The splendor of an ancient empire,
the romance that is unique to the country of art,
the spa experience in the midst of wonderful nature and all
other treasures compose the charm of Italy
As the birthplace of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, Italy has no shortage of great works of art and architecture, and it’s no surprise that it tops the world’s list of world heritage sites. However, what is often forgotten is that Italy is also a great travel destination with stunning scenery and wellness offerings. Lakes, mountains, seashores, spas, you can choose your favorite way to enjoy Italy.
Rome, a capital of glory
Maybe you are not interested in history and culture, but probably you will still make it the first stop of your journey, just like all other travelers.
The Colosseum, standing in the center of the city, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, is undoubtedly a landmark of Rome. It was the largest of its kind built by the Roman Empire, with a capacity of nearly 90,000 spectators. The central part is the performance area, and the outside is surrounded by layers of stands, about 60 rows. There were two underground storeys with tunnels, cells, and passages where the gladiators, workers, wild animals stayed, who were then lifted to the ground at the beginning of the performance.
Today, although only a part of the structure remains, it still delivers a mighty atmosphere and seems to be a constant reminder of the glorious history of Rome.
You can explore it on your own or join a guided tour to get more information and knowledge of it. Plus, guided tours may take you to certain areas that are not open to the general public.
In the vicinity of the Colosseum are located several other important sites of ancient Rome: the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Nero’s Domus Aurea (Golden House).
Directly across from the Colosseum entrance, Colosseo Metro Caffe inside the metro station offers various coffee, pizza, and appetizers. La Biga on Nicola Salvi Street has a curbside outdoor dining area. On the other side is the trendy Royal Art Café with a rooftop terrace, and on the corner of Capo d’Africa is Osteria Angelino, founded in 1899, serving traditional Roman cuisine. Want the best Italian ice cream? Then go to Gelateria Da Costanza, opposite the San Giovanni in Laterano.
Venice, a romantic town of canals
The best way to enjoy Venice – get lost in one of the city’s streets and alleys, strolling along the canals in search of the next secret corner. And no matter which charming alley you enter again, it’s always easy to return to the city landmarks – Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and the Grand Canal.
In addition to the elegant architecture, Piazza San Marco is affectionately known by locals as the living room of Venice, where people come to take a leisurely stroll, chat, drink coffee, and meet with friends.
Enjoying the canals on a gondola is a classic that visitors to Venice have been trying for centuries. Venice is a city of islands, with numerous canals forming the main streets of the city.
The Grand Canal is the most famous and largest of these waterways, traversing the city in an S-shape, connecting important locations such as Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, and the train station. Four bridges are built over the 3.8 km long canal. The gondolas shuttle back and forth across the canal, stopping at several points along the way. The Grand Canal is lined with magnificent palace buildings with gorgeous Gothic and early Renaissance-style façades.
The many small canals with their unique features are also well worth your time. Whether it’s a boat tour or a stroll along the river, you can feel the breath of time from the historic buildings.
Florence, the home of art
For art lovers, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence is a place that cannot be missed. Even if they are not art lovers, visitors to Florence will be drawn to this gallery to see at least some of the classics of the world, such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
What many visitors to the Uffizi Gallery may not realize is that this magnificent museum is part of a family’s private collection — and only part of that collection.
The Medici family were not only art collectors, but also great patrons of the arts, funding artists’ creations. The family’s last heiress donated the collection to Florence with the stipulation that it would only remain in the city.
As one of the most important art museums in the world, Uffizi Gallery houses an extremely valuable collection of paintings, and in addition, it is also a perfect representation of Italian Renaissance art.
Starting from Room 2 on the second floor, the works are arranged chronologically according to the age of their creation. After Room 13, they are displayed by schools, religion and country.
Lake Como, a picture of waters, villas and gardens
Surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, Lake Como in the Italian Lake District is dotted with charming towns and villas. Since Roman times, it has attracted royalty and nobility to come. A boat ride between the towns and the villas is a wonderful way to enjoy it.
