Lu Vurghe

Useful Information

Location: Frazione S. Maria, 102, 63095 Paggese-Santa Maria AP.
(42.779694, 13.413842)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Asa Speleoclub C.E.A., Frazione S. Maria, 102, 63095 Paggese-Santa Maria AP, Tel: +39-377-994-2009.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Lu Vurghe is the name of a karst spring, which produces sulfuric thermal water like most springs in the vicinity. That's why it is called sorgenti sulfuree (sulfur spring). The spring was prepared for easy bathing by a collaboration of the Idrea cooperative with the ASA Speleo Club Center of Acquasanta Terme. It is an inciative to rediscover and revive the ancient Roman path, where the waters of the sulfur springs mix with the Tronto river. There is a path along the river which shows gorge-like walls and several springs, but it's also possible to go directly to this spring. Bathing is explicitly allowed!

The spring is very small, and the production is not very big, but it's big enough to fill a pool 3 x 3 m and about 1 m deep with 30 °C sulfuric water. The rebuilt pool revives an ancient pool from the Roman era. It is located only 5 m from Rio Tronto, the overflowing water from the pool flows directly into the river, where the blueish spring water mixes with the green water of the river.

Karst springs with thermal water are actually quite rare. Typically, karst is rather close to the surface, as it is the underground drainage system of an area. Thermal anomalies caused by volcanism typically lie much deeper, and if sulfur is in the spring, there must be a source of the sulfur in the form of a rock below the limestone, which contains sulfur and the water circulates through this rock. These are a lot of requirements, and that's the reason why such springs are rather rare, except in areas like Italy where volcanism is very close to the surface.

Go to Frazione Sta. Maria, the small suburb in the north of Acquasanta Terme, from SS-4 turn left and follow the signs to the Associatione Speleologica Acquasanta (ASA). The road ends at their clubhouse, park here and follow the comfortable path down to the river.