By Kristen Oliveri.
When Americans think of Italy, they quite possibly think of one thing: food. But those mindful Italians behind the Wellness Valley are changing the way tourists can visit and play in their beautiful country and that doesn’t center around pasta, cheese or vino.
Nerio Alesssandri, the founder and president of Technogym Village, launched the Wellness Valley in 2002 in an effort to combine health and wellness, spa, physical fitness and mindful eating into a way of life for Italians and global visitors found in the heart of Emilia Romanga. But Alessandri knew he couldn’t get this initiative off the ground alone, so he enlisted the help and support of local business owners, hotels, spas, gyms and other market influencers to make his dream become a reality.
Today, the program combines tourism with a healthy lifestyle. Guests can choose a trip based on a specific property they’d like to stay at—or a high end spa they’d enjoy experiencing. The Wellness Valley also puts on a yearly event known as Wellness Week which they hosted this past May, where guests can partake in a week’s worth of fitness activities ranging from a marathon to cycling routes to yoga and dance classes.
While there are hundreds of hotels and spas to choose from, many have the wherewithal to provide a veritable wellness ecosystem like that of the Relais Villa Abbondanzi. This property located in Faenza offers a picturesque setting complete with 15 different rooms, a spa, pool, fitness offerings and Ristorante Cinque Cucchiai on site. Situated both between the sauna/steam room and the restaurant is a beautiful pool with an outdoor café complete with a barbecue where the chef grills up healthy, yet delectable small plates. The wellness cottage and spa specifically offers guests a sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, emotional shower, double water beds and treatment rooms for massage, facials, weight loss consultations and additional treatments.
Another spa-focused hotel in the region is the Grand hotel Terme della Fratta Wellness Center and Beauty Farm that includes an incredibly intricate and thoughtful spa that’s brought guests quite possibly everything one could need or want to help them relax. It’s comprised of two thermal pools with whirlpools, vascular watercourse, Kneipp foot bath, sauna, Turkish bath, Roman bath, experience showers, water paradise, relaxation rooms and lounge spaces.
One of their main features includes the abbot Kneipp, or thermal waters. This treatment involves the continuous passage into and out of two pools, a hot and a cold one, that gives a person a pleasant feeling of lightness in the legs. The daily repetition reactivates the micro-circulation, prevents the formation of swelling and prevents the accumulation of fat. For revascularization of the intense effects are drained water retention with a prolonged benefit to those suffering from disorders of the blood and lymphatic circulation system.
The Grand Hotel Rimini should not be missed given that the property overlooks the blue sea and is known in the region as being a premier destination for travelers and spa-seekers. The 117- room hotel boasts three regal suites and nine junior suites. Their other rooms are each uniquely designed. Throughout the hotel, you will find works of art from painting to furniture along with authentic Venetian chandeliers and beautiful French parquet floors of the eighteenth century.
No matter what you’re looking for in terms of spa, luxury and physical activity, the Wellness Valley can easily customize and curate a vacation to fit your needs from beginning to end.