The fifth region in Italy for spa centres, Campania offers countless health, wellness and beauty destinations set against fabulous natural backdrops. The region’s spa offer is both wide and comprehensive. For starters, just minutes away from the sea, Ischia boasts several fantastic thermal parks set amidst exotic plants and flowering gardens, where you can find heated and sea-water swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths.
At the Ischia Thermal Center, formerly the seat of the Antiche Terme Comunali, you can choose from among a number of medicinal cures that exploit the therapeutic properties of the area’s thermal waters. Conversely, luxury hotels offer anti-stress and fitness programs, massages and avantgarde beauty treatments. At Ischia Ponte, in the breathtaking bay of Cartaromana, you will find Giardini Eden, a small, welcoming thermal park set within lush vegetation, boasting four swimming pools heated to different water temperatures. The oldest spa complex on the Island is Casamicciola.
Its hypothermal waters are used to treat circulatory, respiratory, dermatological and degenerative joint conditions. The main attraction at Casamicciola in terms of wellness is the Castiglione Thermal Park: ten swimming pools, eight of which are thermal pools, situated amidst pine trees and flowerbeds, just a stone’s throw from the sea; here you can indulge in mud cures, inhalations and aerosol treatments. Additionally whirlpool baths, a Kneipp swimming pool and a natural sauna serve as additional highlights to avantgarde beauty treatments.
Lacco Ameno is famous for its highly radioactive hot springs, Santa Restituta and Regina Isabella. Its thermal facilities are among the most exclusive on the Island. One of the jewels in its crown is the Negombo hydrothermal park: a luxuriant oasis in the magnificent bay of San Montano, hosting heated swimming pools and sea-water pools, a sauna and a whirlpool surrounded by tropical vegetation that stretches almost as far as the beach. Among the best-known hot springs, worthy of particular note is Citara, one of the most popular beaches on the island, located just a short distance from the Poseidon Gardens, one of the island’s most impressive thermal parks boasting more than twenty swimming pools set within some 60,000 sq.m. of lush green vegetation.
A must-visit pearl of a destination is the bay of Sorgeto, where hot springs and “fumaroles” gush into the sea. Just a short distance from the piazza, set within scenic surroundings, you’ll find the Giardini Aphrodite-Apollon spa complex featuring swimming pools heated to different temperatures, a whirlpool, a natural sauna, a beach and a breathtaking terrace overlooking the sea. Conversely, just out of town, a spa complex well worth visiting is the Tropical thermal park hosting the ancient Cavascura hot springs, natural saunas in grottoes carved out in the tufa stone that act as a backdrop to heated swimming pools and a wellness centre. Lastly, Barano d’Ischia, boasting two of the area’s most famed hot springs, Olmitiello and Nitrodi, has been known since time immemorial for the therapeutic powers of its thermal waters.
In particular, sodium-rich Nitrodi, is renowned for its curative, beautifying skin treatments. We will now move further afield to the Phlegrean Fields, where health and wellness meld with nature, legend, the sea and archaeology. Agnano is the first spa complex that visitors will encounter along the way, famed for its natural, dry heat saunas known as the “stufe di san Germano”. These are linked to the phenomenon of the volcanic hot springs of the Phlegrean Fields: the micro-climate created within the grottoes encourage the body to sweat out its toxins, serving as a powerful method of purification and detoxification.
Pozzuoli is one of the most evocative places found in the Phlegrean Fields: its mineralrich waters are recommended for all types of rheumatic pathologies. Treatments are offered at the Terme Puteolane, a complex situated on the promenade which also hosts the Fonte del Benessere, an ideal destination for those in search of tailor-made beauty treatments. “Those who care about themselves come here”: this is the motto of the Stufe di Nerone, a thermal park boasting terraces covered in flowers and a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Pozzuoli. In addition to natural saunas dug out in its tufa grottoes, other on-site amenities include a bath filled with boiling water and one filled with tepid water.
Outside, set amidst its lawns, there is also a larger thermal water swimming pool. On the slopes of Vesuvius, along the road that leads to the Sorrento Peninsula, Torre Annunziata, Castellammare di Stabia and Vico Equense combine the benefits of thermal cures with a slew of several of the most unique archaeological sites in the world including Pompeii and Herculaneum and the National Park of Vesuvius. At Torre Annunziata the Nunziante Thermal Baths offer sea water and heliotherapy cures that can be combined with balneotherapy and mud cures.
Conversely, the waters of Castellammare di Stabia are recommended for the treatment of several different pathologies including respiratory diseases, gynaecological problems, urinary infections and skin diseases. Famed throughout the world, the Terme di Stabia boast two different facilities: the Old Thermal Baths, located in the centre of Castellammare di Stabia, where you can indulge in hydroponic cures, and the New Thermal Baths, situated at the top of a panoramic road, offering a wide range of therapeutic and beauty treatments.
(picture: Hotel Punta Molino - Ischia)