Hot Springs and Spa History

PETRIOLO HOT SPRINGS AND SPA HISTORY

The Petriolo’s thermal baths are very ancient. The Romans knew and appreciated them. It is very likely that these are the baths mentioned by the orator Marco Tullio Cicero in his pro Marco Caelio.

Recently, Roman tombs have been found in the area, proof of a long time recognition of the beneficial effects of this water.

It is without doubt that these hot springs were highly appreciated in the Middle age and during the Renaissance period. As early as 1215, the Republic of Siena maintained a series of “stationes”, a sort of “bathing hut” for single “bathers”, similar to today’s beach cabins.

Many important people are known to have frequented the Petriolo thermal baths: the Medici, Lords of Florence, the Gonzaga, Lords of Manuta and leading exponents of the Church including Pope Pious II Piccolomini.

Also of note are the remains of the ancient walls built in 404 in the typical Sienese architectural style, which are the only exisitng example of fortifies thermae (fortified thermal baths).

Of the original baths, composed by four groined vaulted rooms, only one room still exists. It opens onto the river Farma with arches built on octagonal pillars. Besides the hot springs, the Farma river is perfect for bathing and swimming. http://termepetriolo.it/it/

At the Petriolo, you can indulge at the brand new spa center by the natural hot pools, which offers massage, beauty and health treatments, or you can enjoy the hot springs (43°C), open to the public free of charge, where you can relax in the pools along the banks of the river Farma.

While Umbrians and Etruscans were most likely the first inhabitants of its location, Castiglione della Pescaia was first recorded under the name Salebrone in Roman times. The hill close to the coast proved to be an excellent location, as it dominated the sizable inland Prelius Lake, while the lake itself provided food (fish) and trading goods (salt). In Medieval times, the city suffered from repeated pirate attacks and almost disappeared. It resurfaced in the 9th century AD under its current name, under joint protection of the Papacy and the Republic of Pisa.

The Petriolo Thermal Baths and Natural Hot Springs TODAY
At the Petriolo, you can indulge at the brand new spa center by the natural hot pools, which offers massage, beauty and health treatments, or you can enjoy the hot springs (43°C), open to the public free of charge, where you can relax in the pools along the banks of the river Farma.

The Petriolo’s thermal baths are very ancient. The Romans knew and appreciated them. It is very likely that these are the baths mentioned by the orator Marco Tullio Cicero in his pro Marco Caelio.

Recently, Roman tombs have been found in the area, proof of a long time recognition of the beneficial effects of this water.  It is without doubt that these hot springs were highly appreciated in the Middle ages and during the Renaissance period. As early as 1215, the Republic of Siena maintained a series of “stationes”, a sort of “bathing hut” for single “bathers”, similar to today’s beach cabins.

Many important people are known to have frequented the Petriolo thermal baths: the Medici, Lords of Florence, the Gonzaga, Lords of Manuta and leading exponents of the Church including Pope Pious II Piccolomini.

Besides the hot springs, the Farma river is perfect for bathing and swimming, and the surrounding woods offer many nice spots for a picnic.

BENEFITS OF HOT SPRINGS

Petriolo thermal waters, rich in precious minerals and oligo-elements, rise to the surface at a temperature of 43°C, directly from the spring located on the banks of the Farma stream, with an average capacity of approximately 40 litres per second.
The smell of sulphur coming off it is due to the presence of great quantities of sulphurated hydrogen (hydrogen sulphide level: 21 mg/l). Based on the temperature measured at the spring eruption point and on the quantities of minerals, these waters are classified as hyper-thermal, containing bicarbonate, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, iodine, bromine, sulphur and carbon dioxide.

The therapeutic and healing properties of Petriolo thermal waters are useful in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of various pathologies. As well known in ancient times and as confirmed by recent studies, these waters are particularly appropriate for osteoskeletal, tendon, skin, respiratory and phlebology issues.

 

 

San Miniato al Monte

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The beautiful landscape of San Miniato al Monte

According to tradition, the martyr St. Miniatus, who was suffered during the persecution of Decius in the 3rd century, was buried on the hill where the church bearing his name now stands. It was the idea of the bishop Hildrebrand to build the basilica, together with the adjoining Benedictine monastery, on the site where it was believed that the relics of the saint (today preserved in the crypt of the church) were found.

