Water, water everywhere...
The healing thermal water in Abano Terme is said to originate from rainfall in the Alps which slowly travels underground picking up healing salso-bromo-iodic elements and heat in the process. When it finally gushes to the surface in Abano Terme it is a steamy 87 degrees and must be cooled down for use in the region's wellness centers.
The Hotel Trieste and Victoria is set in a tranquil 20,000-square-meter park and boasts four swimming pools filled with this mineral-enriched thermal water. Each pool is fixed at a different temperature ranging from refreshingly cool to therapeutic warm to bordering on hot. That means that there's a comfort level for everyone and plenty of room for a plethora of outdoor activities in this liquid playground.
Guests can try underwater bicycles to whip thighs into shape or submerge themselves in whirlpools and chat the time away. They can frolic in the cascading fountains, enjoy brisk hydromassage or workout in aqua classes designed to burn away "excess" chocolate gelato calories. Each person chooses what's best for them.When some quiet relaxation is in order, the plentiful pool lounges are comfortable, complimentary and always readily available.
Mini check-up in a posh bathrobe...
Before scheduling any type of wellness treatment, each guest dons their posh Frette terry robe and visits the health center's resident doctor for a mini checkup.
I met with Dr. Ettore Buonocore who was extremely respectful, answered all of my questions with care and advised on which therapies would be appropriate for me to try. From there, I sat down with one of the spa's programmers to work out my health and beauty treatments leaving with a combination of enticing western and eastern therapies to evaluate.
Fango mud therapy...
I learned that mud therapy is a specialty
of the region and is used to combat osteoarthrosis and osteoporosis; it's
also meant to ease joint movement and improve the body's overall circulation.
The spa's mud supply is brought in from the surrounding Euganean Hills
and stored for weeks in maturation tanks of "magical" thermal
water. It's this enhanced mud with all it's anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving
elements that is used in Fango therapy.
Daniella popped in to check on me every five minutes with a cheery "Comme va?" (How's it going?) "Bene?" (Good?). She gently wiped my perspiration-drenched face as the mud's heat penetrated my body. I jokingly remarked that I felt like a pampered Italian pot roast. Stage two involved being unwrapped, helped off the table and gently hosed down. Squeaky clean, I was left to relax in a warm thermal tub dreaming about all the delicious Italian goodies I would be served for lunch. Ah-h-h. So very lovely!
From Indian Ayurveda to Asian Shiatsu...
The very diverse massage program offered at Hotel Trieste and Victoria reflects the management's forward thinking, their desire to remain modern and up-to-date. Spa guests can sample from a cornucopia of both western and eastern therapies with techniques ranging from shiatsu to ayurveda, anti-stress to reiki, and foot reflexology to lympho-drainage. The two massages I tried were excellent and I wished I had had time for more.
Maurizio's full body massage was designed to stimulate circulation and joint mobility. This man accomplished in thirty minutes what someone less skilled probably couldn't do in an hour. Most impressive!
And my ayurvedic massage with Barbara was an absolute dream. She set the stage by darkening the room, lighting candles and introducing a soothing backdrop of Indian music. I was asked to identify the aromatherapy oil my body needed most - my choice was sandlewood for stress reduction. The intriguing massage began as Barbara explained her goal -- to balance my chakras (energy centres) and to energize my being. For one hour this woman worked her magic on my complete body ending with the dripping of warm oil onto my hair, then massaging my head and scalp thoroughly. I felt as if I was floating. This was one of the most delicious spa experiences I've ever had. Brava, Barbara!
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