A thermal bath in the open air and completely free! When Otto, Elke’s husband set off on a demanding hike to Lago di Pilato with the group of hikers from Cupramontana, Elke went with them without further ado and, instead of hiking, went to relax in the thermal baths of Lu Vurghe. Elke defines herself a pleasure athlete and “there is no need for me to be too much torture”.
Lu Vurghe is located near Acquasanta Terme in the province of Ascoli Piceno. It is located on the famous Via Salaria, the salt road that leads from Porto d’Ascoli on the Adriatic Sea right across the Apennines to Rome. It is one of the oldest trade routes in Italy and was probably around already in 400 BC, founded by the Sabines and expanded by the Romans. Today it is known as the SS4 trunk road. The Romans had recognized the importance of salt as a means of preserving food and secured their monopoly, also on the salt route.
They set up a Roman post in Acquasanta Terme on the Tronto River, not least because of the healing, warm springs in the area. The first thermal pools were created here around 50 AD, because the Roman consul Lucio Munazio Planco had cured himself here after trying similar treatments in Tuscany in vain. The original thermal baths were in the small district of Santa Maria del Tronto at the end of Acquasanta, but they were destroyed by barbarians and later rebuilt in the center of Acquasanta. The remains of the original basin still exist in the open air and are freely accessible. And not only that, the local Speleological Club takes care of the maintenance of the facility on a voluntary basis, so that it is in very good condition!
After parking her car in Santa Maria del Tronto, Elke packed her swimwear and off she went. The way to the Lu Vurghe thermal baths is already signposted in the village.
Signs for Lu Vurghe enough parking spaces in Santa Maria
The beginning of the path seems a bit strange, because it leads past chicken aviaries. You may wonder if you’re on the right path but, yes, Elke thinks…”I meet people with flip-flops, that calms me down”.
The approximately 300 meter long footpath to the thermal baths continues steeply downhill, sometimes with steps, but the path is in good shape.
Shortly afterwards it goes further down through shady trees. At some point happy voices and calls are heard..maybe she’s already there!
There are quite a few people here, from families with children to older people with camping chairs. But it’s not overcrowded and she can immediately find a place in one of the natural thermal pools. The spring delivers healing water at over 30 degrees, which is sulphurous, has a low PH value and contains calcium, sodium, chlorides, iodides, bromides and bicarbonates.
Right next to the pool you can also swim in the Tronto River, which contains very clear water and is only slightly turquoise in color where the calcareous thermal water flows in.
A wonderful place in the middle of nature – absolutely relaxing!
If you want more comfort, you can of course also go to the “new” thermal baths in Acquasanta, and treat yourself to fango packs or massages in addition to the bath. Anyone who has a doctor’s prescription can also cure here. The thermal area is available to hotel guests and there are weekend pampering packages. But I’ve also read that there is a 90-minute ticket for entry for non-hotel guests for 48 EUR.