Work was begun in 1018 and was completed about 1207. The new church which was built on the site of an earlier church reflects the various stages of its construction in its different parts, from the crypt to the elaborate marble floor of the nave.

Continue reading this article in The Museums of Florence

 

Among Costa Rican volcanoes, Irazú is king of the hill

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The main crater at Irazú Volcano on a clear day.  Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times

IRAZÚ VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK, Cartago — Here at the top of Costa Rica’s tallest volcano, the main crater looks like it was struck by a gigantic meteorite that vaporized on impact, leaving behind a semi-spherical blast zone.

It’s an awe-inspiring sight, as long as you’re not expecting to see the gorgeous emerald crater lake that appears in most photos — it dried up three years ago.

Read the whole story in The Tico Times, written by KARL KAHLER | MAY 18, 2016

Costa Rica’s best coffee comes from this hillside in Alajuela

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LOURDES DE CIRRÍ, Alajuela – Large burlap sacks of coffee, green and roasted, covered the kitchen floor in Antonio Barrantes’ home in Lourdes de Cirrí, north of Naranjo, Alajuela.

He opened one bag to sift the jade-colored unroasted beans through his hands. These pale green beans, known as “oro” in Spanish, or gold, might well be worth their weight in the precious metal.

Read the whole article in The Tico News

Florence and Machiavelli: sympathy for the devil

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Machiavelli’s study, where he read, and prepared his famous manuscript

Article in The Daily  Telegraph, published in London

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The Palio in Siena

The Palio in Siena is maybe the most famous sports event of the summer in Italy.  It is not a tourist oriented event as so many others, but its origins hail back to the Middle Ages or at least 1644.

To read more about the Palio, check this article in Discover Tuscany

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A Literary Guide To Tuscany

The landscapes and people of Tuscany have been an inspiration for writers for centuries – perhaps it’s no coincidence that three of Italy’s greatest writers – Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio – were all Tuscan. Besides home-grown writers, Tuscany has provided an inexhaustible source of writing material for foreign writers as well, with the British driving the ranks. –

See the complete article in: ITALY MAGAZINE

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These Summer Vacation Destinations Will Save You Money

Check out the top 10 destinations with low airfares below, plus the percentage decrease from last year:

1. Chicago, Illinois: down 41%
2. Florida: down 25-35% depending on destination
3. New York, New York: down 31%
4. Atlanta, Georgia: down 28%
5. Los Angeles, California: down 27%
6. London, England: down 29-33% depending on airport
7. Sydney, Australia: down 33%
8. San Jose, Costa Rica: down 31%
9. Bangkok, Thailand: down 26%
10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: down 31%

See the original article in Real Simple

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The Story Behind Michelangelo’s David by Silvia Donati

David Galleria dell'Accademia

The David, perhaps the world’s most famous sculpture, surely one of Florence’s greatest attractions, stands at 5.16 meters tall in the Accademia Gallery.

This outstanding sculpture was created between 1501 and 1504 by Renaissance genius Michelangelo, after the enormous block of marble used for the statue had lied abandoned for 25 years in the courtyard of the Opera del Duomo because the two artists originally commissioned with the work thought the marble, which came from the quarries in Carrara, had too many imperfections.

– See more at  Italy Magazine:

Why You Should Give Yourself A Timeout

By: Silvia Mordini, Featured on Yoganonymous

A retreat is just that: A break from the daily grind in order to get clear on what you like about your life and what could be working better. It’s a safe space where you can take the time to step back and gain perspective to help you realize and recognize the things you’ve outgrown.

A yoga retreat is the perfect time in a beautiful place to carry out this mental detox. And there are so many different kinds of retreats. Some include activities and experiences beyond a yoga practice, such as life-coaching exercises where you’ll learn practical tools to apply to your life right away. Other retreats may include off the mat fun like surfing, kayaking, hiking, and more.

Just like we have to clean out our closets now and again—whether we want to or not—we need to take time to mentally declutter as well. It is important to devote time to decluttering. Clutter in the mind is stress. When we remove the clutter from our lives, we increase clarity regarding the life we are meant to live. The foundation of our life is based on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.

Don’t wait—take a timeout for you.

Continue reading here on Yoganonymous and visit Alchemy Tours to see retreat offerings led by Silvia Mordini.