5 best places to go in Italy for wellness retreats

The concept of wellness in Italy isn’t new.

In fact, it’s ancient. Extending well past 1,500 years to the Ancient Romans whose passion for baths, public bathing and their freedom and flexibility with sumptuousness and nudity is now only too-well known.

Good things the modern day ‘Romans’ – the Italians – are keeping the tradition alive and well across the entire country and the famed Italian Rivieras where health and wellness spas, hotels and establishments don’t just exist and thrive, but have a clientelle of the most global scale.

Working with the Italian National Tourist Board, we’ve found a round-up of five of the best wellness retreats to consider when you’re next on the back of a Vespa, wondering which way the Mediterranean breeze should blow you…

Terme di SaturniaTuscany

Occupying 120 hectares among the rolling Tuscan hills, Terme di Saturnia is centred around legendary open-air thermal springs which have been flowing from the centre of the earth for more than 3000 years. The special ingredient here is Saturnia bioplancton, a naturally occurring ‘miracle’ ingredient in the 37.5°C water which leaves skin silky smooth and soft, as well as minerals said to help reduce blood pressure, soothe tired muscles, and help cleanse and detox the liver.

From massaging your shoulders in invigorating whirlpools to surrendering to treatments in the on-site medi-spa or beauty clinic, resident guests enjoy a personalised wellness program, while day visitors can hit the spa, hot springs, tennis court or geo-certified golf course for quick pick-me-up in a picturesque setting.

Palazzo FiuggiLazio

Is there any better setting for a rejuvenating wellness retreat than an Art Nouveau palace? Hosting wellness programs tailor made by a team of doctors – such as Longevity, Detox & Weight, even a post-covid Immune Boost option – Palazzo Fiuggi is the stuff Italian spa dreams are made of. Think natural hot springs, elegant Turkish baths overlooking the old town, post-soak relaxing in front of a fireplace or chilling after dinner in the elegant library, cinema, or billiards room.

Following a diagnostic assessment, guests receive a bespoke portfolio of medical services, wellness treatments and holistic therapies, as well as a program of light, healthy meals crafted by a 3-star Michelin Chef using sustainable organic and biodynamic ingredients from the on-site veggie garden and renowned local ‘terroir’.

Forestis DolomitesTrentino-Alto-Adige

Set above the clouds on Plose mountain in the South Tyrolean Alps, guests at Forestis, a carbon neutral compound overlooking the glorious Italian Dolomites, UNESCO World Natural Heritage, is the spot for wellness seekers looking for unique healing treatments, in this case based on the principle of the FORESTIS tree circle with the four trees, the four healing woods, the four healing stones, and the four tree frequencies.

From stone pine massages, spruce body scrubs, Celtic yoga, Wyda, and forest circle ceremonies to skiing, hiking, biking and swimming, guests are invited to connect with the healing powers of the stunning natural surroundings – and enjoy cuisine sourced from the forest and local farmers. Even the drinks in the bar are made using essences from the forest, including herbs, nuts, berries and barks – and each one looks like a work of art.

Le SirenuseCampania (Amalfi Coast)

Taking place just twice a year in Positano’s favourite celebrity haunt, Le Sirenuse resort, La Dolce Vitality is a week-long health and wellness retreat combining meditation, Pilates, vigorous hikes, yoga classes, afternoon stretching and restorative spa treatments…with views to die for.

The focus here is on fitness, weight loss and detoxification, fuelled by a vegan Mediterranean menu prepared by a Michelin-starred chef and consultations with a health and nutrition coach. Be warned, this is a no caffeine, no alcohol retreat, but the glorious lemon and olive groves, panoramic views, and hikes along ancient mule tracks into less discovered parts of picturesque Positano will keep you distracted and on task, while the pool, sauna and Turkish bath will help the legs recover at the end of each day’s activity.

COMO Castello del NeroTuscany

An easy drive from Tuscan favourites Florence and Siena, COMO Castello del Nero is a 12th-century Renaissance castle amidst the grounds of an historic estate, where the focus is on Michelin-starred dining, garden-to-table seasonal produce and a raft of wellness therapies courtesy of the on-site COMO Shambhala Retreat.

Surrender to a suite of Asian-inspired mind and body treatments overlooking the Tuscan hillside, soak in thermal suites, join a Pilates class on the grass or a yoga session in a sun-filled studio with glorious green views, detox in the steam room, hit the hiking paths around the estate, enjoy a hit on the tennis courts, or take a leisurely summer swim in the heated outdoor pool. With an ambience of laid back luxury, guests are welcome to do as much – or as little – as they like.

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