There are many villas and gardens that are free to visitors, so why not get off the boat to enjoy them and continue the journey on the next boat? Many people set aside two days to explore the Y-shaped lake. The luxurious Bellagio Hotel located on a peninsula in the middle of the lake is a perfect place to stay for the night. On the western shore of the lake, you’ll encounter the small town of Tremezzina, while the southern shore is home to Villa Balbianello.
Before you leave, it’s a good idea to study the ferry schedule and plan your stops and return times. Of course, you can also just sit on the boat and let the picturesque scenery pass before you.
Trento: hot springs for wellness
“When you are here, let go of everything and just breathe deeply.” This is what people say about the northern Italian wine region of Trento. Nestled against the majestic Dolomite Mountains and with streams flowing throughout, Trento offers a diversity of wellness options. You can ride and hike in the natural park, enjoy spa treatments, explore charming villages, find artistic treasures, and embark on a healing journey of mind and body amidst picturesque scenery.
More than 10,000 springs bubbling in the mountains and forests make the place a unique hot spring spa destination. Trento is home to six quality and well-equipped spas, each with different efficacy of hot spring water and their own healing features.
The Terme di Rabbi is located in the heart of the Stelvio National Park, at an altitude of 1,200 m. The thermal waters of the spa are from the Cevedale mountains and are rich in carbon dioxide, which is very effective in the treatment of arthritis, vascular diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, problems related to the ear, nose and throat, and anemia.
The SPA offers “Park Therapy”, which combines spa therapy with barefoot walks in the forest, tree hugging and aerobic exercise. In the wellness area, you can experience Kneipp footpaths, herbal baths, as well as massages and beauty treatments. The products used in the spa, “Ferrum-C”, are made from local hot spring water and alpine plants harvested in the valley.
The Terme di Levico and Vetriolo is located within the Valsugana lake district, the first destination in the world to receive a certificate of sustainable tourism from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
The Acqua Forte spring of the Terme di Levico and Vetriolo originates from the Panarotta Mountains and is rich in iron, sulfate, copper and arsenic due to the mineral deposit area it flows through, which has a calming effect on the nervous system, relieves stress and anxiety, and helps with respiratory ailments and skin problems.
Terme di Levico and Vetriolo is dedicated to helping guests regain balance through various activities, such as lakeside yoga and nature meditation walks that guide guests to focus on their breath and body awareness. Other wellness services include massage, physical therapy, exercises, water aerobics and more.
The Terme Dolomia is backed by the majestic Dolomite Mountains and has the only sulphur hot spring in Trento, Alloch, with a constant flow of water into the SPA, rich in sulphur, sulphate, calcium, magnesium and fluorine.
Amidst the natural scenery, the SPA organizes a series of outdoor activities that benefit the body and mind like qigong, short distance mountain bike rides, etc., leading guests to deeply inhale natural energy and improve the immune system, as well as to better dialogue with themselves.
A few kilometers away from Pinzolo, Terme Val Rendena is located in a historic building surrounded by the landscape of the Brenta Dolomites. The iron-rich water from the Sant’Antonio thermal spring is beneficial for respiratory and vascular health, and the water can be drunk directly or inhaled as a spray or bath for healing.
The SPA has created the “Dolomites Nature Wellness” program, with activities designed around movement, breathing and meditation, such as barefoot hiking in the Adamello-Brenta Park or a natural Kneipp experience in Sarca River. Spa facilities include a sauna, hammam and pool.
The Terme di Pejo is another spa inhabiting the Stelvio National Park, 1400 meters above sea level, with thermal waters bubbling up from the foot of Vioz Mountain. What is special about this spa is that it is nourished by three different springs at the same time – The Fonte has good diuretic effect; Antica Fonte is rich in iron, which is suitable for people with anemia; Nuova Fonte features rich carbon dioxide content, which is beneficial to digestive system, liver function, and can help treat gallstones and hypercholesterolemia.
