All across Italy there are fantastic thermal spas where you can rest, relax and improve your overall health. Taking a thermal spa in Italy dates back to at least the days of the Roman Empire when public bathing was a central part of social life and maintaining good personal health.
In modern Italy, thermal spas are still very popular with locals, tourists and Expats; and many people schedule in a regular treatment at their nearest spa. While you’re in Italy you must try to visit one of the world famous thermal spa sites where you can pamper yourself, rejuvenate, freshen up and help to heal those nagging aches and pains.
What Is A Thermal Spa?
Natural thermal spas bubble out from underground with the waters sometimes reaching temperatures as high as 80 Degrees Celsius. The water is often rich in nutrients and minerals which offer a whole range of healing and wellness benefits; something which attracts visitors from all over the surrounding region.
Of course, around these thermal spas you can often find modern facilities that utilize the water to provide treatments, relaxation and pampering for their guests. These thermal spa facilities vary hugely, with some of best offering on-site accommodation, restaurants and other leisure activities as part of their packages which means that you can stay for a luxurious getaway or just visit for the day.
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A thermal spa resort or hotel is a type of facility that provides you with heated baths, both dry and wet, as well as cold pools, saunas, showers and other health and relaxation activities. Thermal spa facilities are known to have a whole range of health benefits that arise from the contrast between the extreme heat and the cold of the different bathing stations as well as the naturally occurring minerals in the water.
What Do You Do At A Thermal Spa?
There’s no set way to do a thermal spa treatment but many resorts will have advice and tips on the best ways to utilize their facilities. This means that even if you’ve never tried a thermal spa treatment before you shouldn’t worry about giving it a try!
However, a good general tip is to go from hot to cold and then relax. This way your body will detox and defoliate through sweating in the hot sauna and then clean off and freshen up in the cold water. Then, you can relax in a warm pool or in one of the on site lounges.
You can repeat these steps as many times as you like during a single day or the course of your visit to a thermal spa. As a rough guideline you should allow yourself at least 2 hours to enjoy your thermal spa treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of A Thermal Spa?
There are many benefits of visiting a thermal spa that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and in any physical condition.
- Soothes muscle aches and pains.
- Helps to detox and cleanse your skin.
- Promotes overall blood flow and boosts your circulation.
- Reduces your levels of stress and helps you to relax.
- Lowers inflammation throughout your body.
- Makes you feel fresh, rejuvenated and revived.
- Can be used to help you to recover from sporting injuries and accidents.
Best Thermal Spa Locations In Italy.
The following are the best places in Italy for thermal spas.
Thermal Spas In South Tyrol.
Merano, in South Tyrol, borders Switzerland and Austria and is home to 3 different linguistic groups; the Italians, the Ladins and the German speakers. All of these cultures have enjoyed the benefits of thermal spas for many generations and consequently there are some wonderful spa resorts to visit in the area.
The secret of the Merano spas is the slightly radioactive water which contains radon. This is known to have positive health benefits for people who bathe in it and is one of the main selling points for the region’s famous spas.
The Merano spas are hugely popular resorts where the unique waters are said to particularly improve osteoarthritis and other muscular conditions. Located in the beautiful town of Merano, the Terme Merano hotel spa and resort is a seasonal facility that has 25 bathing pools, a range of saunas and a well equipped fitness center and gym. If you’re in the area then it’s certainly worth a visit where you can stay in the hotel accommodation, eat in the restaurant and pamper yourself in the spa facilities.
Thermal Spas In Veneto.
For thermal spa holidays it’s hard to beat Veneto which has numerous spa resorts that include baths, saunas, mud treatments, fitness centers and massage rooms. The best known thermal spas in the area are the Abano Terme and the Terme di Montegrotto.
The Terme di Montegrotto thermal spa is only a few km from Padua and nestled in the Euganean Hills Regional Park. The water emerges from the mountains at very high temperatures and is said to help to treat chronic asthma, sinusitis and other common respiratory complaints. The mud treatments in the spas are claimed to benefit the skeletal and muscular system.
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Abano Terme, close to Padua, has been a spa resort for hundreds of years and was even used by the Romans as long as 2000 years ago! The water, which gushes from the rocks at temperatures of up to 80 Degrees Celsius, has a special and unique microflora that is extremely healing.
Abano Terme, unlike many other natural spas, has its own onsite accommodation which makes it ideal for those who want to spend a few weeks at one of the town’s resorts to really rest and recuperate. This includes several hotels in the area which have onsite spas and wellness centers, including, most notably the Hotel Spa Venezia.
Thermal Spas In Tuscany.
Tuscany has numerous thermal spas but one of the best is Terme di Montecatini in Pistoria. The beautiful, picturesque town has spas which are famous for treating chronic liver, intestinal and digestive health conditions. While you’re staying in Terme di Montecatini you can also benefit from massages, saunas, mud baths and a whole range of other beauty treatments.
The town of Terme di Montecatini has many great spa resorts that include, among others, the Tettuccio and the Hotel Columbia. However, there are other sites in Tuscany which also have excellent thermal spa waters that you can visit.
In Siena, the Terme di Petriolo spas are set amongst a truly fairy tale landscape where ancient thermal baths have been in constant use since the first spa was established in the 15th Century. While you’re in Terme di Petriolo you can even use free stone basins that collect the water alongside the town’s river! The waters in this area are said to be able to help to treat respiratory conditions and circulation disorders. However, if you want to stay in a lovely resort the Mercure Petriolo Siena Terma Spa Hotel is one of the best in the region.
