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6 wild swimming spots in Tuscany

Written on : 21 December 2022
By : Steve Dunne
Forego the beach! Make the most of Italy's gorgeous rivers and lakes and indulge in a wild swim

Forego the beach! Make the most of Italy's gorgeous rivers and lakes and indulge in a wild swim

If you're visiting Tuscany in the high season, you'll want to escape the summer heat. As a perfect alternative to Tuscany's remote and busy beaches, we present our top 6 inland swimming spots that only locals know about. These beautiful natural waterfalls and clear pools should convince you to book your next holiday in Tuscany!

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NORTHERN TUSCANY

NORTHERN TUSCANY

  • Lake Bilancino
​Escape the sweltering heat of Florence with Lago di Bilancino in Tuscany. Located just off the Barberino di Mugello motorway exit, this oasis of beauty and tranquillity is within easy reach of many of Tuscany's main towns, half an hour from Florence and close to Pisa. You can refresh yourself and enjoy a day on the shores of the largest artificial lake in Tuscany. There are beaches, a nature reserve, water sports, good places to eat, all in an enchanting setting. The perfect location for a spot of wild swimming!
 
 

NEAR AREZZO

  • Canto Alla Rana Park

The Canto Alla Rana park is well known to the locals and is an hour's drive from Arezzo. It is easily accessible from the municipality of Stia and is just a few minute's walks from the town center. Recently renovated, children will love its animal sculptures which seem to be straight out of a storybook: between giant frogs, wild boars, and gnomes, some are very well camouflaged in the groves and not so easy to discover! You can cool off in one of the many clear waters of its hidden natural pools.
Within the park, discover the Adrenalina adventure park, with the possibility of acrobranche and archery!

NEAR LUCCA

NEAR LUCCA

  • The "Torrente Lima" or blue lagoon

Famous for its extraordinarily crystal-clear waters, the Torrente Lima has its source near Abetone. In bygone days, the Lima River served human activity, feeding the old mills, fields, paper mills, and hydroelectric plants. Nowadays, the Lima River (or "La Lima" as the locals call it) has become an attraction for nature lovers, fishing, and river activities such as rafting, kayaking, canyoning, aqua trekking and stand up paddle. Nearby you will also find the Canyon Park, an adventure park ideal for viewing the waters of the blue lagoon from above. Another great spot to experience the thrill of wild swimming in Italy.
The Torrente Lima and the Canyon Park are located along the SS12 road, between Bagni di Lucca and Lima.

IN CENTRAL TUSCANY

  • The Masso delle Fanciulle

In the province of Pisa, there is a natural paradise with turquoise waters that deserves to be better known: the Masso delle Fanciulle, located in the Berignone Park, between Pomerania and Volterra. Legend has it that the name Masso delle Fanciulle (Rock of the Maidens) is linked to the story of three young girls who, to escape the advances of a gentleman from the neighbouring village, threw themselves into the water from this rock and drowned. Another legend speaks of the place as a secluded spot where the girls came to bathe away from prying eyes.
To reach this corner of paradise, you must drive to the Berignone mill, ford the stream and join a path that will lead you to the banks of the river.

IN THE CITY OF SIENA

  • Solaia, Quarciglione

Nestled in the heart of a lush forest, you can swim in these small waterfall-fed natural pools and even dive from a small artificial stone springboard. If you continue walking for about 100 metres along the river you will come to a small beach surrounded by large rocks. Looking to work up a sweat before heading for a swim? This is also an ideal place for hikers as there are many paths through the forest.
GPS coordinates: 43.0834, 11.2561

6 wild swimming spots in Tuscany

  • Wild Swimming in the Merse River in Brenna 

The river Merse, located near the village of Brenna south of Siena, is part of the Alto Merse Natural Park. In summer, this part of the river is busy, so we recommend a short walk along the river to an isolated castle in the scrubland, named Castiglion che Dio sol sa- literally "Castle that only God knows". The water here is clean and safe for children due to the absence of current and the presence of many shallow areas.

To reach this swimming spot, enter the village of Brenna on your GPS. From Brenna, follow the signs for "Fiume Merse", and park near the concrete bridge, where you will see many people enjoying an idyllic swim.