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The best wellness centres in Europe

The best wellness centres in Europe

If you’re looking for Europe’s leading wellness centre, this could be the place for you. Italy’s best spas are spread across the country, from thermal waters near Rome to rejuvenating facials in Ischia. These are the best spas and wellness-focused hotels for indulgent relaxation in Italy.

Forte Village Sardinia

Best spa in Italy for: Thalassotherapy

Since its opening in 1970, Forte Village – a sprawling, hibiscus-clad citadel of nine hotels, pool villas and 21 restaurants – has attracted fitness enthusiasts to its Olympic programmes, from boxing to hockey and tennis. But legions are drawn to the unique Acquaforte Thalasso & Spa – the world’s only resort aimed at detoxifying, healing ailments and rejuvenating the body.

Six Senses Rome

Best spa in Italy for: urban wellness

The new Six Senses Rome, designed by Patricia Urquiola, sits under the gaze of centuries-old ruins in the heart of the city. The company’s first urban resort – housed in a former bank and cinema – is already luring site-weary travellers to the impressive Roman baths hidden in its marble depths. At 834 sq m, it’s not the largest spa in the area. Still, it’s a truly impressive place, with its milky limestone thermal baths conveying the aquatic luxury of ancient Rome, from the 40-degree tepidarium to the 10-degree frigidarium, surrounded by mythological mosaics and artfully illuminated amphorae.

Forestis Dolomites

Italy’s best spa for: adults only

When owners Stefan and Teresa Hinteregger thought of opening their bosky, nature-focused, adults-only retreat atop Mount Plose in the Dolomites, they knew what they didn’t want. “Everybody’s looking at Asian spas in luxury hotels. We wanted to celebrate the locality,” Stefan explains over deft plates of polenta with butcher’s broom and chanterelle garnish. Here, that means affluence based on dense larch and spruce forests, natural springs, forest herbs and wildflowers such as sweet buckthorn and lady’s-thistle.

Fiuggi Palace

The best spa in Italy for: feeling fitter

Fuiggi’s thermal waters are legendary; their healing powers are said to restore the kidneys and balance the immune system. They’ve been soaked up by popes, princesses and even Michelangelo. Today, both sipping water and soaking in the thalasso pools are still encouraged at this super smart, marble-clad spa, just a 50-minute drive from Rome. Comprehensive week-long programmes cover most modern ailments: Complete Life Rewind (ageing), Optimal Weight (bloating), Deep Detox (excess living) and Immuno Boost (stress). Healing therapies range from sound healing to virtual reality workouts that supercharge core strength. The gym, set up in the former ballroom, is a beauty spot overseen by the extraordinary Armando Vinci, a sports and postural coach who may discover that back pain is a stomach problem.

Merano Palace

Italy’s best spa for recovery from respiratory diseases

The late dietician Dr Henri Chenot is often described as the founding father of the wellness movement, and his fairytale palace, founded 50 years ago, has lost none of its magic. The first European health spa to blend Eastern and Western medicine, loyal medical director Dr Massimiliano Mayrhofer (20 years of service and counting) can intuitively read people’s problems in their pulse. Guests are also screened using a battery of high-tech diagnostic tests that analyze everything from vascular health to posture that form the blueprint for personalized wellness programs based on the pillars of a clean diet, lymphatic drainage and exercise.

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