The spa treatments use medicinal plants and local alpine herbs to balance the mind and body. The treatments are complemented by meditation, yoga and breathing exercises, as well as sauna, ice waterfall, sunbathing and fitness experiences.
The Terme di Comano SPA is located in the hotel of the same name, just a few kilometers from Lake Garda, immersed in the peaceful atmosphere of the Ledro mountains and the Judicaria ecological reserve.
The hotel’s thermal water has a near-neutral pH, which is rare throughout Italy. The hot spring has been discovered and utilized in the ancient Roman period. The hotel has a renowned European skin center that focuses on solving skin problems and combating chronic airway inflammation. Wellness experiences include meditation sessions, sensory hikes, forest therapy, and an extensive spa treatment.
Beyond the spa experience, go deep into Trento, wander through the villages and mountains, and embrace nature. Trento has designed different themed hiking trails for hikers. “The Way of Peace” is a walk through WWI military routes, trenches and fortifications. “The Ledro Alps Trek” takes you into a nature reserve in the Ledro Mountains, filled with historical and natural wonders along the way. “The European Path E5” starts in Brittany on the Atlantic coast, crosses the Alps and ends in Venice. Along the way, you will pass by ancient villages, castles and vineyards.
Six of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” are located in Trento, ranging from medieval towns to alpine villages. For green travelers, Trento has many eco-friendly lodging options, with facilities made of natural materials such as wood, stone and glass for both comfort and minimal environmental impact.
Emilia Romagna: delicious SPA
Enjoy life with both gastronomy and SPA. The Emilia Romagna has creatively combined spa experience with the local gastronomy, and the ingredients for the treatments come from PDO and PGI certified local products of high quality.
Terme di Monticelli, with its “green” flavor, offers body treatments with fresh pumpkin, tomato, artichoke and beet extracts; facials with honey and hibiscus extracts; and body scrubs with sea salt. Gastronomic museums around the area are the Pasta and Tomato Museum, the Parma Ham Museum, Felino Salami Museum, Wine Museum …
Terme della Salvarola’s exclusive local flavors include Vignola cherries, Lambrusco wine, Balsamic balsamic vinegar, as well as chocolate, green apples, wild fruits, milk, pumpkin and more. The wine therapy here is worth a try. Gourmet museums in the vicinity include the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and the Museum of Delicatessen Meats.
Terme Felsinee and Terme San Luca, both in Bologna, offer hot beer facial and body treatments. Terme Felsinee also features aromatic hot oil massages, while Terme San Luca offers honey body scrubs in a Turkish bath. Nearby culinary sites include the Potato Museum, the Ice Cream Museum, and the Beekeeping Institute.
Thermae Oasis in Po Delta Park is a fruity spa: grapefruit, lavender, lemon and rosewood facials; pineapple, green tea and white tea body treatments. The nearby Eel Museum tops the list of food museums year-round.
Terme di Riolo’s antioxidant Sangiovese grape treatment is only available here! Other specialties include a body scrub exfoliation experience with coffee beans, brown sugar, honey, bran, fig seeds, grape leaf powder and more. There are also a number of museums around, a Chestnut Museum, a Fruit Growing Museum, an Olive Oil Museum, a Wine Museum, and an Herb Garden.
Highlights of Terme di Castrocaro include luxurious treatments with champagne and rose petals or vanilla and avocado. Floral and herbal massages and aromatic bio-sauna provide the ultimate relaxation experience. After your treatment, don’t forget to try the handmade Italian pizza at Casa Artusi.
Terme di Rimini, located on the beach, specializes in thalasso-therapy. A signature treatment is a marine body scrub that combines hummus, turmeric powder, ginger and seawater. The spa has a salt room where you can experience the benefits of pure sea salt inhalation therapy. The Cheese Museum nearby is sure to delight your palate.
Everyone can find something that appeals to them in Italy, be it the glorious history, great art, picturesque nature or wellness itineraries.