Terme di PetrioloGallery
The Petriolo Spa resort is another precious pearl in Tuscany’s treasure chest. This spa located in Val di Merse is the perfect place to establish a unique connection with nature and enjoy the services made available by the free thermal baths in the Petriolo spa resort. Its strategic position enables you to conveniently reach other tourist destinations such as Siena, San Galgano, Chiusdino or Montalcino, just to name a few. Many hiking, equestrian and cycling paths are also situated in this area.
PETRIOLO: VISIT THE HEART OF TUSCANY! The strategic position of Petriolo in Tuscany makes it a very attractive destination: it is located halfway between Siena and Grosseto, respectively 30 and 42 Km far, that is about 30-40 minutes by car. In about an hour and 20 minutes you can also reach Florence or Arezzo. How do you get Petriolo? If you come from the south, follow the Rome-Civitavecchia-Grosseto motorway and continue towards Siena. If you come from the north, follow the A1 motorway, exit at Firenze-Impruneta and take the Florence-Siena. Once in the city of the Palio, take State highway 223 towards Grosseto up to Viadotto del Farma.
By train the nearest station is in Civitella-Paganico, which is reached by the Grosseto-Siena railway line.
NATURAL RESERVE MERSE. From a nature point of view, terme di Petriolo are located in a fascinating area within the Nature Reserve of the river Merse. This protected area was created in 1996 and extends between Monticiano and Roccastrada, including the last kilometres of the Merse river valley, the final stretch of the river Farma and the area surrounding the confluence of the river Merse with the river Ombrone. The landscape is a succession of hills, flat stretches cultivated with vineyards and olive groves and, at the confluence of the watercourses, over steeper hills covered with woods of holm, oaks and hornbeams. The rivers are seeping with life and the fish fauna is rich and varied: roach, chub, carp and even river crabs. The woods are frequented by boars, deer and skunks, whereas majestic hawks fly high in the sky. Here and there you will see dark green rocks emerge from under the water surface: it is the 'serpentite', implemented by Romanesque architecture to make the two-tone effect created by the alternation of this material with white marble. One example is the hermitage of Montespecchio present within the area, precisely in Murlo. The reserve can be visited however you wish: on foot for a not too difficult walk, especially if you're not in perfect shape, or by following a trekking route, which is slightly more challenging. And if you want to visit it at a steadier pace, experiencing rhythms of the past and engaging in a deep contact with nature, visit the area by horse. It will be an unforgettable experience! And for cycling fans there are even cycling tourism routes!
ETRUSCAN AND ROMANS WERE NOT MISTAKEN! Great connoisseurs of medicinal plants and the healing powers of water, even in Petriolo the first to discover their potential were the Etruscans. The Romans later built many spa facilities that are mentioned in one of Cicero’s orations and in an epigram by Martial. At the beginning of the 1400s Petriolo was only a small spa unique in its kind because it was fortified. Unfortunately, of such fortification only the fortification walls, four tanks covered by cross vaults and the Romanesque church still remain. Back in those days the spa was visited by people of importance: the Medici, the Gonzaga and the Sienese Pope Pius II. Over the years the Petriolo thermal baths have been through all the ups and downs until finding in recent years a balance and a new interest due to the search for an ever more complete and integrated wellness.
PETRIOLO SPA... THE ‘HOTTEST’ IN TUSCANY. You may wonder perplexed 'hot in what sense…?'. In the sense that the water here is warm, really warm, or as they say in these parts, 'halda' (a dialectal variation of ‘calda’, meaning hot). In fact, originating from strata that reach a depth of 300 meters, water gushes at an average temperature of 43 degrees Celsius. But heat is not the only advantage of this gift that nature has given us for thousands of years: it is classified among solfidriche-salt-sulphate-bicarbonate-alcalino-earthy-hyperthermal waters. In short, it is a water rich in sulphuric hydrogen and other minerals. It is indicated, depending on the treatments you choose, to cure osteoarthritis, muscle-tendon, skin, respiratory and phlebologic diseases. This is just what concerns the therapeutic aspect because according to the modern concept of health, the basis of all the services made available by spas, physical cures must always be linked to the achievement of a mental and physical well-being. So, how can one benefit most of these waters? You have two options and one absolutely does not exclude the other. I would say they are actually complementary: you can choose cures, treatments, one of the packages in the terme Petriolo spa or immerse yourselves into one of the many pools in the outdoor baths, which, what’s more, are free, because they are kindly made available by Mother Nature and can be conveniently enjoyed independently. Cool, right?
PETRIOLO RESORT. The resort can be reached from the state road 223 if you come from north. At the 40th km do not follow the signs for Bagni di Petriolo but continue towards Grosseto, the main entrance to the Terme di Petriolo is on the right just after the bridge. Coming from south, continue along the state road 223 and the Petriolo spa resort is on the right approximately after 1km, just before the bridge. The spa in Petriolo, as you will see, is surrounded by luxuriant nature, and the rooms with glass walls seem suspended between the trees in the woods. Now we’ve arrived, what shall we do? If you have come for therapeutic reasons, you probably already have a clear idea of what you want to do and will opt for one of the treatments on offer: mud therapy with anti-inflammatory, analgesia and muscle relaxation function; bath therapy to improve bone and joint problems, for rheumatism and for post-trauma outcomes. Inhalations and aerosol are instead a real elixir. As in any other modern spa, a wide variety of services are on offer, designed to satisfy the most varied requests for well-being, fitness and aesthetics: toning massages, anti-stress, shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, treatment with glycolic and hyaluronic acid, sclera, mesotherapy.
