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View of Saturnia's public hot springs, the Cascate del Mulino, in Tuscany, Italy.

Saturnia Hot Springs – Your Complete Guide to Tuscany’s Most Spectacular Hot Springs

Last updated on September 29th, 2023

You’ve likely seen or heard about Tuscany’s most famous hot springs – the Saturnia hot springs (aka the Cascate del Mulino, Cascate del Gorello).  They’ve been on plenty of ‘hot’ lists in travel magazines and you’ve probably seen them on your social media feeds.  They are gorgeous and photogenic – but are they worth a visit?

The Saturnia hot springs cascade down multiple levels, filling pools with warm, mineral-rich water.  Visiting the pools is free and their warm, turquoise thermal waters attract plenty of visitors, so they’re also very crowded. 

You’ve probably seen photographs that look like the one above, or that show empty and tranquil-looking thermal pools.  It’s not usually that empty.

I first visited Saturnia’s hot springs in 2004, and they were busy then, but mostly with Italian visitors and in-the-know travelers.  They’re no longer hidden, so I wasn’t surprised to see more people during the ‘off-season’ on my recent visit. 

Still, as long as you don’t expect to find empty, idyllic hot springs, or really hot thermal waters (the water temperature is only 37.5°C), the Saturnia hot springs are well worth a stop for a soak.  They’re a gorgeous natural highlight of Italy!

And if you show up at the crack of dawn, you may be able to get one of those Instagram-famous photos of the hot springs.

When people talk about the Saturnia hot springs, they’re usually talking about these free springs – the Cascate del Mulino.  However, there are other places to soak in Saturnia’s thermal waters around the town of Saturnia, including at the paid public thermal baths and the Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort.

Here’s a quick look at the Saturnia hot springs on a spring day:

YouTube video

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Where are the Saturnia Hot Springs?

The Terme di Saturnia are located just a couple of kilometers outside of the hamlet of Saturnia, in the Maremma area of southern Tuscany. 

They’re set between Florence and Rome (slightly closer to Rome), and are often visited on a road trip between the two cities.

You’ll want a car to get to Saturnia, as they’re out in the countryside, far from any train stations.  You can arrive by public transport (bus or train/bus combo), but you’ll spend most of your day traveling.

Good To Know:  If you look at the Google map of Saturnia, it can be confusing.  The free public hot springs are the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia.  You’ll also see Terme di Saturnia, which are the paid public thermal baths (fed by the hot springs) and the Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort (hotel).  The hotel’s entrance is marked on the map, but the actual hotel is attached to the Terme di Saturnia (it has a really long driveway).  Finally, Saturnia on the map is the small village. 

In summary, on the Google map:

  • Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia = free public hot springs
  • Terme di Saturnia = paid public thermal baths
  • Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort = main entrance to hotel (has a long driveway)
  • Saturnia = small village near the free public hot springs

The Cascate del Mulino (free public hot springs) are marked on the map below with the blue hot springs icon:

Distance Between Saturnia and Nearby Popular Italian Destinations:

  • Florence – 195 km
  • Rome – 150 km
  • Siena – 110 km
  • Orvieto – 75 km
  • Montepulciano – 90 km
  • Perugia – 125 km

How to Get to the Saturnia Hot Springs

Cypress trees on top of a green hill in southern Tuscany, Italy.
Views on our drive to Saturnia

It’s best to drive to Saturnia in your own car.  Not only is it the quickest and most convenient option, it’s also a gorgeous drive, no matter which direction you’re coming from.

Helpful Tip:  The public hot springs at Saturnia are the ‘Cascate del Mulino’ – GPS coordinates 42.64847507109099, 11.512860887464727.  If you put in ‘Terme di Saturnia,’ you’ll end up at the paid public thermal baths or the luxury hotel, both a couple of kilometers away.

You can use the navigation system in your car or Google Maps.  There are a couple of spotty areas for cell service, but in general, the service is fine. 

It’s good to have a backup paper map.  I like the Touring Club Italiano maps (green and yellow cover), and the Toscana 1:200,000 scale works fine for this area.

Read about
Driving in Italy
Renting a Car in Tuscany

Alternatively, you can hire a private driver (NCC – noleggio con conducente) or join a group tour.

You can take public transport to Saturnia (bus or bus / train combo), but I wouldn’t recommend it because you’ll spend a lot of time waiting for transport or traveling on it.  If you must take public transport, you’ll want to spend the night at Saturnia.

Parking at the Saturnia Hot Springs

Empty parking lot near the Saturnia hot springs in Tuscany, Italy.

