The first time I visited these waterfalls just outside Saturnia, I thought I was in complete and utter paradise.
Now that sounds cliché, but at the time it perfectly summed up how I felt watching the waterfalls rush into pools etched into the travertine rock to create a natural spa, where the water is warm and the view is to die for.
Actually the word warm doesn’t really do this water justice. It’s 37°C constantly and comes from a source underground brimming with sulphur and other minerals. It's these minerals which I’m told have been curing minor ailments since the time of the Romans.
Thrifty locals who don’t want to pay to enjoy the same water in the world-renowned spa complex down the road come to these waterfalls.
It’s free and I think the complete antithesis of the modern and, at times, cold spa.
After all, sitting in a man-made pool with tiles and concrete as far as the eye can see can hardly be compared to soaking in naturally carved rock wells with the sound of waterfalls rushing behind you and the splendour of the Tuscan countryside before you.
Personally, I’m addicted to these waterfalls. I visit them all the time, even in the middle of winter, when I’m barely coping with the freezing European climate that’s nothing like the Australian one I grew up in.
Sure it’s torture getting your gear off, but once you’re immersed in the waters, it’s indescribable heaven, trust me.
The Cascate del Mulino are located just outside of Saturnia. To reach them from Saturnia, follow the Strada Provinciale Follonata/SP10 until you see a small sign or a lot of parked cars! The springs are impossible to miss. You can see them and the imposing mill building as you drive towards Saturnia. Park where all the other cars and camper vans are parked either just before the hot springs or on the side of the road.
A regular bus service runs to the Terme di Saturnia and Cascate del Mulino every day, but Sunday. To plan your trip, check out the Tiemme website. Linea 8/G from Grosseto and Linea 17/P from Manciano are the main lines that travel to Saturnia Terme.