Petriolo hot springs
In the heart of the Ombrone Valley, between the towns of Monticiano and Civitella Paganico, the Terme di Petriolo are one of the most famous free hot springs in Tuscany.
It’s likely these hot springs were already being used during the Roman Empire and there are documents that show they were a favourite spot for historical celebrities like Cicero, Pope Pius II and the families of Medici and Gonzaga.
The pools themselves are formed naturally by deposits of limestone and sulfur. They’re located underneath a bridge that connects either side of the Farma river and are surrounded by Mediterranean scrublands.
The pools are smaller than the Terme di Saturnia hot springs, for example, but they’re less famous and significantly warmer. On average the temperature of the water exceeds 40°C (104°F).
The hot springs are open 24/7 all year round and are free. There is no dedicated parking space, so you need to look for something along the road and then walk down the hill to the hot springs. There are no facilities or lockers for your valuables, so imagine you are bathing in a river.
The address for the hot springs is Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR.
For something a little more sophisticated, check out the hotels and B&Bs in the area. Some have thermal pools on their property, which are open to outsiders.