The parking situation at Saturnia changes often, but you can drive to the hot springs and either ask or look for signs on the SP10 for parking.  The signs will say ‘PARCHEGGIO’ or ‘PARKING’ or will have a white ‘P’ on a blue background. 

Google Maps isn’t updated – some of the parking lots are no longer functioning.

At the time of writing (spring 2023), the functioning lot is the camper lot that’s 1.2km from the hot springs.  It’s marked on the map above.  You can park there (paid, 5€/day) and walk along the road (there’s a sidewalk) to the hot springs.  If you have small kids or non-walkers in your group, you can drop them off at the hot springs and then go park.

Good To Know:  If you’ve got kids with you, they can play at the small playground in the parking area.

Helpful Tip:  Don’t park on the small road in front of the hot springs.  Yes, you’ll see others parked there, but there are no parking signs and the local police do give fines (multe). 

Who Should Visit the Saturnia Hot Springs?

A visit to Saturnia is perfect for you if:

  • You want to visit one of Tuscany’s most beautiful natural sites
  • You’ve seen the photos of the Saturnia hot springs and you want to snap your own pics
  • You don’t mind sharing the hot springs with a lot of other people
  • You enjoy driving on Tuscan countryside roads (you’ll be on them for awhile, no matter which direction you’re coming from)

Read more about the Best Hot Springs in Tuscany

Who Should Skip a Visit to the Saturnia Hot Springs?

Saturnia’s hot springs probably aren’t for you if:

  • You want a quiet, tranquil experience – Saturnia is crowded unless you visit at the crack of dawn
  • You don’t have a car – While it is technically possible to arrive at Saturnia by public transport, it will take forever and it’s not convenient
  • You can’t stand the smell of sulphur – You’ll smell the sulphur while you’re bathing, and afterward, on your swimsuit and towel
  • You want a fun water area for your kids to play in.  Yes, kids can soak in the Saturnia hot springs, but there’s not a lot of space, especially if it’s crowded.  And, with so many people, it can be difficult to keep track of kids.

Saturnia’s Hot Springs Can Be Visited Year-Round

Saturnia hot springs in Tuscany, Italy.

You can visit Saturnia any season, and any day of the year! 

Saturnia’s hot springs are open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

The busy season of Saturnia is from May until November.

No matter what time of year you decide to visit, sunrise is always gorgeous, and it’s relatively quiet, even in the busiest months.

Good To Know:  There are some lights at the hot springs, so you’ll be able to see if you decide to visit late at night.

Spring at the Saturnia Hot Springs

One of my favorite times to visit hot springs in Tuscany, and a visit to Saturnia is no exception.  I love driving to Saturnia in the spring when the hillsides are bright green and spotted with grazing sheep and wildflowers.  Plus, it’s not quite as busy as it gets in the summertime. 

And, it’s not shocking to get out of the water (like it is in the winter).

Summer at the Saturnia Hot Springs

This is one of the busiest times at the Cascate del Mulino.  Even though the temperatures soar, you’ll find crowds at Saturnia day and night.  One of the most beautiful times to visit is during a full moon, and the hot springs are packed on these special nights.

If you decide to visit in the summer, know that there’s no shade at the hot springs, so bring a sunhat and sunscreen, and think about visiting in the early morning or in the evening (to avoid the extreme midday heat). 

Fall at the Saturnia Hot Springs

Another beautiful time to visit Saturnia’s hot springs – the cooler temperatures make a soak more enjoyable and the crowds begin to thin out.  Plus, the surrounding countryside changes colors (trees and vineyards near Scansano) and you can get chestnuts on Monte Amiata!

Winter at the Saturnia Hot Springs

Along with spring, winter is another favorite time of ours to visit Saturnia.  It’s a quieter time of year (although you’ll find plenty of Italians on the weekends), and it feels great to soak in the cooler weather.

Helpful Tip:  Use the showers and hairdryers in the changing rooms.  It’s a long, chilly walk to the parking lot if you have wet hair.

Water Temperature and Quality at Saturnia’s Hot Springs

The sulphuric waters of Saturnia have a temperature of 37.5°C (99.5°F). 

The water flows at 800 liters per second and is known to have healing and therapeutic properties

Good To Know:  You may see small red worms in the water.  I have been told they are harmless.  I didn’t see them on my recent visit.

Facilities at the Saturnia Hot Springs

View of the bar at the Saturnia hot springs in Tuscany, Italy.
The bar, with the changing rooms and showers on the right side of the building. The lockers are inside the bar area. The hot springs are directly to the left of the photo.

I remember the first time I visited the Cascate del Mulino in 2004.  It was much quieter, but now there are facilities that make a visit easy!

