Where to Find Italy’s Hot Springs and Spa Resorts
A visit to one of the country’s many thermal spas can be a welcome boost to the body and the mind. Here are six of the best:
Terme di Saturnia, Tuscany
From €210 a night, the Terme di Saturnia offers luxurious accommodation in addition to treatments, a thermal pool and selection of wellbeing programs focussed on relaxation and fitness.
Age-conscious visitors can take part in a program to improve their long-term health. Following a series of tests, experts prepare an ‘age evaluation’ and, based on the results, produce an individual course which aims to improve health and quality of life. Starting at just over €2000, the Limpha of Saturnia is not a cheap option but there are a range of other courses and treatments to suit more modest budgets.
Terme San Filippo
Set amongst the rolling hills of Tuscany, the Terme San Filippo in Siena is notable for both its location and spa facilities. In addition to the numerous treatments and thermal pool, it is also possible to enjoy a number of outdoor pursuits such as horse-riding, hiking and mountain-biking.
A thermal pool day pass for adults starts at €10. Bed and breakfast accommodation is also affordable with double rooms available from €96 per night.
Abano Terme, Padova
Situated in the heart of Veneto, near Padova, Abano Terme is home to some of the oldest spas in Europe. Its famous hot springs and miracle mud baths are noted for their healing properties; relieving stress, illness and chronic fatigue.
There is no shortage of hotels across Abano Terme. Some 5* options include the Abano Grand Hotel, Abano Ritz Hotel Terme, Hotel Terme Bristol Buja, Hotel Terme Due Torri and Hotel Terme President. The area also makes an ideal base for exploring the nearby Euganean Hills and local vineyards. There are a number of golf courses nearby.
Located on a peninsular on the southern tip of Lake Garda, Sirmione swarms with tourists in summer months. Enjoying the natural hot springs here is a good way to escape the crowds.
Hotels can be expensive but it is possible to purchase a day pass and simply enjoy the spa facilities at the Terme di Catullo or Vergil without the expense. From Sirmione, it is possible to explore other parts of Lake Garda by car or boat.
Situated in Tuscany, just over half an hour from Florence airport, Montecatini in separated into two parts. The higher section (Montecatini Alto) enjoys some breathtaking views although the spas are largely scattered around the lower part. With 230 hotels, the area attracts nearly two thousand visitors every year. The spas date back to the 14th century and the town has continued to attract a wealth of famous visitors, including royalty, for its thermal treatments and enviable shops.
Terme di Montecatini offers a wide variety of treatments, thermal therapies and massage treatments. Alternatively, the thermal pool costs just €10 for 50 minutes.
The island of Ischia in Italy’s Campania region forms part of a massive volcanic area and the natural hot water springs here maintain a 20-80 degree temperature all year round. Locals and tourists alike have enjoyed the healing properties of these waters and, in recent years, there has been a increase in hotels and resorts catering to this steady influx of visitors.
The Giardini di Poseidon is, arguably, the most attractive of the spas with far reaching views across the coastline. Alternatively, two nights at the Hotel Miramare starts from €289. Hotel San Giorgio is a cheaper option. Overlooking Maronti Beach, bed and breakfast accommodation here is available from €66. In addition to a thermal water pool with sea views, a new indoor thermal area opened at the Hotel San Giorgio in April 2010. Other facilities, free to all guests, include hydromassages, a sauna and turkish baths.
Ischia can be easily reached by a hydrofoil from Naples.