sights / Parks & gardens

Travertines information

Lonely Planet review

These saucer-shaped travertines (or terraces, as they're also called) wind sideways down the powder-white mountain, providing stunning contrast to the clear blue sky and green plain below. To protect the unique calcite surface, guards oblige you to go barefoot, so if planning to go down and continue out, be prepared to carry your shoes with you.

Although the ridges look rough, in reality the constant water flow keeps the ground mostly soft, even gooey in places, and the risk of slipping is greater than that of cutting your feet. (If still concerned, just leave your socks on). The constant downward motion can be hard on the knees. To walk straight down without stops takes between 30 to 45 minutes.

Although the terrace pools aren't particularly deep, you can get fully submerged if you try. If you don't have a bathing suit or shorts, or otherwise don't wish to get too wet, however, there are plenty of dry sections leading down. Also note that going at midday means crowds and sharp sunlight reflecting off the dazzling white surface; later afternoon is a better time to go.