At the Saturnia hot springs, you’ll find:

  • A bar (Le Cascate di Saturnia) with outdoor seating, snacks and drinks (opening hours typically morning through late-evening)
  • Small and large storage lockers (5€ deposit, + 5€ for small locker, 7€ for large locker)
  • Water (paid machines)
  • Changing rooms
  • Showers (1€ token buys 2 minutes)
  • Hairdryers
  • Toilets with diaper changing tables

Helpful Tip:  I like to pick up fresh fruit from a market or grocery store.  There are snacks at the bar, but fruit feels great after a soak in the hot springs.

Essential Tips for Visiting the Hot Springs at Saturnia

  • Bring a waterproof phone pouch.  You’ll want to take photos at Saturnia.  Don’t leave your phone unattended at the edge of the springs.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car or on the dirt at the edge of the hot springs.  Use the lockers at the bar or the safe at your hotel room.
  • Bring flip-flops or water shoes if you have sensitive feet or you’re worried about slipping.
  • Don’t use a drone unless no one is around.  Here in Italy, it’s illegal to fly a drone over people. 
  • Listen to your body.  Make sure you’re feeling healthy and get out if you’re not feeling well.  Good To Know:  The nearest hospital is in Pitigliano, and the nearest major hospital is in Grosseto.
  • Stay hydrated.  Bring your own water or purchase it at the bar adjacent to the hot springs.  You can also pay to refill your water at the bar (machines).
  • Bring a flashlight if you’ll be visiting in the dark.  There are some lights at the hot springs, but you’ll appreciate having light at your fingertips.
  • Don’t wear your jewelry.  I was told that some jewelry will tarnish in the sulphur waters of the hot springs.  I can’t give firsthand experience because I didn’t wear any jewelry to test it out.
  • Bring a hat and sunscreen, especially if you’re visiting in the summer.
  • In addition to a towel for drying off, also bring a lightweight blanket, scarf or sheet to sit on the dirt / muddy ground. 

Where to Stay to Visit the Saturnia Hot Springs

Thermal bath at the Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort in Tuscany, Italy.
Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort

Saturnia is a tourist destination, and there are plenty of places to stay if you want to spend the night.  Your options range from agriturismos to simple hotels to a luxurious resort.

Below I’ve listed places to stay that are very close to Saturnia (within walking distance).  You can see them all marked on the map above.

Good To Know:  You don’t have to spend the night near Saturnia.  You can also visit the hot springs on a day trip (even from places ‘far’ away like Florence), or you can stay in a nearby agriturismo or town (like Pitigliano or Montemerano).

Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort

This is the luxe place to stay in Saturnia.  It’s popular with Roman weekenders and you can walk around everywhere in your robe and slippers (my kind of place).  The hot springs feed the enormous thermal bath at the back of the hotel, and you can also get treatments or enjoy the saunas, and additional thermal baths. 
I love that it’s a spacious property and you can eat, relax, soak, sleep and repeat.  I always find it tough to leave.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s only 500 meters (6-minute walk) from the main entrance of the hotel to the public hot springs, but the driveway of the hotel is long.  So, if you want to walk from the hotel lobby entrance, it’s about 1.8 kilometers (20 to 25-minute walk).
  • Check dates and rates for Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort.

Hotel Saturno Fontepura

This is another place to enjoy a less-crowded soak in a thermal bath.  Hotel Saturno Fontepura pumps the natural hot springs waters into its pool. 

It’s located just outside the small village of Saturnia, so you can walk into town for a meal or aperitivo

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2.6 kilometer (30-minute) walk along the main road to the hot springs.  Part of the walk has a sidewalk.
  • Check dates and rates for Hotel Saturno Fontepura.

Tellus Saturnia

This is a good option if you want to cook your own meals because Tellus has apartments with kitchens.  Simple décor, central location in the small village of Saturnia. 

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2.6 kilometer (30 to 35-minute) walk along mostly small roads to the hot springs.  Part of the walk has a sidewalk.
  • Check dates and rates for Tellus Saturnia.

Bio Fattoria Il Torrione

Fattoria Il Torrione is a biologico (organic) property, located within walking distance of the village of Saturnia and the hot springs.  Swimming pool and a lot of green space for relaxing (or for kids to play).  This is a tranquil place, perfect for a pre- or post-soak in the Cascate del Mulino.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2.8 kilometer (35-minute) walk along mostly small roads to the hot springs.  Part of the walk has a sidewalk.
  • Check dates and rates for Bio Fattoria Il Torrione.

