We had worked up an appetite lounging around in the healing waters of Cascate del Mulino and so, smelling slightly sulphurous, advanced to the nearby town of Saturnia. Despite dating back to the Etruscans in 800BC, there was a feeling of openness and modernity.
There is a reason for this. In 1300AD, it became the hideout of outlaws and was razed to the ground by the Sienese. Forgotten for hundreds of years, it was rediscovered in the late 19th century, the land around the spring was drained, the spa was built and the town breathed new life. While the boys relaxed with a coffee,
we girls wandered the streets, exploring shops
and local sights,
some of which were quite unexpected.
The Church of Santa Maria Maddalena dates back to 1188AD but the building we see now is due to a restoration in 1933. If only we had known the 15th century Madonna and Child frescoe by Benvenuto di Giovanni was inside.
We found a lovely alfresco dining area at Ristorante Il Melangolo, the perfect setting to savour a vino and delicious pizza.
We enjoyed friendly banter with our waiter, Alex and as we left, an ardent “good-bye” reached us from a smiling chef Marco in the top floor window.
We made our way back to the car and, with a last glimpse of the stunning panorama, farewelled Saturnia.