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SIENA What to see & do -
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia
With roughly 5,000 inhabitants, Rapolano Terme is in an area known as the Crete Senesi, immersed in the woods and hills of the basin of the river Ombrone. In the 12th century this small farming community grew wealthier as a number of landowners established themselves, building the first large fortified farmhouse-barns known as Grance, which were used for storing agricultural produce. Today one of these buildings has been converted into the Museo del Ciclo dell’Olio and functions as a Grance documentation centre. Ever since Roman times, however, Rapolano has been best known for its thermal waters. Two spa centres still exist, in fact: the Antica Querciolaia and the Terme di San Giovanni.
The Terme di San Giovanni are just 2 kilometres outside Rapolano, right in the green Chianti hills. Although this has been known as a thermal water centre since the 4th century AD, today there is a modern, elegant and functional spa centre within large grounds, with bathing pools and an excellently equipped gym. These waters emerge from the ground at a temperature of roughly 39°C and are particularly suited for beauty and fitness treatments, peripheral vasculopathy, mud therapy, balenotherapy, massages, rehabilitation therapy, inhalations and rhinogenous deafness.
Right in the heart of Tuscany, the Terme Antica Querciolaia is a spa centre built in the mid-19th century that has been restored and enlarged in recent years. The centre boasts three large bathing pools of varying temperatures, as well as a state of the art gym. The waters here have a salty taste and are rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, emerging from the soil at a temperature that varies between 39 and 40°C.
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