The natural wonder of the Cascate del Mulino would not be possible without the water that supplies them. Where does the hot and mineralized water that has been flowing for centuries come from? What is the history of this enchanted place? Let’s discover the history and the origin of the Cascate along with some interesting facts about the place.
Thousands of years ago, the waters of Saturnia that feed the Gorello stream were born inside a volcanic crater. They were formed thanks to the numerous springs present in an area that extends from Monte Amiata to Talamone and Roselle.
The legend considers Saturnia the most antique Italic city; the history, instead, dates back its birth to the Etruscan era, when people already enjoyed the properties of the water. In the Medieval period even the thermal baths underwent a period of obscurantism, because they were considered demonic, in the Renaissance the Roman baths were renovated and, in 1865, the Ciacci family laid the foundations for the construction of a spa, which was only completed in 1919 thanks to Gaspero Ciacci, who built the Terme di Saturnia hotel.
From the Resort the waters flow freely in the Tuscan countryside forming the Gorello stream which originates the Cascate del Mulino waterfalls, free and accessible 24 hours a day.
The myth goes that Saturn, the god of abundance, one day lost his patience because of the wars between men and, in a fit of rage, hurled a lightning bolt into the crater of a volcano, giving rise to a river of hot sulphurous water which flowed over the earth, calming men and inaugurating the golden age dedicated to Saturn, a fertile, peaceful and happy time.
The crater of the volcano where Saturn’s lightning struck was located in the wild Tuscan Maremma, precisely in the town of Saturnia, after which it was named.
Originally, the city of Saturnia was called Aurinia, after the name of the Etruscan divinity linked to the cult of water, and was inhabited by the Etruscans, who already knew and enjoyed the properties of water.
The Romans, from 280 BC, renamed it Saturnia and were the first to create buildings for the therapeutic enjoyment of spring water. They also built the Via Clodia, which connected with the Via Aurelia, facilitating the journey from Rome to Saturnia.