Inspired by visiting California health spas, Christina Newburgh created Italy’s first and only American-style wellness program in Tuscany. Located in Chianciano Terme, a town noted for medicinal mineral water therapy, Spa’Deus offers hydrotherapy treatments, aquacize, and lots of mineral water daily. This unique destination spa program teaches that doing away with old habits and learning to move freely are the keys to living well.
The main attractions at Spa’Deus, which sits atop the town’s highest hill, are walks in the scenic hills of Tuscany, with meals to match. Serious workouts are balanced by relaxation time, pampering treatments, and excursions to historic hill towns.
What makes Spa’Deus a true destination spa is the camaraderie that develops among the guests. Coming from many nations and backgrounds, they form a happy group of hikers. English is a common bond; the program attracts single women and men, a sprinkling of Milanese and Manhattan fashion models, London business executives, and couples from Rome . Personal attention by the multilingual staff, including American and European fitness trainers, helps newcomers learn where to go for treatments and exercise classes. Awaiting you are a sweatsuit, robe, and slippers, so the main thing to bring is walking shoes.
Every day starts with stretches and aerobics to get you revved up for an hour-long walk. Driven to backroads and private estates, you discover the real Tuscany. Vistas of vineyard-covered hills, ancient towns, and valleys covered in a patchwork of flowers and farms make each morning an adventure. Sometimes the hike ends at a country inn where the spa’s kitchen has sent breakfast.
Returning to the hotel in high spirits, the group splits into three aerobics studios, where Spinning sessions on stationary bikes, stretching, dance exercise, and FitBall training are scheduled. Everyone gets basic compressed air massage in pneumatic leggings to improve lymphatic circulation. Scheduling treatments from an extensive menu of beauty and skin-care services requires a visit with the spa programmer, which is charged to your account. Choices include ayurvedic massage synchronized by two therapists, massage with hot and cold stones placed on your body’s pressure points to relieve stress, rhythmic lomilomi massage from Hawaii, and water-borne massage. Several of these treatments are exclusive to Spa’Deus and are not available elsewhere in Italy. Others require attention by the resident doctor and nurse, such as a water cleansing of the colon or juice fast.
Getting weighed and measured daily encourages progress in shedding pounds (kilos here), which proves surprisingly easy if you stick to the spa menu. The dining room manager suavely offers choices: diet or maintenance, with pasta, eggs, and fish, or simply vegetarian.
Some meals include salad; most of the time you are served the posted menu, plus fruit drinks, herbal teas, or coffee substitutes. One day lunch might be at a farm villa, complete with piano player; another outing takes in a wine tasting. Tuscany couldn’t be better.
Accommodations: Thirty spacious rooms with private bathroom and balcony in three-story hotel furnished in an eclectic mix of antique rugs and contemporary Italian art. Amenities include robe and workout clothing. All rooms have TV, phone, air conditioning.
Meals: Three meals daily are served at communal tables. Breakfast can be fruit, an egg, multigrain bread, and plum jam. Lunch features include Tuscan baked chicken, salmon baked in a bread crust, and homemade pasta with tomato sauce. Salads, yogurt, herbal tea, and coffee substitute available at all times.
Facilities: Gymnasium with extensive selection of exercise equipment, large indoor swimming pool, climbing wall, spinal traction pool, underwater exercise equipment, hydrotherapy tubs, sauna, steam.
Services & Special Programs: Massage, shiatsu, reflexology, facial, thalasso bath, C02 bath to promote circulation, underwater massage bath, oxygen inhalation, yoga. Medical checkup, colonic, juice fast. Mud wrap, gommage, aromatherapy, ayurvedic massage, hot stone massage, lymphodrainage NIA (Neuromuscular Intergrative Action), rebirthing, Watsu, Tae Bo, Pilates floorwork.
What’s Nearby: Siena, Montepulciano.