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 feeds 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.
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 very well known for the Morellino wines, produced from a Sangiovese vine that has adapted so well to the area’s climate and soil conditions that is considered a distinct clone of Sangiovese.
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 stone. Following the bathing rituals of ancient Rome, the resort’s Roman Bath includes a cold plunge pool, steam bath and sauna.
Tho only problem I found was the pervasive sulfur odor emanating from the thermal waters. It is a natural occurance, common to all volcanic thermal springs, and there is nothing that can be done about it. After a few hours one gets used to it and it is not noticable from then on.
Both restaurants are fairly formal and the All’ Acquacotta has been awarded a Michelin star and 2 Gambero Rosso forks. Ingredients have strong, authentic flavors and are sourced as locally as possible – the kitchen’s motto is “zero kilomette”. 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 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 regions; a week of excellent local wines accompanying excellent local food. My surprise was the numerous ways 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.
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