One of the truly magical, eco-friendly holidays and totally green vacations available is to take is a relaxing break at one of Italy's natural health spa resorts. Italy is a seismically active region, renowned for its earthquake activity and volcanoes. Names like Vesuvius, Stromboli and Vulcano are the places of many legends.
It is this activity that gives rise to the steaming caves, sulphurous waters and relaxing mud pools that populate the countryside. Back in time, such areas were set-aside as places of relaxation and rejuvenation for the body and soul. Roman tourists would sail up the Tiber to the Umbrian health resorts and take the healing waters at Aquasparta, San Gemini and Carsulae.
The natural healing properties of the thermal mud and the taking of mineral waters were well known and many spa resorts have been established along the faults where Mother Nature releases her soothing waters and cleansing steams.
Saturnia in Tuscany is synonymous with wild, natural hot water springs here the therapeutic nature of the pools are famous, and people have long travelled to sample the waters of the Maremma. The natural baths around Bagni di Petriolo were also a famous stop over point during the "Grand Tours of Europe" by the landed gentry of the eighteenth century. Here the dust weary travellers would take comfort in the waters and refresh themselves before journeying on to Rome.
The calming experience of the Grotto Sudatoria, the Steam Cave at the Bagni di Bormio, in northern Italy is wonderfully relaxing. It consists of natural steam filled cave with two entrance tunnels that gradually customise the body to the humid temperature inside. This resort was regular haunt with Romans and since the 1st century it has been attracting health tourists to the area.
Throughout Italy you will find natures spas, wonderful resting places to clear the mind and body while enjoying the simple pleasures of the Italian countryside. Follow the locals as well as many resorts have free areas open to the public a little further down stream and it is here you can truly appreciate the healing properties of the earth. Remember that the warm, mineral saturated waters will still flow downstream once they leave the health resort.