its hot springs. Baths is literally in its name!
For the modern traveller that translates into plenty of hot spring options.
The best, however, are the three free stone pools that were once used by the Ancient Romans and are now used by locals who don’t want to visit one of the many luxurious spa complexes.
Parking is available a few metres from the baths and if you can’t find them, ask at the tourist information centre.