Sicilian natural hot waters are phenomena related to the volcanic activity. There are 60 natural places with sources of hot sulfuric water, each one with ancient Greek or Roman origins. Arabs used hot waters too, after conquering Sicilily in VIII Ceuntry. In fact, Sicily is one of the biggest centres of natural hot springs in Europe, with only 9 of them still functioning and being in use (mainly because of insufficient infrastructure around the rest of them). Some of these, like the Segestian Hot Waters close to Alcamo, are natural places, hidden in the wild landscape of the Natural Reserve. Others have only underground sources, like that one in Ali Terme close to Taormina. There is a whole infrastructure built around such places, with pools, installation of running water and sewerage system.
In the 1950’s, when the Italian government introduced the law which allowed to use the restricted “Terme” name by all the cities and country sides having a natural hot source, we could find them in the whole Italy, as it was all about exploiting their natural treasure.
Porrettta Terme – Bologna
Caramanico Terme – Abruzzo
Telese Terme – Campania
Lamezia Terme – Calabria
Castel San Pietro Terme, Castrocaro Terme – Emilia Romagna
Santa Cesarea Terme – Puglia
Abano Terme – Veneto
Arta Terme – Friuli
Acquasanta Terme – Marche
Acqui Terme – Piemonte
Chianciano Terme – Toscana
The hot waters in Segesta close to Alcamo called by Arabs “Kalat al-Phini” were almost the witness of the battle between Garibaldi and the Bourbon forces on 15 of May 1860. It was in Calatafimi, close to this place, where Garibaldi uttered his famous “Qui si fa l’Italia o si muore”*[IT]
It was also precisely here, where Garibaldi, supported with Sicilian volunteers in red skirts, won the first battle on Sicilian island.
*”Here you can make Italy or die”