Journey Woman


A Spa Treasure Close to Venice

Evelyn Hannon

Journeywoman always loves discovering new and different pampering spas anywhere in the world. This year, via a tourism event called "Veneto for You, 2003," I got my first hint of an elegant, Italian wellness center tucked away in northeastern Italy. I was intrigued.

Held in Venice, the aim of "Veneto for You" was to enlighten attendees about a thriving tourism region that includes such well-known attractions as Venice, Verona, Padua, the green Euganean Hills, the hot springs of Abano and Cortina d'Ampezzo. I was especially interested with what I learned about Abano Terme, a nearby spa town within the Veneto region. After the workshop I set out on my own to experience first-hand one of the town's highlights -- The 5-star Grand Hotel Trieste and Victoria. I was very well rewarded for my curiosity.


Romans bathed here 2000 years ago...

Imagine a lovely little unspoiled Italian destination where the major industry is based on mud therapy; a spot that's mecca for savvy Europeans and informed North Americans looking for a restorative spa holiday. Now picture a community with lots of green spaces, one that hasn't become overly touristy but moves first and foremost to the rhythm of its older population. Welcome to Abano Terme, a spa resort where 2,000 years ago the Romans came for their recuperative baths and where, today, ancient thermal springs containing an abundance of healing minerals still abound.

 Location, location, location...

The best way to describe Hotel Trieste and Victoria's tourist-friendly location is by explaining that it's a mere forty minutes by train from Venice and closer still to the town of Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. How perfect! A stay at this resort spa hotel could serve so many different purposes. I found the possibilities a joy to contemplate.

To begin, Hotel Trieste and Victoria could become a perfectly restful haven after a hectic hustle-bustle holiday in Venice. In this case you'd never need to leave the spa's restful premises; you'd be content to loll about and be pampered like the regal JourneyQueen that you are.

Are you a golfer looking for new challenges and vistas? Just check with the spa's concierge and you'll be pointed in the right direction. Some of the best golf courses in Italy are located very close by.

Or a JourneyWoman could use this spa hotel as her laid-back headquarters for sightseeing in the Veneto region. How fabulous! Health and beauty treatments in the early morning then, armed with a picnic lunch from Hotel Trieste and Victoria, one hops a train or bus to explore either Venice, Verona or the university town of Padua. With good planning you could easily make it back to the spa in time for a healthy and delicious, beautifully served, dinner. That's exactly what many hotel guests did each day and it worked perfectly for them.


Old world charm...

Hotel Trieste and Victoria is an historic site dating back to 1913 and now completely and lovingly restored. Think old world charm, elegance and sophistication. Imagine Venetian glass chandeliers, woven carpets, antiques and works of art in the lobby and guest room corridors. With service that is always extremely polite as well as helpful, it is "oh-so-easy" for a woman to relax in these nurturing surroundings.

Rooms (each with their own balconies), are beautifully appointed - never ostentatious - but with a flair that continually reminds you that you're, indeed, in Europe. My room faced the town's pedestrian promenade which was a lovely bonus. I so enjoyed sitting out in the warm evening air watching folks below delighting in their evening stroll, visiting the gelateria a short distance away.

Early mornings were absolutely still. Heavy drapes shut out all sound and light and 7:00 a.m. vacuuming by over-zealous staff was unheard of. In fact, I needed a wake-up call in order not to sleep through breakfast.

Fango, Ayurveda, Shiatsu and more...

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