Feb 13, 2013

A Perfect Unplanned Weekend

A couple weekends ago we took a spontaneous trip to the Terme di Petriolo, a hot spring located in Tuscany about two hours from where we live. It’s a small portion of a larger river where the thermal water flows out at a temperature of about 109 ºF/ 43 ºC. Carved into the rocks are small pools that act as natural hot tubs and as the water nears closer to the river the temperature decreases. Unlike a spa, the hot spring is completely accessible, free to the public and open day or night, year-round.

 The water is soothing to simply sit in and relax both physically and psychologically, but the minerals present also provide a variety of other health benefits. Among other things, they:
  • enhance immunity
  • produce endorphins
  • lower blood pressure
  • increase metabolism and digestion
  • have a thereapeutic effect on the skin and wounds
  • and eliminate toxins
Basically, it's freaking miracle water!!

We went with another couple and arrived as the sun was setting, which was awesome since there were fewer people. It was a bit of a surprise upon realizing there were naked people roaming nearby, but I guess that (lack of seeing) could be seen as advantageous.

We stayed a while and left once we felt the first pangs of hunger to head back to the agriturismo we had booked for the night. We showered and changed into our pajamas, cooked sausage and spare ribs in the fireplace and had a wine fest for the remainder of the evening.

[Meet Luna, the agriturismo's dog who wasn't allowed indoors, but happily never left our doorway]

The next day's rain forced us to abandon our original plans of go-karting, but here's the great thing about Italy: there is always something interesting to see in the vicinity. We soon realized that the historical sword in the stone at San Galgano was located nearby so off we went to the mysterious town enveloped in a blanket of mist and fog, the perfect day for such a mystical affair.

[It says: This is the most beautiful corner of the world]

We wandered the abbey and visited the church where lies the sword and then found our way to lunch at a nearby restaurant. We ate the local specialties (which are also some of my favorite Italian foods):  crostini with liver and truffle pate, papardelle pasta and cingiale (wild boar) sauce, a mixed pecorini platter and polished off the meal with a delicious chocolate cake. (A dead camera battery means zero photos to show for it).

All in all, a perfect, unplanned weekend.

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