Hot springs in Italy
The wonderful properties of sulfur
Cleopatra bathed in milk, while the sinister Elizabeth Bathory preferred to rejuvenate herself in a slightly bloodier bath. However, we can use a safe and very effective sulfur bath, soothing skin diseases and joint ailments. Many European countries can boast about hot springs, but tourists who will go to Italy will have a lot of bathing opportunities. In this beautiful, sunny country, renowned resorts and resorts, as well as wild swimming pools and ponds await them.
One of the most famous Italian sanatoriums is Montecatini Terme , a Tuscan resort known since the 18th century. The town in the province of Pistoia delights with the beauty of its Art Nouveau buildings in the center, as does the beautiful medieval old town on the Montecatini Alto hill. You can get to it on foot and also thanks to the cable car. The local thermal waters are famous for their healing properties - they help to overcome ailments in the intestines, stomach and liver. Apart from the possibility of bathing in thermal baths and taking advantage of mud treatment, tourists are also attracted by numerous shops and cafes, pubs and trattorias. An interesting fact is that Maria Skłodowska-Curie herself examined the water in Montecatini Terme in terms of radioactivity.
Sulfur baths in Tuscany
The second Tuscan town - Venturina is also famous for its healing hot springs. It is situated on the coast about 10 km from Livorno, surrounded by green pine groves. Its tourist potential was already noticed by Benito Mussolini, who decided to expand the town and transform it into a sanatorium. Despite the desire of the Italian dictator, Venturina is not a world-famous resort, nevertheless, it is a nice and worth exploring place.
While in Tuscany, it is worth taking the opportunity to get to know one more sanatorium, Saturnia. Nearby there are the world famous sulfur geothermal springs of volcanic origin - Terme di Saturnia . Although their smell is, to put it mildly, specific and it is difficult to get rid of it long after bathing, the springs themselves are crowded with tourists. It is not surprising, since sulfur was called "the element of beauty" in antiquity, and its presence in hot springs has a positive effect on the joints and skin of people taking a bath. The water in the pools has a constant temperature of 37 ° C and is clean thanks to the streams flowing from the rocks at about 800 liters per second. The spa center in the town can be visited after paying a fee, while the access to the waterfalls is completely free. Not only the resort is very popular, but also wild baths scattered within a kilometer from the thermal baths. In them, unlike the main springs of thermal waters, such as the crowded cascades at the mill (Le Cascate del Mulino), you can enjoy a swim in an intimate atmosphere.
Viterbo - baths of popes
Other well-known hot springs are located approximately 1.5 hours from Terme di Saturnia. We can find them near the town of Viterbo , 80 km north of Rome. The entire region is a volcanic area still characterized by geothermal activity. Both Lakes Bracciano and Vico, as well as the famous Lake Bolsena, are flooded craters of ancient volcanoes. The waters here are among the most abundant springs of this type in Italy, and their temperature is much higher than, for example, in Saturnia - mostly between 40 and 56 C °. High sulfur content attracts people struggling with rheumatism, skin diseases as well as neuralgia and discopathy to Viterbo waters. For centuries, church dignitaries of high rank have been treated here, so today the surrounding springs are called popes' baths.
Tourists visiting the resort can take advantage of the rich offer of modern thermal resorts with a great reputation, but not for every budget. They can also choose public pools and pools with hot geothermal water. They are available 24 hours a day, so those who are willing can appear at them even at midnight, thus arranging a romantic meeting.
Overnight among the volcanoes
The aforementioned Bolsena lake (Lago di Bolsena) is the largest volcanic lake in Europe. It has an area of 114 kilometers, its water is crystal clear and it is allowed to swim in it. It also has a large sailing marina and an extensive tourist infrastructure on the shores. In the restaurants you can taste delicious eel, perch, pike and trout dishes. The choice of fish dishes is really rich here. Approx. 13 km from the lake is Civita di Bagnoregio , founded 2,500 years ago by the Etruscans. It is the only Italian city that cannot be reached by car - it is reached via a bridge. Over the last several decades he has been gradually sliding down a steep slope, hence his nickname - "the dying city". It is worth seeing them, if only because in the next several or several dozen years it may not be there anymore.
Returning from a bath in the Viterbo thermal baths, you can stop by Lake Bolsena and relax at one of the many campsites located here. Camping Amalasunta is a good choice as its owners often offer promotional prices. In the weekend promotion, accommodation for two people who came in a motorhome, depending on the season, may cost from € 13.00 to € 23.00. The price includes access to electricity. It is much more expensive at the second offshore campsite, Lido Camping Village , but understandable - it has four stars. An adult's overnight stay costs from € 7.00 to € 9.00, while the prices for parking spaces vary from € 11.00 to € 13.00.
In Italy, we encounter many hot springs, beautiful lakes and forgotten cities. It can be said that after such an intensive trip we will return to Poland rejuvenated by at least a few years. We owe it to the wonderful, though a bit exotic (and sometimes even lunar) landscapes and valuable sulfur elements.
A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)