SATURNIA

Saturnia is a very old city with mysterious origins. Its name is believed to come from the god Saturn. Legend has it that Saturnia, from the very hands of God, was the first Italic city. That said, the first real evidence of life dates back to the second half of the 8th century BC in the form of Etruscan sepulchres discovered in nearby Sede di Carlo. In 280 BC, the town was conquered by the Romans. In 82 BC, it welcomed Mario and was destroyed as an act of retaliation by the Sillans. In the Middle Ages, its mysterious origins and the peculiarity of its sulfur springs inspired many legends. It was said that the devil emerged here from the underworld. The territory was described as a place from which bewitched waters rained and settled in hot pools, spreading a sharp satanic smell (sulfur) through the air. The chronicles of the time recall congregations of magicians and witches, spells and sabbatical rituals. Still in the Middle Ages, the town suffered Saracen raids. Left in the hands of the Sienese, it became a rebel’s hideout and was completely destroyed. The Saturnia hot springs, from which sulfurous water flows at a particularly pleasant and beneficial temperature of 37°C, are nowadays famous all over the world, but they were not always so. The first spa was built in 1865 when Bernardino Ciacci was able to reclaim the source and pave the way for the modern spa centre.