Saturnia, in southern Tuscany, takes its name from the Roman god Saturn. Legend has it that he grew tired of constant human wars and sent a thunderbolt to earth that created a magic spring of warm sulphurous water to pacify mankind. (I think we need a few more in various parts of the world)
The town was first occupied by the Pelasgi then the Etruscans. A Roman colony arrived in 183BC. Old walls and some gateways remain.
In 1300 Saturnia became the hideout of outlaws and was razed to the ground by Sienese. It was forgotten for centuries until it was rediscovered in the late 19th century. The land around the spring was drained and a spa built. Now the Spa is extremely popular and attracts many visitors.
The town sits on a rise above the spring.
The town was very quiet on the afternoon of our visit after our time in Saturn’s pacifying water. It seems only a few hundred people live there full time.
It has a lovely piazza in the centre of the town.
In the piazza are several excavated stones.
There are some pretty houses incorporated into the old walls.
The church has a fine campanile.
You can always count on finding a lovely doorway or 2 in Tuscany towns.
There are a few shops where we bought some very good local cheese and wine. We found an excellent restaurant, Bacco & Cerere, which had been recommended by Le Cascatelle, where we stayed.
The setting was elegant.
The lighting was subdued, so my photos are not all that clear, but you will get the idea. Bread made on the premises was excellent.
The delicious treat that came before entree was pecorino in a crust on a pea purée.
Jim had pheasant pate.
My entree was stunning. Pecorino with pear and walnut in filo.
Jim’s main course was tagliata di manzo. He ordered medium, but the very helpful waiter also brought to the table a hot plate where it was possible to cook the meat more if necessary.
I ordered maialino, suckling pig. It was wonderful.
We will definitely return to Saturnia…to the spring, Le Cascatelle and Bacco & Cerere.
See the previous post to see the amazing Saturnia spring.