For people who don’t like hot weather, the arrival of fall is a cure-all, but for anyone who only feels good in the warmth of the summer sun, fall is synonymous with aches and ailments. One thing is certain, however, whatever you may think of fall, it’s the best season to visit the spa.
Verona isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think of a spa. A hundred or so kilometers to the east, near Padua, you’ll find the well-known spa town of Abano, which over the decades has developed a city within a city around its hot springs, including pools, hotels and health centers. Within the Alto Adige region, the Merano spa resort can be found, a big specialized complex, boasting a North European style, with spas and fitness rooms. Both of these are just an hour away by train.
However, in the area around Verona, the use of spa water represents an ancient tradition. The waters were discovered by the ancient Romans and in Calidero, 15 kilometers east of the city, the therapeutic benefits of the “Baths of Juno” have been known since the Renaissance. Furthermore, on the shores of Lake Garda, the Mediterranean microclimate and hot springs have created an extraordinary combination. Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka came to be cured here, following in the footsteps of Goethe and Nietzsche before them.
Nowadays, there are at least three places worth visiting around Verona if you want to spend an afternoon at the spa. They have one feature in common: once you’re immersed in the hot water, you can admire beautiful landscapes all around you.
The nearest spa center to downtown Verona is the one most recently built: it’s called Aquaderns and is found in Pescantina, at the foot of the well-known Valpolicella wine growing region. Aquaderns opened a few years ago and is a modern facility, with an impressive pool, half covered and half uncovered, with jet showers and hot tubs. Coming out into the open, along a special walkway, you find yourself surrounded by green hills covered in vineyards and dotted with picturesque villages, where you can stop off for a bite to eat: Castelrotto in particular is not to be missed.
If you prefer a more intimate and cozy environment, Villa dei Cedri is the best choice. Situated in Colà di Lazise, on the moraine hills near Lake Garda, the property is surrounded by the majestic gardens of a villa, full of ancient trees. The main pool, particularly towards evening, takes on a magical feel, with the steam from the sulfur-rich water dissipating into the night. In a nearby cave, you’ll also find the whirlpool area. The complex has been recently modernized with a new building housing changing rooms and a restaurant.
Finally, there is the Aquaria spa in Sirmione, the popular town 20 km west of Verona, where the Latin poet Catullus built his magnificent villa, now one of the country’s main attractions. The spa complex is just outside the town. The water is accessed from inside the building, but the pool extends outside, with whirlpool tubs, showers and spas. The view is magnificent, particularly when the sky is clear. The center lies at the end of an isthmus, at the heart of Lake Garda, so you feel like you’re actually on a small island. The entrance ticket is slightly more expensive here, but it also includes access to a new fitness center; and it’s worth it in any case.
So, happy bathing to you all!