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My running objective today is to go to Macerata Feltria to visit the Pitinum Thermae, getting in ‘touch’ with the local water sources. The name of both the town and the Terme refer to its Roman past. The Terme in Macerate Feltria takes its water from the natural sulfur spring.

In general, I love public baths, especially when build around a natural water source or completely in natural setting. My favorites so far include Jemez springs, New Mexico, kulttuurisauna in Helsinki, where you plunge in the Baltic Sea to cool off, and the tidal hot springs of Yakushima that are incredible!

I pack my things and am ready to go. Silvia told me it is about 8km, but It includes running up the next high hill and I hope I can run back after bathing. I underestimate myself. It takes me less than 45 minutes to get there and I spent about the same time in the pools. One is a hot sulfur Jacuzzi, and the other a cooler herbal ‘bubble’ bath for the legs. It is interesting that in mainland Europe many of these baths are frequented by older or injured people, as part of the health system. I enjoy the hot sulfur, and the old ladies, and finish my time with some herbal water to invigorate the legs.

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It is still early, I have a coffee and decide to run to the next body of water, the artificial lake of Mercatale (Lago di Mercatale), where I hope to have my lunch break, an maybe another dip. I cross the dam and get on the unpaved road along the lake, but there is no place to reach the lake. The boat dock/recreation area is still under construction. Lunch will have to be up in Sassocovare. I climb up, have another coffee, my banana, some frutta secca and enjoy the view from a park bench under a tree, overlooking the lake.

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Time to return, I follow the valley road to Bronzo and run back to ‘my hill.” It is hot and finish my water.