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Petriolo natural hot springs in Southern Tuscany
Improvised shower at the natural hot springs in Petriolo

If you haven't been in this corner of Tuscany before - this is the time to visit. Driving south from Siena, you'll find something for every taste. For starters you may run into Robert Redford. The documentary Buck, (a film about the life of a horse whisperer produced by the Hollywood star) has his Italian first showing at the Terra di Siena film festival in Monticiano. Once you said hello and had your share of animal talk for the day, drive along the windy road that connects Monticiano to the Petriolo hot springs further down in the valley (if you missed out on Redford you can always try again with Sienna Miller in Siena next week). 

Thermal bath opening times are no problem in Petriolo. The natural hot springs can be accessed 24/7. But if it's your first time doing the baths the way the Romans did it, make sure you arrive before the sun goes down. Stripping off in the dark can be a bit of an imitating affair, if you don't have a clue where you are. Take your time and try out all the various rock pools, which come in different sizes (the temperature in the smaller ones is over 40 degrees). Tough Swiss that I am, I also recommend a dip in the cool river right next to the hot water tubs. Nothing quite like it to get a lazy circulation working again! 

Farma river - right next to the natural hot springs in Petriolo
After all that soaking - time to cool off in the beautiful Farma river passing right next to the hot tubs

After that heavenly bath, one doesn't just feel healthier but also... hungry! With hairs smelling of sulfur, a Michelin star restaurant isn't what you should be thinking of. Outdoors eating at the village festival in close by Pari is what you're looking for. The lovely village is a 10 minutes drive from the hot tubs and the sagra della salsiccia is as far from Hollywood as you can get.

Salisiccia means sausage and with them being grilled all night long, your smelly hair will easily go unnoticed. Tuscany's famous slightly spicy sausages are prepared during the whole weekend and locals even show hot to prepare them on Sunday afternoon. 

Vegetarian? Don't worry you'll be finding something to nibble on. And even if not, Pari's lovely inhabitants and the village's stunning location on top of a Tuscan hill are more than worth the drive. 

TERRA DI SIENA FILM FESTIVAL, check the website for the exact program in Monticiano on Sunday 30th of September, 2012. 
SAGRA DELLA SALSICCIA PARI, 29th and 30th of September, 2012. 

Want to see more of Tuscany's amazing natural hot springs? Fosso Bianco in Bagni San Filippo should be your next stop then. 

Visualizza Petriolo Hot Springs in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

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