The Petriolo hot springs is like an open-air swimming playground. Located on the banks of the Farma River, just twenty minutes from Siena, it's a low-tech water park in a natural setting. The hot springs bubble to the surface at 42 degrees celcius, and over the centuries the accumulating minerals have formed natural pools to soak in. Some man-made pools create deeper soaking and swimming areas, while hot waterfalls tumble over the low banks for splashing good fun. There are also private businesses with pools, tubs and spa treatments like facials and therapeutic massage available.

The area was well-known in the Etruscan and Roman eras, who used the hot sulphurous water for medical cures. There are ruins of a Roman bath complex in the area. Petriolo became developed during the Renaissance period when a stone bathing facility was built, complete with loggia. It drew important Florentines and other nobility from all over central Italy, as well as Popes.

The highly-sulphurous water is said to curative for a vast variety of ailments, while the resulting mud is good for skin conditions or for anti-aging facials that smooth wrinkles and make the skin feel silky. The setting amidst woods and along the river is lovely, and Petriolo abutts a nature preserve, where there are trails and picnic areas.

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Address in Monticiano:

Strada Provinciale 4.

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