With happy green landscaped lawns, 30 quiet residences lining the property, and people who look like maybe they’ve been picking up the paper from the driveway in boxers there for 25 years, Terme di Sorano reminded me a little of a sunny retirement community in South Florida. Except for some reason “Tuscany” seems to have a bit more allure.

Here, the nearby natural springs that fill the pools with hot, healing water are different than the ones at the better-known Terme di Saturnia a few miles away. The thermal waters are nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and composed of magnesium, calcium and zinc. There’s no sulfur like in the pools at Saturnia, so no funky egg yolk smell to worry about. Therapeutic benefits range from vascular to dermatological.

I spent most of the day relaxing in the main pool, an inviting turquoise body of water which is connected to the pool house. Nobody was interested in swimming or water aerobics or doing anything in the pool other than sitting on a step or leaning on an edge and gazing directly at the sun. If you prefer a small private pool in the shade, which I almost suggested to one particular couple, you can follow a little path and bridge down into a woodsy area for a different hot spring experience.

Inside the “clubhouse” is a small spa with basic changing facilities. Nothing showy. And nothing too impressive… until my truly phenomenal massage from Stefano. Stefano used to work at Studio 57 Spa in NYC, one of our Spa Week participants that uses all Saturnia spa products. (They have a Saturnia spa deal going on with us right now.) Although it would be nice to have Stefano back in the big apple, he seems happy to have moved onto greener pastures and better cheese.

With a full menu of spa treatments, a tennis court, mountain bike rentals and horseback riding at your disposal, this seems like a pretty nice place to raise your children… or retire afterwards.

Upstairs from the spa you’ll find an eatery with the only air-tight packaged sandwiches I’ve seen on my trip, looking a little like from your frozen foods aisle. I opted for the caprese salad, which was just okay. It’s definitely not your ideal Italian food destination, but it serves as a holdover til whatever’s for dinner.

That is if you can pry yourself from the pool by then.

Thank you to my friends at Just In Toscana Tuscany travel agency for organizing this visit.

Today’s WIN ITALIA Question:

(To win LUG luggage packed with authentic souvenirs from Tuscany and Rome)

If you could retire anyplace on earth (and you can, right?), where would it be?

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