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Terme di Saturnia -- An Italian Spa Experience
la dolce vita (the sweet life)...

It was a pleasure to get up early...

farmerEach morning Rocco the lean, good natured athletic director led a walk in the vicinity of the spa. I never missed one. This wasn�t exercise; it was a wonderful scenic walking tour. Think winding country roads, old stone farmhouses, farmers bringing in the hay and in the distance, high on a hill, our destination -- the ancient hilltop town of Saturnia. We arrived there just as the church bells were tolling the hour. It was an experience I won�t soon forget.

While I chose to loll on a lounge and read in my spare time, there were many other guests taking full advantage of the fitness program at the spa. Rocco and his team offer something for everybody from early morning water classes to light aerobics to Sit and Be Fit taught in chairs and described as �fun and effective for those who exercise rarely.�

This is Italy...

One of the very big pluses for non-Italians who visit this Italian spa is that it is exactly that -- an Italian spa. All activities and lectures are in Italian and while there is always somebody to translate, this is a splendid opportunity for immersion into the language, food and the culture. I was delighted to be called �Signora� and had great fun practicing the few Italian phrases I knew on anybody who would listen.


Meals at the spa�s Ristorante Villa Montepaldi are a study in elegance. Classical music plays quietly in the background. Large oil paintings and gilt-edged mirrors grace the walls. Green potted plants stand on gleaming marble floors and gold embossed tablecloths grace the tables. The staff wear white jackets trimmed with gold braid; the service is impeccable, the choice of foods--wonderful and healthy. The spa�s motto seems to be, eat well but eat wisely; try everything in moderation. At breakfast, local cheeses and yogurt sit alongside bran cereal, baked pears, biscotti and Parma ham. At lunch and dinner, local wines are readily available, the antipasto table groans with choices and there is a salad bar heaped with fresh produce.

This standard of elegance and comfort is reflected in the guest rooms as well. Linens are changed daily, a thick white terry robe and slippers are laid out for you, there�s a hairdryer in every unit and a heated towel rack in every bathroom. The shutters on the windows combined with the spa�s thick stone walls allow for an absolute stillness at night. I slept like a baby.

Terme di Saturnia is not simply a spa. It is a health club, an aesthetics center, an excellent restaurant, an elegant resort hotel and a wonderful immersion into Italian culture. It is truly �la dolce vita.�

Ed. note: For further information and wonderful photos of the spa, please visit their website at :

What should I pack?

A few tips... suitcase

2-3 bathing suits; you�re in them most of the time.

Exercise clothes for classes and early morning walks.

In the colder months, sweatpants and a jacket for early morning walks.

A better pair of shoes along with your running/walking shoes.

You can go into the dining room wearing exercise clothes at breakfast but you are asked �to dress� for lunch and dinner. At lunch a t-shirt and pants are just fine. Pack something a bit dressier for the evening. Some of the Italian women wore eveningwear while others wore a simple black shirt, an elegant scarf and black trousers. They all looked wonderful!


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