Combining a vacation in Italy with some pampering in a spa or wellness resort is always a great idea, it's a great way to shrug off the stress of all that shopping and sightseeing! Italy as a country is very big on the concept of health, fitness, beauty and wellness and you will find that even relatively small towns have at least one facility devoted to the body beautiful. This Made-in-Italy.com guide to spas and wellness will give you a few ideas for choosing the best places to spoil yourself.
Italy heavily promotes its spa resorts and there are many hotels offering luxury packages which include spa treatments. Because Italy is a geologically active country it has lots of hot springs, known as sorgenti termali. There are active and dormant volcanoes too which provide mineral rich mud for various health and beauty treatments. You can choose to visit a spa town or go to a hotel or purpose built resort which offer health and beauty treatments to their guests.
A Little History
Originally the real meaning of the term “spa” was a place offering a therapeutic water treatment from spring water rich in a certain kind of mineral. This water can be from a hot or cold spring and often the place where it is found has been used by people for bathing or healing for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Although people gathered at these places to drink the water, or even to worship near it, the European concept of a spa resort – a purpose built place for not only drinking but also bathing in the water – really became popular in the mid-19th century. Since then, the concept of a spa has expanded to include mind, body and spirit and now there are whole holiday complexes devoted to all kinds of treatments and courses from aromatherapy to meditation. Italy has embraced the whole spa and wellness idea with a vengeance, so it's the least you can do to try a treatment, isn't it?
Italy's Spa Towns and Resorts
If you see the word "Bagni" or "Terme" in a town name then you know that it is or was a spa. The Italian word benessere means well-being, so watch out for that too. Tuscany is perhaps the region most blessed with spas and there are apparently two million “thermal tourists” a year to the region, according to the Tuscany tourist board, who call spas “the new tourism of the 21st century.” Among the best in Tuscany are:
Often called the best spa town in Italy.
Winner of the World Travel Awards Italy's Leading Spa Resort 2011.
Even if you don't actually book a stay in a spa town, there's sure to be one nearby, or your hotel will probably offer a wellness package or a list of treatments. If it doesn't – book in somewhere else!