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Visita il Mugello, culla dei medici, a due passi da Firenze e le bellezze toscane
 

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Saturnia

Town of Manciano

In the heart of the Maremma, along the Via Clodia, among charming scenery and archaeological finds, is Saturnia, noted throughout the world for its thermal waters. In fact, near the town, the copious sulphuric water (800 litres a second) gush out at 37° and give spontaneous life to a suggestive waterfall which forms a series of natural pools, carved in the rock, in which, each year, thousands of people bathe; the same water has for ten years also served the efficient thermal plant in which, thanks to the water’s properties, certain illnesses are cured.
The legend regarding the birth of Saturnia tells that the god Saturno, angry with the people who were always at war with each other, sent a thunderbolt to earth, giving life to a magic spring of warm sulphur water which would pacify man.
It is also said that Saturnia is the oldest city in the peninsula, dedicated to the god Saturno, it is however certain that the present day town was built on an enormous mass of Travertino stone, at the place of the ancient settlement which goes back to, at least, the XII century B.C.
Etruscans and Romans, who successively dominated it, loved it and, each in their own time, took advantage of the thermal waters. In 1300 Saturnia, became the hideout of exiles and was razed to the ground by Siena.
During the Medieval period many legends grew up around Saturnia on account of the dense smoke in the countryside, where the steam rose from the springs’ heat, making one think of the underworld. In fact it was said that the devil came out from there and that sabbatical rites and meetings of witches and wizards took place there.
Of the waters, it was said that they were bewitched, both on account of their heat and for the acute “satanic” odour which emanated from them.
Forgotten for several centuries, Saturnia was rediscovered in the second half of the 1800s when Bernardino Ciacci arranged to have the land around the spring drained and a thermal establishment built.
Saturnia today is a town which, whilst maintaining its historic aspect, has given life to a very active thermal tourism, thanks both to the thermal complex (www.termedisatrunia.it) which every year receives thousands of visitors, and the many tourist structures which have developed around it.

Picture by Sandro Santioli

 
 
 
   
 
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