Agriturismo Le Cascatelle

Agriturismo Le Cascatelle is a small property just a quick walk away from the Saturnia hot springs.  It doesn’t have a pool, but you can swim in the small river that flows from the hot springs upriver.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s an 800 meter (10-minute) walk along a narrow gravel road to the hot springs. 
  • Check dates and rates for Agriturismo Le Cascatelle.

Valle Martina

Valle Martina is a small hotel in a position above the Cascate del Mulino.  This place has epic views from the swimming pool.  The hotel is simple, but well-maintained.  If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love running around on the large green lawn.

Helpful Tip:  Check out the bellavista (beautiful view) from the SP10 (main road) pullout close the Valle Martina.  You look down on the Saturnia hot springs and you can get an idea of the layout of the area.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2 kilometer (20 to 25-minute) walk along the main road to the hot springs.  I recommend driving to the parking area and walking from there to the hot springs (small road and sidewalk path).
  • Check dates and rates for Valle Martina.

Agriturismo Bio Pian dei Casali

This organic agriturismo/hotel is located on the hill above the Cascate del Mulino.  It has a swimming pool, a beautiful garden, a delicious breakfast, and space for kids to play and run around.   It’s across the main road from Valle Martina.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2 kilometer (20 to 25-minute) walk along the main road to the hot springs.  I recommend driving to the parking area and walking from there to the hot springs (small road and sidewalk path).
  • Check dates and rates forAgriturismo Bio Pian dei Casali.

Poggio degli Olivi

A small hotel with a swimming pool, Poggio degli Olivi is located between the Cascate del Mulino (free hot springs) and the Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort.  Simple accommodations, apartments available for rent, swimming pool.

  • Distance from Saturnia Hot Springs: It’s a 2 kilometer (20 to 25-minute) walk along mostly small roads to the hot springs. 
  • Check dates and rates for Poggio degli Olivi.

Alternatives to the Saturnia Hot Springs

Bagni San Filippo hot springs in Southern Tuscany, Italy
Bagni San Filippo

The ground under Tuscany is rumbling and bubbling and we’ve got plenty of hot springs!  If you’ve seen Saturnia’s thermal springs and you’d like to try more hot springs in Tuscany, check out one of these places:

  • Bagno Vignoni
  • Chianciano Terme
  • San Casciano dei Bagni
  • Rapolano Terme
  • Bagni San Filippo (and its Balena Bianca, or White Whale)
  • Bagni di Petriolo

If you’re staying in Florence, you can also visit the Asmana Wellness World.  It’s northwest of the historic center, past the airport, so you’ll need to drive, take a taxi, or take the bus.

In Saturnia, you can also visit the public thermal baths (Terme di Saturnia).  For a daily fee, you can use the baths.  You’ll also need to rent a robe and slippers.

Things to Do Near the Saturnia Hot Springs

View of Pitligliano, Italy in the distance.
Pitigliano

If the hot springs gave you energy for exploring, there are plenty of things to do nearby:

  • Saturnia – visit the tiny village next to the hotsprings
  • Montemerano – picturesque village with one of Italy’s
  • Pitigliano – explore the dramatic town sitting on top of tufa
  • Giardino dei Tarocchi – Gaudi fans shouldn’t miss this colorful and whimsical art park near Capalbio (but check the website for opening dates, as it’s not open year-round)
  • Monte Argentario Peninsula – visit Porto Santo Stefano and Orbetello; relax on the beach; eat seafood; I loved the gravel cycling on the peninsula
  • Beaches – this part of Tuscany (Maremma) has some of the region’s most wild, beautiful beaches
  • Lake Bolsena – go sailing, wander the town of Bolsena
  • Small villages – Montemerano, Manciano, Sorano, Sovana
  • Vie Cave – hike along the Etruscan paths cut into the tufa stone
  • Wine tasting – sample the Morellino wines of nearby Scansano
  • Chestnuts – gather them from nearby Monte Amiata (Mount Amiata) and roast them (in the fall)
  • Cycling – this is one of my favorite areas for cycling; light traffic, gorgeous scenery

Check out more Things to Do in Tuscany!

Where to Take the Best Photos at the Saturnia Hot Springs

View of Saturnia's hot springs from above.
View of Saturnia’s hot springs from the SP10

If you’ve seen the gorgeous photos of the Saturnia hot springs on websites or in magazines, and you want to take one yourself, here’s how:

  • Visit at sunrise to get a photo of empty (or almost empty) hot springs.
  • Try multiple angles to find what you like best.  You can move around on foot or even from within the pools.
  • There’s a great viewpoint from a pullout on the SP10 just south of town.  You can see the hot springs from above.
  • Use a drone only if there aren’t any people in the area.  It is illegal to use a drone above people in Italy. 
  • Use a photo editor.  Most of the photos show extremely milky white turquoise waters – and most of them are edited.

