Story and photos by Manos Angelakis
Terme di Saturnia
Spa and Golf Resort
Italia – 58014 Saturnia (GR)
Since Roman times, this Maremma hot-water spring that now feed the resort’s large thermal swimming pool has been a gathering point for Italian gentry in need of care and regeneration of mind and body. Our visit took place prior to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Terme di Saturnia, is located in a crater of volcanic origins on the west coast of Tuscany, near the orchards and vineyards of Monte Amiata. The area is well known for the Morellino wines, produced from Sangiovese grapes that have adapted so well to the area’s climate and soil conditions that are considered a distinct Sangiovese clone.
It is a typical upper class European resort famous for its spa. The building is constructed from travertine marble and contains 128 rooms and suites, 2 restaurants, a bar and the spa and other facilities and is surrounded by a golf course which is beautifully kept.
The resort has a “Roman Bath” lined with travertine. Following the bathing rituals of ancient Rome, the resort’s Roman Bath includes a cold plunge pool, steam bath and sauna.
The only problem I found was the pervasive sulfur odor emanating from the thermal waters. It is a natural occurrence, common to all volcanic thermal springs, and there is nothing that can be done about it. After a few hours one gets hopefully used to it and it is not noticeable from then on.
Both restaurants are fairly formal and the All’ Acquacotta has been awarded a Michelin star and 2 Gambero Rosso forks. The restaurant is surprisingly affordable for a starred establishment. Ingredients have strong, authentic flavors and are sourced as locally as possible – the kitchen's motto is “zero kilometers”. The restaurant's menu is unmistakably Tuscan and offers exceptional dishes.
The pici spadellati del buttero, which was the primo piatto of my dinner, was absolutely scrumptious; hand-made pasta in a beef and wild mushroom sauce. The secondo was confit pork belly and potato cream with black truffles.
Three local wines, all Morellino di Scansano, accompanied our meal, and all three were exceptional – the restaurant’s cellar has one of the best Morellino di Scansano and Montecucco collections I have ever encountered.
The dessert was called Essenza Maremmana and was as intriguing as it sounds. For those preferring a lighter meal there is the Spa Menu, utilizing mostly vegetables grown in the hotel’s own large garden.
We used the hotel as a base to visit numerous wineries in the Scansano and Montecucco DOCGs; we spent a week of imbibing excellent local wines accompanying exceptional local food. My surprise was the numerous ways Cinghiale i.e. meat of wild boar is used in the local gastronomy. As I was told by more than one winemaker, that’s in revenge for the damage wild pigs cause as they go through vineyards full of ripe grapes. As one said, it looks like a mechanical harvester has gone through; not a single grape is left on any of the vines.
Thanks to the Morellino di Scansano Consortium and Vigneto Communications for arranging this visit.
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