Discover deep rejuvenation in Italy

·3-min read
Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo
Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo

If you’re feeling a bit lacklustre after lockdown, there’s no better place to recharge your batteries than in Italy’s latest wellness retreat, Palazzo Fiuggi. Set among lush, green hills, the hotel is housed in a former hospital that benefitted from its proximity to natural springs, known for their healing powers. Indeed, since the Middle Ages, many people, including Pope Boniface and Michelangelo, have visited the area to drink the water for its cleansing and detoxifying properties.

Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo
Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo

Even today, there’s a real sense of history to the property. In the Sala 4 Continenti (where food is served) there are frescoes by Galmiberti and restored 1931 Murano chandeliers; Sala Affreschi is adorned with fine fabrics and early-20th-century art; and the cosy library boasts plush sofas and dramatically lit bookshelves. Elsewhere, there’s an Olympic-size pool and a grand staircase next to the regal entrance hall. The rooms and suites are equally impressive. Split over four floors, the best of the bunch look over the mediaeval village below and the hills that stretch west to Rome. Interiors are calming but, naturally, come with a dash of Italian flair. Our suite was painted in deep forest-green with matching chairs and sofas, parquet floors and modcons including iPhone charging points and huge televisions, a walk-in wardrobe and an exponentially beautiful marble bathroom complete with roomy tub and a rain shower.

Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo
Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo

Though the decor is exceptional, it’s the Palazzo’s unique holistic approach to health and wellbeing that sets it apart. Stern clinical formalities are replaced with Italian charm and a very knowledgeable army of medical staff are on hand to guide guests through a wide range of programmes: longevity (a total mind and body cleanse); detox (designed to change your relationship with food and body); optimal weight (for those in need of shedding lockdown pounds); and the immuno boost (to help combat the effects of long Covid). The spa space includes 21 treatment-rooms, eight beauty cabins, a well-equipped gym, a yoga and Pilates studios, a cinema, a beauty salon featuring products from the celebrity facialist Dr Barbara Sturm and a hammam. Private guided tours of the nearby village are also available, along with the exclusive ‘Solomeo experience with Brunello Cucinelli,’ where guests visit the fashion designer’s borgo to shop some of the best cashmere in the world.

Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo
Photo credit: Tyso Sadlo

A typical stay at Palazzo Fiuggi begins with a visit to the nutritionist who will look at your eating habits and make suggestions on how to improve them. Next, a doctor goes through your health history and give you a full-body examination to help determine which spa treatments you should have and what food will be served to you for the duration of your stay. Developed in collaboration with the genetics expert Professor David Della Morte Canosci, the menus offer a balanced calorie intake without being too regimented. We ate delicious plates of snapper carpaccio, citrus pesto pasta, grilled cauliflower and bowls of pineapple and strawberries with hazelnut ice cream. For breakfast, expect avocado tartare with a poached egg, light yoghurt and even bread and jams.

Photo credit: Palazzo Fiuggi
Photo credit: Palazzo Fiuggi

In addition, an insightful body composition analysis helps you work out your optimal BMI, and make sure to try the Nilas machine, which uses electrical impulses to reveal any issues you might be suffering from. Treatments might include hydrotherapy and a mud wrap packed with essential oils designed to rid the body of toxins and cleanse the skin or a ride on the ‘Spa Wave’ where you lie on a bed for 30 minutes and acoustic therapy help induce deep relaxation. My stay ended with the unique Fiuggi Thalasso therapy that uses three pools – one enriched with magnesium to help purify, the other with nourishing salts sourced from Sardinia and the final, freezing cold mountain water from the surrounding hills. I left the retreat with glowing skin and a better understanding of my relationship with food to help me continue the good work at home.

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