Visiting Saturnia Hot Springs with Kids

Countless families visit Saturnia’s free hot springs.  Should you visit with your kids?  It’s important to use your judgement and listen to medical advice given to your family.

Here are things to know about visiting Saturnia with kids:

  • Strollers – You can easily roll your stroller around the main entrance, into the bar, and up to the toilets (there’s a ramp).  But, the actual dirt area surrounding the hot springs is not stroller-friendly – it’s rocky, and sometimes muddy. 
  • Toilets – You can use the toilets attached to the bar. 
  • Diaper changes – The toilets have changing tables.
  • Food – Grab something quick at the bar or bring your own food from the grocery store.
  • Water temperature – It hovers around 37.5°C (99.5°F).
  • Sulphur smell – Some kids can’t stand the rotten egg smell.
  • Water shoes – I don’t wear them, but I’d have my kids wear them.  The surface of the pools is rocky and can be slippery.
  • Crowds – It can get very crowded and difficult to keep track of your kids unless they’re right with you.
  • Easy Access – You can walk right up to the hot springs.  No hiking necessary!
  • Bathing suits – They’ll smell like sulphur after (and for a few washes).  Remember to have diapered kids wear a swim diaper.  Floating turds will ruin Instagram photos.
  • Bring plastic bags for wet clothes, diapers, and garbage.  Also make sure you have a waterproof pouch for your phone.
  • After dark visits – Heads up that your kids will probably see some couples smooching.
  • Water safety – The springs aren’t fenced so keep a close eye on your little ones.

Helpful Tip:  If you’re not sure about bringing your small children to Saturnia’s hot springs, check in with your pediatrician.

What We Do:  I haven’t brought my kids to Saturnia yet.  Why not?  My three boys are very active and I don’t feel like there’s enough space (especially when it’s crowded) for them to move around and play.  They aren’t really the ‘sit and soak’ type.  Also, even though the springs aren’t scalding hot, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having my 2-year-old soak in them.

Helpful Tip:  Not sure if your kids are ready for the hot springs?  Try Bagno Vignoni instead – you can let your kids put their feet in the tiny thermal spring right by the parking lot. 

Saturnia Hot Springs FAQ

Can I visit Saturnia’s hot springs on a day trip from Florence?

You can, as long as you’re ok with a lot of driving! The drive from Florence to Saturnia’s hot springs (Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia) is 195 kilometers, and takes about 3 hours.

Can I visit Saturnia’s hot springs on a day trip from Florence?

The drive from Rome to the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia is 150 kilometers and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Are there toilets at the public hot springs at Saturnia?

Yes, there are toilets at the bar next to the hot springs. The bar isn’t open 24 hours. On a recent visit, the posted hours were 8:00am to 6:00pm, and the closing day was Tuesday.

Is there a restaurant at the Saturnia hot springs?

There is a small bar adjacent to the hot springs. It serves drinks and snacks. There’s outdoor seating, and you can also refill your water.

Are the Saturnia hot springs too hot for kids?

The Saturnia hot springs aren’t scalding hot – the water temperature is 37.5°C (99.5°F).  Most kids can soak comfortably, although they probably won’t want to stay in for long.  Remember to check with your pediatrician before you soak in the hot springs with your small children.

Is it okay to walk barefoot in the Saturnia hot springs?

Yes, you can walk barefoot in the hot springs at Saturnia.  I walked barefoot and was fine.  There are some rocks that may bother the soles of your feet and the sulphur can make the surface slippery, so you may want to bring water shoes.

Are the Saturnia hot springs free?

Yes, the hot springs at Saturnia are completely free!  You can enjoy them year-round at any hour of the day.

Is Saturnia closer to Rome or Florence?

Rome is slightly closer to Saturnia and is a popular weekend trip for Romans.
The drive from Florence to Saturnia’s hot springs (Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia) is 195 kilometers, and takes about 3 hours.  The drive from Rome to the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia is 150 kilometers and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

How far is Saturnia from Chianti?

Looking to go from sipping wine to soaking in hot springs?  The drive from Chianti to Saturnia is about 140 kilometers and takes about 2.5 hours.

Are the Cascate del Gorello at the Saturnia hot springs?

The Cascate del Gorello is the waterfall that flows from the top of the hot springs at Saturnia into the pools below.  You may also hear the Saturnia hot springs being called the Cascate del Gorello or the Cascate del Mulino (the waterfall of the mill).

Is there RV parking at Saturnia’s hot springs?

RVs can park at the parking lot that’s just 1.2 km from the hot springs (see on the map above).