Thermal Spas In Abruzzo.
Located in central Italy, Abruzzo sits between the ocean and the highest peaks of the Apennine mountains. There are many thermal spas in Abruzzo but one of the most important spas in the region are the Terme di Popoli. These spas are sourced from mineral rich water and are famous for their healing properties.
These waters are high in magnesium, sulfur and calcium, all of which are great for rehabilitation and recovering from injuries. Another renowned treatment in Terme di Popoli involves combining mineral rich muds with the water to soothe and regenerate the skin.
The most popular hotel and resort in the area is the nearby Santacrose Hotel Ovidius where you can relax in the lap of luxury while pampering yourself in the on-site spas as well as take pleasant day trips to the surrounding attractions that include the Temple of Ercole Curino and the Museum of Art in Sulmona.
Thermal Spas Of Aosta Valley.
Located amongst the picturesque Italian Alpines, Aosta Valley has many spas that you can visit to enjoy a relaxing and healing holiday. The region’s spas offer you the benefits of the treatments, the superb Alpine scenery and the mineral rich waters of the mountains.
There are several main spas in the area but the most famous are the thermal spas of Pre-Saint-Didier. The spas in the town are fed by waters that flow down from the mountains, including the legendary Mount Blanc, and burst out from their underground channels at around 36 Degree Celsius.
One of the top resorts in Pre-Saint-Didier is the QC Terme Montebianco Hotel which offers spas, pools, saunas, specialist treatments and luxury accommodation amongst the stunning mountain scenery.
The Best Luxury Spa Resorts In Italy.
As well as the thermal spa towns Italy is also awash with some of the best spa resorts in Europe! These offer luxury treatments and a wide variety of packages to suit all budgets.
Castel Monastero, near the Tuscan town of Siena, is one of Italy’s premier luxury spas that helps their guests to improve their health, rejuvenate their mind and body as well as recover from accidents and injuries.
The Castel Monastero offers beauty treatments, acupuncture, osteopathy and somato-emotional release treatments. The spa also offers a range of treatments for women that help them with everything from aesthetic to emotional personal health and wellness. Among the spas most popular treatments include detoxes, slimming programs and anti-aging techniques.
Located next to the beautiful ocean shores of Capri, the Capri Palace Resort is a large hotel with superb facilities that is regularly visited by celebrities and athletes, including, amongst others, Roger Federer and Christiano Ronaldo.
The hotel’s spa is staffed by over 30 physicians as well as beauticians, dieticians, gourmet chefs and therapists. This amazing spa has treatments to help you improve all aspects of your health and wellness with an emphasis on fitness and recovery from sports injuries and accidents. Treatment packages range in price from under $100 right up to several thousand dollars for more extensive treatments.
This beautiful hotel and spa resort is located in Lacco Ameno, Campania, and provides health and wellness treatments for its guests including intensive 1 week programs that incorporate medical and therapeutic techniques. The spa offers a superb range of treatments that range from single day programs right up to week long courses.
The longer intensive treatments include meals, thermal showers, scrubs, massages and even lymphatic drainage, herbal treatments and the use of the facility’s pools and baths. The L’Albergo Della Regina Isabella is staffed by fully licensed doctors and therapists so you can be sure that you’ll be in good hands during your stay.
Is There A Thermal Spa Etiquette?
People of all ages and all walks of life visit thermal spas to relax, improve their overall wellness and to treat a wide range of physical and medical ailments. However, there is a certain etiquette that should be respected during your time at a thermal spa so that none of the other guests feel uncomfortable and you won’t raise any eyebrows.
If you’ve booked a session at a thermal spa then it’s a good idea to arrive a little early. This is because you may have to complete a health questionnaire before your treatment can begin and will also give you plenty of time to relax before your session begins.
Some spas will provide you with a bag for your visit that will include a robe, a towel, bottled water and footwear. However, you should always bring your own swimsuit because although you can sometimes purchase one in some facilities they might not have the right sizes so it’s safer to bring your own. While you’re at the spa you should wear your robe in public areas and keep your bathing suit on at all times.
A good tip to make the most of your experience is to leave your phone in the changing room locker so you don’t get distracted during your treatment! Another good piece of advice is to avoid having a large meal before your treatment starts. However, you should try to be well hydrated before the session starts because the thermal baths and saunas can be very dehydrating.
Lastly, if you’re visiting a spa for a few hours you can have the facilities to yourself if you go during their quiet times, such as on a Sunday evening!
Italy’s Thermal Spas Are Among The Best In The World.
Located amongst some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery in Europe, Italian thermal spas are hugely popular with locals, visitors and tourists alike. While you’re in Italy you can stay in a thermal spa town where there will be several main spa facilities or else you can go to one of the hotel spas which offer a great selection of programs and treatment options while you’re a guest.
However you decide to enjoy a thermal spa though you can be sure that you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated after the treatments. There are also many health benefits that you can benefit from while you’re at a spa which you can’t get any other way.
So whether you just want a bit of ‘me time’ to pamper yourself and relax or you want to aid your recovery from aches and pains then there’s no better place to visit than one of the many thermal spas in Italy.