Many of you may, however, have reached Petriolo for a day spa, just to relax a bit after having ‘worked’ hard as a tourist: in this case, I recommend the 'path terme romanae’ that is articulated in a series of pools and water tubs ranging from 30-32 degrees Celsius up to as high as 41° C – a bath which, not without reason, is called 'calidarium'. Continue with the 'Kneipp’ course alternating hot and cold water, the swimming pool with water temperature between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius, to end with a nice stop in the 'sweat lodge'. And, last but not least... brrr, the ice waterfall. What do you think, not bad at all, right?
PETRIOLO FREE THERMAL BATHS. Following a path at the side of the resort, you can rather easily reach a series of natural pools which are located both in front of the ancient baths in Petriolo, now in ruins, and in front of the most modern spa. You might find the names of these 'natural pools' of among the outdoor thermal baths in Petriolo quite disturbing, but… no need to worry, everything has an explanation which is far less scary than it seems. Let’s start from the first ‘tub’ you'll find on the right side of the road: 'the pit of hell' (il pozzo dell’inferno). What did I say? The name has a simple explanation: the water temperature is really high, we are talking about an average of 42-43 degrees Celsius, although some say it reaches 45° C. it is a ‘single-seater’, so to say, where you immerse yourselves and sit down, leaving only your head above the water surface. A few tips beforehand: do not stay inside for longer than 1-2 minutes otherwise you will get burnt and, before entering, make sure you acclimatize in a slightly cooler pool. The 'shell' (conchiglia) reaches a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, so in this case too you should acclimatize beforehand in other pools, and it can accommodate up to 2-3 people. The 'coffin' or 'grave' (bara or tomba), don’t get frightened, is so called because you can even lie down completely, while by sitting down up to 3 or 4 people can enter at a time. It is a high sedimentation tank so you can also have a mud bath. The 'bean' (fagiolo) has a sort of dividing wall underwater that might have once served to divert the river course. The larger tank, also known as the 'pit' (fossa: yet another ominous name!) is usually the most crowded: it has a temperature of 30-35° C so you can easily stay in it for longer. Finally, close to the river bed, formed by separating thermal water with a low stone wall that is torn down at every overflow, there is the 'pool' (piscina), divided into areas with different temperatures: it is warmer upstream and gradually cools down as it approaches the Farma river, where it mixes with the cooler water.
Along the river Farma, approximately 800 meters from the spa, there is another interesting product that thermal phenomena have created in this area: the Petriolo 'mushroom'. It is a travertine formation from which point water gushes and, being rich in limestone, its shape constantly changes. So, the ‘fungo di Petriolo’ might not always remain the same! When is the best period to visit the outdoor baths? Naturally, they are always more crowded in the summer, therefore in winter, albeit with some discomfort, you will definitely enjoy a more intimate atmosphere.
PETRIOLO, ITALY SURROUNDING AREA. In addition to the Terme di Petriolo, Italy and the natural beauty of the Merse Valley, the area in which Petriolo is located offers interesting itineraries to explore small villages, churches and castles. At just 27 Km away, along the highway in the direction of Massa Marittima, in Chiusdino you will find the famous Abbey of San Galgano where, in the nearby hermitage of Montesiepi, you will see the legendary 'sword in the stone'.
Another must-visit village at just 11 km from Petriolo Siena is San Lorenzo a Merse: the highest part of the village still conserves parts of an old castle dating back to the 13th century: a gateway and the residue of a large wall, as well as the coat of arms of the Marescotti: a white eagle with spread wings. Visit the village church, Pieve di San Lorenzo, built in the eleventh century and which gave its name to the village and the nearby Chiesa della Compagnia della Misericordia. Along the provincial road Pinete and the municipal road you will reach Castello di Tocchi, another charming medieval village perched on a hill 330 meters above sea level. Amazing views extend below you over woods and hills as far as the eye can see. The castle has been completely restored and has become a village-hotel where you could really have a charming stay. Monticiano, which is part of the municipality of Petriolo, is located 21 km away from the latter-mentioned village and is the largest town in the area. In addition to the view that you will see from the highest part of the village, do not forget to visit the Church of St. Augustine and the Church of Saints Giusto and Clemente, both dating back to the twelfth century. Civitella Marittima and Paganico, Italy - 13 km from Petriolo on the road for Grosseto – under the same municipality, preserve a truly noteworthy artistic heritage! Murlo, Italy, following the statale road and the provincial road half an hour from Petriolo, is a tiny hamlet with the classic castle: here you can also visit the Etruscan Museum and find out about the ancient inhabitants of the area.
Visiting these villages you will come across many trattorias and restaurants: enter, taste, try what you are suggested. The Tuscan cuisine is simple, tasty, genuine. Do not rush: sit back, put your phone away and enjoy a good meal in peace. What can you eat around here? Bushmeat, cheeses such as pecorino and raveggiolo and recipes enriched with white truffle, obviously accompanied by good wine. Since if you find yourselves here you probably care about your health, eat a juicy apple - as you know, it is always a good thing to do. Don’t just choose any apple! A beautiful ‘casolana', small and tasty, is typical of these areas. Even the famous poet Boccaccio talked about them in one of his novellas so you simply have to give it a try!
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Day trip to Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti area: departure from Florence
Duration: approx. 11 hours
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Private day tour from Livorno Port to Florence and Siena
Duration: approx. 10 hours
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Private guided tour of Siena with a short course in ice cream making
Duration: approx. 1 hour and 30 min.
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Private day tour from Livorno Port to Siena and San Gimignano
Duration: approx. 10 hours