In a grove of plane-top pine trees and cypress, the thermal springs of Saturnia have attracted health-seekers since the Etruscans built temples. Scientific cosmetology and thermal medicine enrich the spa experience at the newly expanded Terme di Saturnia Resort. Harmonizing fire, earth, and water, this is a place of mystical energy.
he rolling hills of the Maremma region in southern Tuscany give little hint of volcanic springs or a modern resort hotel. As you leave the autostrada, about two hours from Rome , the earthy feel of old Toscana makes you breathe a sigh of relaxation.
Hotel guests are received in an ancient stone building. From the lobby bar you can see a lake-size swimming pool and vast lawns where the waters cascade into stone-walled baths and pools.
As you enter the sulfurous water from the canopied ease led to the development of Saturnia cosmetics and skin-care treatments. Rising from volcanic springs deep within the pool, this trademarked bio-alga is blended with mineral-rich mud for facials and body wraps. The water bubbles up at a constant 98.6 degrees (37 degrees Celsius)— the same as your body temperature—working its soothing magic on a tired traveler. Getting a Watsu treatment in one of the small outdoor pools is like being in the womb of Mother Nature. Or try the new Thermalion capsule, which combines steam and heat.
The resort can be a busy place on a warm day. Hundreds of day-trippers take up spots on the lawn. Spa appointments have to be made early. (A new building and swimming pools have more than doubled facilities, however.) Programs range from revitalizing an aging complexion to improving the appearance of sensitive skin. Best bet: Day spa package includes your choice of four hydrotherapy treatments, plus free use of pool.
Saturnia doesn’t stint on food. Diet, you are informed, means knowing how to live well. A nutritionist is on staff to evaluate your body structure and energy needs, and special diets are served to guests seated as far as possible from the copious buffets. Avoiding wine or alcohol, though, takes self-control. Most of the diners are here to enjoy Tuscany’s bounty of fresh produce, game, and pasta. After dinner there is espresso, followed by drinks and dancing in the lounge, where bar manager Umberto has a special menu of nonalcoholic cocktails.
A morning jog with the Italian-American fitness team helps work off calories and gives you a chance to learn about the area’s sports, wineries, olive oil makers, and cultural attractions. The hilltop town of Saturnia is a short distance from the resort. Saturnia Country Club provides horseback riding, fishing, archery, meals, and lodging. But the waters will draw you back.
Accommodations: 140 rooms including ten suites in three buildings, plus nearby lodges with sixty-five rooms. Standard rooms in the original hotel are compact, have modern furniture, full-size bed, bathroom with shower. Luxury junior suites in new wing feature fine wooden furniture, designer fabrics in luminous colors. All are air-conditioned, have satellite TV and VCR, minibar, telephone. Amenities include robe, slippers, and cotton workout clothing.
Meals: Extensive breakfast buffet included with room rate. Villa Montepaldi restaurant table d’hote fixed-price menu includes pasta, fish, and meat courses, antipasto buffet, and dessert.
Facilities: Institute of Scientific Cosmetology, new well-being center, thermal pools, indoor swimming pools, sauna, steam room, hydromassage, whirlpools, gymnasium with exercise equipment. Golf driving range, all-weather tennis courts (lit at night), bocce, mountain bikes.
Services & Special Programs: Seven-day fitness and anti-stress program. Program includes medical checkup, massage, multijet showers. Treatments booked individually include massage, Watsu, shiatsu, LaStone therapy, fango, reflexology, Vodder manual lymphatic drainage, aerosol inhalations, facial with glycolic acid, dermatology microsurgery, laser epilation, body gommage, manicure, and pedicure. Fitness classes and personal training, yoga, and postural gymnastics charged per session.
What’s Nearby: Perugia, Pitigliano, Tyrrhenian Sea beach resorts, Siena.