LOCATED IN THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF SATURNIA, ITALY, (APPROXI- mately 100 miles from Rome), Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort recently underwent a massive upgrade, which included the addition of new facilities and treatments and the introduction of a much-anticipated anti-aging program. Since March 2003, guests at the spa have been able to take advantage of an extended and modernized resort. The renovated spa boasts 60 treatment rooms for beauty, hydrotherapy, and stress management. Each room is sound proof and has individual diffused lighting and sound systems for comfort and relaxation.
A treatment room for the spa's many holistic services.
DESIGNED FOR FLOWAll accommodations were designed to be in total harmony with the environment, starting with the architectural layout that blends with the regional Maremma landscape. There are six pools from which guests can choose and a newly built fitness area. The spa offers a variety of programs that can be customized to fit the individual, including ones for fitness and diet.
A relaxing corner inside the spa;
HISTORICAL VALUETaking advantage of the local therapeutic mineral waters that have flowed uninterrupted for approximately 3,000 years, the spa has long been reputed as a place of great healing and has a rich and tumultuous history. Captured in 280 B.C. by the Romans, who named it in honor of the god Saturn, it went from being a health resort for Roman patricians to being considered a place of lust and depravity in medieval times. It wasn't until the 19th Century that the spa began to resemble its current incarnation. In 1978, the Tuscan government approved the opening of a permanent institution specializing in bathing and mud therapy. Today, the spa's waters flow at a rate of 211 gallons per second at a constant temperature of 98.6º Fahrenheit.
Close view of the thermal waterfall experience;
Historically, the spa's waters have been known to help prevent a variety of ailments. As a result, they continue to be a principal ingredient in many of the treatments. "Water is the most important tool we have at this location," says Nicola Angelo Fortunati, M.D., the facility's medical director. "In Italy, the scientific research of most [sulfurous water] at spas focuses on more classical fields, such as bronchitis and arthritis, not on physiological issues."
ANTI-AGING SOLUTIONSwith that in mind and in an attempt to be the front-runner in the field, fortunati and his team of five physicians have developed a comprehensive anti-aging program. the regimen, launched in late june, is based on advanced concepts of physiological medicine aimed at maintaining a person's health and well-being as long as possible. to begin, the client undergoes the biological age evaluation test ($372, 25 minutes), which helps the doctor assess his or her mental stamina. then a series of clinical tests is administered to ascertain the guest's biological age in relation to his or her chronological age. armed with the results, the doctor creates a program tailored to the individual's treatment needs.
The thermal waterfalls found outside the spa
Attracting a more mature crowd—typically over the age of 40—Terme di Saturnia serves those for whom aging is a primary concern. Clients can attend a one-day program or opt to stay for an entire week and benefit from "trained staff" care. Beyond simple beauty treatments, the program includes a host of anti-aging treatments, such as the Lactobionic Acid Mask ($112, 50 minutes) and Q-Switch Laser ($248 to $2,482 depending on area treated). The Botoskin Mask ($124, 50 minutes), which works to reduce wrinkles by relaxing the muscles and smoothing the skin, is the spa's most popular treatment. The spa also offers nutritional supplements, which have been formulated using the properties of the sulfurous waters.
A STUDY ON WELL-BEINGThe anti-aging program fits well with the spa's philosophy, which is based on the concept of total well-being. The ultimate goal is to help each guest achieve psychological equilibrium through complete harmony of mind, body, and local environment and the integration of the five aspects of well-being: hydrotherapy, beauty, diet, fitness, and stress management.
The program carries a great deal of credibility because it was developed with the Medical Research Center in Thermal Medicine and Thermal Cosmetology at the University of Milan, where Fortunati teaches. Without citing a dollar figure, Fortunati notes that the special relationship with the University was also instrumental in keeping the cost of developing such a program to a minimum.
The spa's management also collaborated with the International Esthetic and Physiological Medicine Institute in Rome and the University in Barcelona, Spain. According to Fortunati, professionals from these institutions visited the resort to help train the 100 employees staffing the spa.
Surrounded by Italy's stunning landscape and architecture, Terme di Saturnia remains today an ideal setting for a unique and healing experience as it has throughout history.—Cesaltine Gregorio