How to Visit Cascate del Mulino: Terme di Saturnia Hot Springs in Italy

December 30, 2019

I’ll admit, Cascate del Mulino was an Instagram-discovered travel list item for me. The first time I saw this beautiful natural thermal springs on my feed, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I really couldn’t believe its real. I instantly dived into researching how to get there.

First and foremost, many people confuse Cascate del Mulino and Terme di Saturnia. Terme di Saturnia technically refers to the region of several springs in the muncipality of Manciano. It’s also the name of the renowned luxury spa, Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort, in Tuscany, which happens to be just a few minutes walk from Cascate del Mulino. Terme di Saturnia features large, man made pools with the same water.

Cascate del Mulino is one of the most incredible places I’ve been. The water was so warm and with panoramic views of Tuscany, I could’ve stayed for hours. The springs may not be the most accessible location in Italy, but if you can figure out how to make the trip, it’s more than worth going.

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HOW TO GET TO CASCATE DEL MULINO

Saturnia is roughly five hours from Milan and two hours from Rome. It’s near the edge of the Tuscany region, making it two and a half hours from Florence.

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BIKINI {just $13!}

DRIVING / RENTAL CAR

A rental car is my recommended mode of transportation. We almost got confused because the hot springs are so close to the spa that we thought we had gone to far. Keep driving until the turn off on the right. I highly do not recommend making this drive in the dark, as roads in Manciano are quite narrow and have several sharp, blind turns. Click here to easily find rental car options in Italy.

PRIVATE DRIVER

Private drivers between Rome and Saturnia are an option, however they are a bit pricey. A 9am-6pm day trip will run you roughly 500 Euros. I would recommend avoiding this if possible in favor of driving yourself, just ensure you have an International Driver’s Permit.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

I strongly advise against trying public transportation to Saturnia. It’s a bit lengthy and cumbersome due to how remote Cascate del Mulino is. You will need to take a train to Grosseto. From Grosseto, take bus 41 or 11 to Manciano. In Manciano, take bus 17/P to Saturnia. Please note that the buses don’t run on Sundays. Public transportation takes roughly eight hours from Florence and three to eight hours from Rome. Once again, I strongly do not recommend this.

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PARKING AT CASCATE DEL MULINO

Parking at Cascate del Mulino is free! There is a parking lot located just outside of the hot springs. Do not park on the street, or you will be fined. The parking lot is not paved, so be mindful of your rental’s tires when driving through it.

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ADMISSION

Just like parking, admission for Cascate del Mulino is also free. It’s open every day, 24 hours a day. If it has been raining, they will close the gate for erosion, but in my experience, that doesn’t stop people from going anyway. Terme di Saturnia, the spa and hotel nearby, does charge admission. Admissions starts around 25 Euros, and does not include a bathrobe, towel, or slippers, according to reviews.

CASCATE DEL MULINO WORMS

Something that came up several times in my research was the little red worms in the water at Cascate del Mulino. I’m absolutely squeamish when it comes to bugs, so I BRACED myself for trying to relax with some before going. Maybe it was the fact that I was there in the off season or that a rain had just come through, but I saw absolute zero worms. My biggest obstacle was how slippery and uneven the floor was underneath the water. I left with the lovely souvenir of a scraped up knee and banged up elbow, but it was worth it. Somewhere on my SD card is a series of photos of me falling basically straight on my face and into the water. The life of a former ballerina, everyone.

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WHERE TO STAY AT CASCATE DEL MULINO

TERME DI SATURNIA SPA AND GOLF RESORT

The obvious first choice is Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort, located right around the corner. This resort is convenient, and luxurious. A true getaway in Tuscany. If you book a room at Terme di Saturnia, admission to their thermal spa park is included. That being said, rooms at Terme di Saturnia are on the more expensive side.

AIRBNB

After spending days researching hotels in the Saturnia area, I opted for an AirBnB. AirBnB in the maremma was so inexpensive, that it became a much better value than the nearby hotels. Several AirBnB hosts list their farms and entire houses for a similar, or less expensive price than the hotels. Click here to see the AirBnB I stayed in. If you’re new to AirBnB, click here to receive $55 off of your first trip. The AirBnB I was in is located roughly 20 minutes away from Cascate del Mulino, in Pitigliano. It has an incredible view of Tuscany! Pitigliano is a stunning medieval town. I highly recommend staying there if you’re visiting the hot springs, as it is quaint and charming.

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SATURNIA HOTELS

Should you feel more comfortable staying in a hotel, there are a few hotels near Cascate del Mulino with great reviews. Click here to see Agriturismo Le Cascatelle, which offers breakfast and free parking. Click here to see Relais Ciavatta, which has private cottages and a lovely pool as well.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SATURNIA HOT SPRINGS

The temperature of the water at Cascate del Mulino stays between approximately 90 to 100 degrees fahrenheit. I went end of November, and I’m convinced that it’s one of the best times to go. The outdoor temperature was around 45 degrees fahrenheit, making a dip in Saturnia’s warm waters feel like a dip in a jacuzzi in the snowy Swiss alps. Italy does get relatively hot and humid in the summer, which could make the warm water a little less enjoyable for extended periods of time.

I recommend going to Cascate del Mulino as soon as the sun rises. The morning golden hour overlooking Tuscany is absolutely stunning. The hot springs also can get crowded during the day, so you’ll beat the crowds and have a more relaxing experience by dragging yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn. Around 8am, there were already seven or eight there, and more arriving.

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xx,
E

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